Hello Dear Ones,
Today was a long one… if you are keeping track, I awoke at 4:45 am. Unable to go back to sleep, I did some yoga for the liver and gall bladder meridians. That is really good stuff – from Insight Yoga by Sarah Powers. I’m still feeling in the IT bands (running down the sides of my thighs – quite tight in a lot of people). And in Chinese Medicine, the Liver / Gall Bladder have to do with mental clarity, decision making and feeling happiness. So a big Yes! to improving those attributes!
I left my AirBnB around 7:45 am. Then I went to the Hawaiian Style Cafe – which I do believe is one of the best places to eat breakfast in Hilo. And the service was amazing – very friendly staff. I ordered the Hawaiian Loco Moco, just because I wanted to be able to say I ate some Loco Moco… but I can’t believe people would eat that on a regular basis. It was two fried eggs on top of two hamburger patties on top of grilled onions and white rice, all smothered in gravy. What the hell is that?! I can’t even begin to figure out which food cultures may have blended to create that behemoth. Well, I ate most of it. So I satisfied my protein and fat requirements for the day, in one meal!
Then it was off to Longs Drug to find some sunscreen and a lighter (for lighting smoke offering substances).
Next, I trudged on down to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. I’m wishing I had purchased an annual pass. Because as it was, I made a financial offering in the size of $30 just to get in (for a week). I may use it one more time. But honestly, I am happy to help out the National Park Service.
I hiked a loop – the Kilauea Iki trail. The Kilauea Iki is a smaller crater, not far from the currently erupting Kilauea and Halema’uma’u craters which are the highlight of the park. I went about the loop backwards (coming from the visitor center), meaning it was a total of 5 miles. I asked a ranger along the way if it was safe to hike in this popular crater. He said it was completely safe.
But then, once I was out of the crater, having hiked the 1.5 mile length along the floor of the crater, I saw signs saying that in 1959 – just 60 years ago – the crater was a massive lava lake! In fact, I could still see some steam coming out of the base of the cinder cone on the southern edge of the crater. “Completely safe?!” How does he sleep at night? Let’s just say, if I had seen that sign first, I would have had a good long think about whether or not to hike the full length of it. Who knows, the lava might just be a 1000 ft below the trail today (I mean Halema’uma’u is only a few miles away and the lava over there is right near the surface as it is currently smoldering and having a gentle eruption). According to the signs, the Kilauea Iki crater was a not-too-long-ago molten pool of lava that was 200 ft deep. Well, it was worth the slight risk!
I ate in the Volcano House, which has a majestic view of the Kilauea (which is the larger of the two) and the Halema’uma’u craters. Then it was off to a few overlooks – one of which looked down directly into the smoldering and smoking edges of the erupting crater. I heard a tour guide mention that the lava is primarily below the surface (2200 degrees deep down) and the surface is therefore 1600 degrees Fahrenheit! No wonder things were smoldering and smoking.
I should explain that a gentle eruption means mainly gas (at least at the upper craters). There was a lot of steam and smoke rising up and out of Halema’uma’u. Apparently there are vent tubes and lava tubes where the lava might pour down the slope about ten – twenty miles below these craters, where the lava may makes its way down to the ocean.
I was curious about the Jaggar Museum which used to be a highlight of visiting the park. I recall visiting it 10 years ago, when I was there last. And it was an obvious building very close to an overlook (so it was hard to miss). Apparently, during the massive 2018 eruptions (which also destroyed about 700 houses), the Museum was affected by tens of thousands of small to moderate earthquakes. So it is not structurally sound and visitors are not allowed to go near it any longer. Hopefully they can replicate it elsewhere.
Oh yes – there were signs that anywhere near the Kilauea crater, we were in a fault zone. Earthquakes are quite common. In fact, I think smaller quakes happen daily. They may be so small so as not to feel them. Wow, impermanence abounds around Volcanoes!
I saw a lot of details on the 2018 eruptions (and subsequent lava flows). Wow – hundreds of millions of tons of lava, over several months, taking out an entire community of houses and homes, obliterating several roads, and creating more than 700 new acres of land as the lava poured into the sea. Impermanence is hard to miss here on the Big Island! And if you live near the Volcano, you have to be on your toes it seems.
I still had to drive 50 miles and I wanted to visit a Buddhist Center on my way to the next AirBnB, so I left Volcanoes around 3 pm.