Saturday, January 5, 2013

Big Island Part 1: Lava!

Jarrod and I took our last trip to the Big Island (at least for now) just before Christmas and, though there was no lava flowing near the public viewing areas, we were lucky enough to find a guy who leads nightly hikes out to the lava.

It was just amazing to stand feet from flowing, molten lava. The heat was astoundingly intense at times -- I struggled to get close enough to poke it with my walking stick because it felt like my arm was on fire! I was also surprised by how much noise the lava made, popping and crackling and hissing as it flowed over itself.
We both agreed it was the best activity we've done in Hawaii, and it might be the coolest thing I've done -- ever.

Tomorrow I'll post pictures from the rest of our awesome trip!

We hiked about 2.5 miles out to the lava. The terrain was pretty rough and -- infamously clumsy me -- about 20 minutes into the trip I slipped and sprained my ankle. There's no way I was turning back, though!

From a distance the lava just looks black, but close up it's streaked with all kinds of colors. The picture above reminded me of an oil slick and the photo below brought to mind bacon.


We arrived just before sunset. This is now my favorite picture from our entire 3+ years in Hawaii!


It was so neat to watch everyone poke their walking sticks into the cooling lava. I'm no scientist, but I'd guess the renewed oxygen supply created by the stick hole is what caused the amazing blowtorch effect.




Oooh, ahhh. This was my third trip to the Big Island but it was by far the best! Not that I'll soon forget, but I'm glad I have the videos and pictures to last me forever!


  1. Oh, my gosh! Thanks for posting these! My husband and I are going to the Big Island for the second time...we go on January 19. Last time we didn't make it to the Hilo side or Volcano's National Park. This time we're spending some time in Kona and some time in Hilo. What guide company did you do the lava walk with? We're booked to go on a hiking tour with Warren from Native Guide Hawaii. I would LOVE to see flowing lava!

  2. What amazing pictures and video of the lava flow. That's an adventure for the record books!


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