Thursday, May 28, 2009

Na na na na na na na na...Native! 3 of 8

Day 3: The Volcanic Experience

On the third day, we decided it would be a great opportunity to go see the volcano. We had rented a Jeep for the week and decided to go ahead and use it. Driving to the other side of the island took its time. You wouldn't think the island is that big, but it takes about 2 1/2 hours to get to the other side.

The drive was nice and we were able to explore a different part of the island. The Hilo side, the east side, was a lot more tropical than the Kona side that we were staying. The Kona side is leveled with volcanic rock in sweeping hillsides. The Hilo side is more mountainous with deep gorges and thick rain forest brush. It also rained on that side of the island.

Once we made it to the Volcanic National Park we drove up to the top of the volcano. The steam was pouring out of the top into the atmosphere. We later drove to the lava tubes. We could walk through the thick rain forest and enter into a large opening on the trail. The opening was to a lava tube that extended about 100 yards to the end. At the end there was an opening to another lava tube. This lava tube was very different in that it wasn't lit like the first one. The only source of light was coming from the natural light of the opening. The lava tube extended some 400 yards down to the supposed end. But we walked only several feet into the deep abyss not wanting to test the assumption.

A dark viewpoint from inside the cavern of a lava tube with its only light source being the natural light from the opening. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

After seeing the lava tubes we drove to were the lava was entering the ocean. The lava has flowed from the National Park into private property which has caused an issue for the state. Dealt with issues of lawsuits, the state had to have state employees corral the public around the private property to protect itself. Where once we could see the flow of lava right beyond our feet, we had to stand back 300 yards or so. That was fine for us being that this was the closest we had been to lava anyway. We stayed into the night watching the lava spew into the sky. It was very crazy to see the amount of ash pour out from the ocean on a daily basis.

A unique request for a property for sale on the road covered by the lava flow years prior. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

The happy couple with the imminent dangers of death via volcano spewing behind them only several yards away.

Lava spews out from an opening as ash billows into the air on the volcanic coast of Hawaii. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

A long exposure shows the streams of lava that spew from the opening into the ocean. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

While watching the volcano spew lava around, we ending up waiting until nightfall before really saw any color from the lava. We spend the good amount of 4 hours as sunset came and the evening darkness showed the colors of the lava. So you ask, wouldn't that be very boring? Well why not do a timelapse of the lava while I waited. That is exactly what I did. I took about 600 pictures that evening as we watched the volcano spew and put it into a video. The video really shows just how much ash is pouring into the atmosphere. This was something that I thought was really amazing, until I saw the orange glow from the lava bursts, then I was like "Oh the pretty colors".

Watch on YouTube

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