Friday, January 8
We drove around the south end of the island to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, to see Kilauea, whose most recent eruption cycle has been going for a little over 30 years. During this time, over 200 structures have been destroyed, including a housing subdivision. It is possible to see the red glow of the lava at night.
There are many steam vents on the edge of the caldera. On some days, the air quality can be troublesome if the wind blows sulfur from these vents toward the viewing and hiking areas.
The caldera has a circumference of about 8 miles, with a molten lava lake inside. Smoke rises constantly from this lake, and varies in quantity depending on the activity in and under it. We could hear periodic rumblings, sounding like thunder, which were followed by an increase in the smoke.
We also took a rain forest walk to access a lava tube in the park. The tube is about 400 years of age and 600 feet long. The ceiling ranges between 10 and 30 feet.
Back to the resort in time to enjoy another lovely sunset before dinner.
Today was Sally’s birthday, and we took the resort shuttle to the nearby Marriott for dinner, followed by a birthday treat for Sally. Fortunately, it was large enough for all of us to enjoy.
We stayed too late to catch the shuttle, and we were told that all of the taxis were at the airport. Sally is a resourceful woman, and she approached a woman who was just leaving and asked her if she was willing to rescue some nice people who missed their ride. I guess we didn’t look too scary, as she agreed to give us a ride back to our condo. Otherwise, we might still be trying to hitch a ride back.