Volcanoes National Park: Part 1

This weekend Alex and I rented a van from some local WWOOFERS and headed out for Volcanoes National Park!  We worked 12 hours on Thursday so we could leave Thursday night.  We arrived in the dark to the immense Park.  We awoke in a windy parking lot over looking the crater where the goddess Pele lives.

The Van:

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Steam vents:

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View from Kilauea Iki Crater Overlook (The smoke is coming from Pele):

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We spent Friday hiking and touring about.  The biggest hike we did was from Chain of Craters Road to Makaopuhi Crater.  This was supposed to be a 10 mile hike but it turned out to be half that according to our GPS.  Along the way we had some great views.

Mauna Kea:

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Lava fields:

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Behind Alex is Mauna Ulu, a small shield volcano:

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Tenacious plant life:

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Trying to get a good timer shot and not succeeding:

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Messing with panorama, look closely:

 

 

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Alea Crater:

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Makaopuhi Crater:

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Out of the desert landscape and into a lush rainforest on the rim of the crater.  This was some protection from the strong winds which blew constantly throughout our visit, but not much:

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Where’s Alex?

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This picture is from the top of a 400 year old cone volcano.  In the distance is Pu’u O’O crater.  This area was closed due to it’s tendency to erupt violently and without warning:

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Pele, behind Alex:

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We took a drive down from 4,000 ft to the oceanfront portion of the park.  The water was turbulent, to say the least:

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Stay tuned for Part 2!

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