Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hawaii Honeymoon Review Part 1: A Visit to the Volcano

Our rental jeep. Operative word being "rental." Perfect for trying to drive through blindingly-hot lava.

Sure, Hawaii is a beautiful place. Lush, tropical forests greener than the greenest country club golf course. Crystal clear waters, teeming with ocean life – and just a little bit of medical waste here and there. Soaring mountains and majestic canyons.

Going into it, we knew we’d see some pretty cool nature-type shit. And we did.

But we also expected one of the highlights would be our visit to Kilauea on the Big Island Hawaii – perhaps the most active volcano on the planet. Maybe the most active in the whole goddamn galaxy. It’s basically been continuously erupting since 1983.

Seriously. It’s crazy.

That mountain belches millions and millions of tons of red-hot lava every year. I wanted to see that lava up close. Witness the miracle of birth – of new rock, fresh from Mother Earth’s blazing hot uterus – firsthand. Feel the heat on my face, and the crunch of freshly cooled magma under my boot heel.

Also, I wanted to see if I could dip my pinky in there for just a second. Come on – how hot could it really be? And I bet it tastes like cherry Jolly Ranchers. Or maybe cinnamon Bubble Tape.

Well guess what? We get to the stupid volcano only to learn that the stupid lava stopped flowing the day before.

We did get to take a great hike across the Kilauea Iki crater, and traipse across some months old lava on the southeastern edge of the island. But nothing even remotely red-hot and flowing was anywhere to be found.
Gazing across the moonscape of Kilauea Iki crater. Kinda looks like a huge, shitty, abandoned parking lot.

Lava shelf on southeastern edge of the island. Danger: 85-degree, year-old lava ahead, below, and all around.

Across five-thousand miles, and through five time zones we traveled. All we wanted was a little live lava action. And what do we get? Zilch.

The fire goddess Pele is a stupid bitch. No offense to any Hawaiian polytheists out there. It’s just that I’m disappointed we didn’t see any lava.

And Pele, if you’re reading this post (not sure fire goddesses can even read), hopefully it will anger you enough to put on a nice lava show for the current tourists.

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AnaVar said...

I was searching for some volcano photos and found your blog. It's great! And I like those photos! Amazing, a?

The Mill said...

Thanks! It was an amazing place to visit - as close to walking on the moon as I will likely get.

Although I'm still holding out hope for the creation of a new Richard Branson reality show that involves a trip to the moon, along with many other intergalactic challenges. I would apply in a heartbeat.