Geology Bit at the end: Jurassic Entrada sandstone, Dakota formation, erosion & hoodoo creation, the Sevier fault I woke up in the morning before the sun started… Read more “Toadstool Hoodoo, Traffic Jams, and Pajama Pants (and, of course, geology!) | AZ, UT, NV Road Trip”
There should be a list of things not to do the day after one has blown their quads, and going up the Koko Crater Tramway stairs should… Read more “Koko Crater Tramway Stairs & Terrible Ideas: It’s All Fun and Pain Until Someone Gets Hurt. Wait, What…?”
The last full day on the island and with the crew came upon us much earlier than any of us would have liked. For the last time,… Read more “Beautiful Imperfections | Back to Hawai’i (Days 7 & 8: Kaloko Fishpond, Honokōhau Bay, and Goodbyes)”
I’m not one for comparing people, and everybody in our crew was certainly looking forward to visiting Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, but I feel safe claiming in… Read more “Like Phoenix from Ashes | Back to Hawai’i (Day 6: Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park)”
Besides sharing my (mis)adventures with everyone here on this blog, I, however surprising it might sound, also try to be actually helpful from time to time. This… Read more “Point Reyes Trail Guides (Pt 1)”
Or at least that’s what I’ve heard but haven’t confirmed up until the third day on Hawai’i. We visited three sites: the Golden Pools of Keawaiki, Waikoloa… Read more “Good Things Come in Threes | Back to Hawai’i (Day 3)”
This past weekend, I escaped the confines of society (including cell service — oh, how peaceful that was!) and made my way to Calaveras County. Famous for its giant sequoias, this park is nestled between Yosemite and Lake Tahoe. And even though it doesn’t get nearly as much attention as these two big-name destinations, it’s still well worth a visit.
It was colder than what the weather forecast predicted and my PB&J mix froze solid, but it made the hot morning coffee all that much more enjoyable!
Without any further ado, here’s a short video from the journey. See you next week when we’ll continue our Hawai’i adventure!
If video embed doesn’t work on your device, here’s a LINK.
More videos/posts from the series:
Let me reiterate it one more time: I never thought I’d ever come back to Hawai’i. It’s not that I wouldn’t want to; the desire was certainly… Read more “Afraid of Snorkeling? Just Do It Your Way. | Back to Hawai’i (Days 1-2)”
Christine Reed Alone in Wonderland reads like a personal journey, more so than the physical. And even though no descriptions can come even remotely close to capturing… Read more “Alone in Wonderland | Book Recommendation”
I’ve been to Hawai’i before. I’ve seen Kīlauea before. But even the most basic knowledge of geology and, therefore, a slightly deeper understanding of how this place came to be, made this visit to the crater so much more fascinating.
Right next to Halema‘uma‘u crater, the star of the most recent eruption, there’s the smaller Kīlauea Iki crater that last erupted in 1959. Before it was a flat plain of volcanic rock, Kīlauea Iki was a V-shaped crater filled with trees. Then, suddenly — boom. A long fissure opened in one violent event and started to spew lava. Several other vents opened and within 24 hours, joined their forces in one event.
Fountains of lava were visible from afar, the tallest one reaching 1,900 feet (source).
A new cinder cone, Puʻu Puaʻi, was formed, and when the surface of the lava lake that formed in the crater submerged the fissure, the fountains stopped. Eventually, the lake drained back into the vents, leaving behind its crust. Signs of the drainage can be beautifully seen all around the crater’s edges in the slabs of rock that lay on the sloping walls.
We hiked through the crater, guided by the ahu, or cairns — trail markers built from stacked rock. For the first half (okay, maybe only a quarter) of the hike, I managed to stay on or near the trail like any other normal person. (You’re allowed to go off-trail in the crater, as the surface is very durable, and not at all delicate like many other places.)
“Why is it orange?” I was asked by our group when we stopped near Puʻu Puaʻi displaying a big red-colored scar on its side.
“Oxidization,” I answered, and then the excitement of understanding overpowered me and I ended up running all around the crater, looking at features that wouldn’t make any sense and wouldn’t mean anything to me only a year ago. After all, what’s there to see besides a flat plain of black rock and a few mounds of more black rock?
A lot. I found a crack in the floor that was going to turn into a slab dipping under the “surface” in a few hundred years, a steam vent, a piece of a broken slab that displayed beautiful layers in which you could see how the surface of the lava lake cooled down, turning into rock,… I found a lot.
And it all meant something thanks to knowledge. In fact, it was beyond fascinating thanks to knowledge. And I only wish I knew even more, then the place would probably blow my mind even more.