Monday, April 02, 2007

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Then Time To Go Home

On Friday, we traveled to the other side of the island to visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Due to the distance, traffic, and sometimes low speed limits, it took a few hours to get there from the resort area on the other side of Kona. I knew by the time we got there, we weren’t going to have enough time to see it all. Take note, budget the whole day and it helps to spend the night as close to the Park as possible or better yet, in the park.

First stop was the visitor’s center. This is when we realized we would only have time for the Crater Rim Drive which goes around the Kilauea Caldera. We didn’t get to go down Chain of Craters Road or hike the Halema'uma'u trail that goes across Kilauea Caldera to Halema'uma'u Crater. The 11 mile drive around the Caldera takes you through varied terrain, from barren lava to a lush rain forest in just a few turns. It is truly an impressive area to spend time in if you can. It is just amazing how things can change throughout the years. Every now and then a lava flow will just wipe out a road and eventually it gets rebuilt as displayed in the picture. The Halema'uma'u trail takes you through areas that were boiling lava less than 100 years ago and took decades to cool and solidify. Even since then, their has been active lava in the area as recent as the early 80s. It is a bummer we weren’t able to do this, but it gives us something go come back to one day. Of course by then who knows what new areas will be active.

The first areas we encountered reminded us of Yellowstone with all of the steam vents and sulfur smells along the roadside. Along the drive, we stopped at Thurston Lava Tube. This is a massive tunnel that was created by a lava flow a gazillion years ago.

We left the park in time to stop by Volcano Winery so Stacie could do some sampling. Wine is not my preference, but I did enjoy most that I tried. They were very unique flavors that I have never tasted in other wines. They had fruit blended wines with yellow guava and exotic jaboticaba and a Macadamia Nut honey wine that could easily sneak up on you.

Our flight home was leaving at 11 PM Hawaii time, so we headed back to Kona. We had time to have a great meal at a little Thai place before heading over to the airport to turn in the rental car and check in for our flight. The trip home was quicker than our trip out there. We were already in Kona so we didn’t have to island hop and we had the jet stream to help. It made for a long day though, because we didn’t get picked up (Thanks again, Dave) from the airport until 5:30 PM Eastern on Saturday. We got some sleep on the plane but we took advantage of our free Sunday to catch up before heading back to work on Monday.

We had a great time seeing the sites and spending time with friends in a place that we didn’t expect to visit for many years from now. Now back to normal life in the ATL. Last week, that consisted of pollen counts in the 5000+ range (not an exaggeration) and unseasonably warm temps in the mid 80s.


Post a Comment

<< Home