A day off from golf: witnessing creation on the Big Island of Hawaii
When you go to a place like the Big Island to play golf, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t take a day or two off from the links to take in some of the most breathtaking scenery on the planet.
So yesterday, I made the trek from Waikoloa on the west side around the north end of the island to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It took a little under three hours to go about 100 miles, but it was well worth it. Seeing new land come up from the center of the earth – well, that’s not something most of us get to see.
Hawaii is the youngest of the eight in the Hawaiian Island Chain. And it’s still growing. Getting to see that was pretty cool.
First, I toured the national park. It’s interesting stuff ? steam vents, the Jaggar Museum on Crater Rim Drive, viewing the Kilauea Caldera and steaming crater within, walking through the lava tubes and driving down the Chain of Craters road were just a sampling.
After a few hours at the park ? where the weather changed about 10 times while I was there – I spent time with my new friend Jessica of the Big Island Visitors Bureau, who treated me to great locally grown java and lunch at the Hilo Coffee Mill in Mountain View.
Then I made my way to where the lava was flowing into the ocean near Kalapana on the east side of the park. You’re told to take a flashlight, water and wear sturdy shoes. Visitors walk across a half-mile of black lava until they get to the viewing area just above a lava shelf on the Pacific Ocean.
We were about a half-mile away from where the lava was flowing into the sea. A long way off, to be sure, but still impressive.
As the sun went down, the glow of the lava became more apparent. That’s when I wished I had a tripod and 500mm lens. I did the best I could with a small zoom, and like most of the other few hundred people there, I was in awe.
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