Tonight we ventured out at dusk to see the lava flow. My Aunty explained that it was close, closer than normal and easier to view. She thought we would all enjoy it and she was right.
As we drove from Hilo out through the Puna district, to Kalapana, we turned off the main road and onto a road where temporary signs hung on barricades that posted lava viewing times.We could feel the excitement and the anticipation. laced with some mild fear of the unknown. I wondered, would we see rivers of lava? A great pool of lava as it sometimes fills craters? would we see beautiful pahoehoe lava as it swirls black with glowing coils? The children had questions about whether or not we were truly safe. They wondered if our shoes might melt if we got too close.
We parked in the first lot available tonight and had a long walk to the viewing site. The road was dark and the moon was behind the clouds. The stars that shone seemed to hang low in the sky, and there were so many to view on our way out. We walked and walked. Ben headed up our family line as we walked along the side of the road. Ben had DeSean in the ergo, Tala tripped all along the way, Shani talked along the way, Kalun was thinking of who he could scare, Caity was ecstatic to have seen an enormous flying grasshopper, Jayden walked and sat on the ground many times to roll around, or throw rocks towards whomever in our family was behind him, and I followed ALL in the back of the line. As usual we made our presence known as we walked toward our destination….the lava flow.
In the distance, off to the right, we could see a glow on the hillside that seemed to be like a curving line glowing in some places. It nearly looked as though lights had been strategically placed at certain intervals along the hillside that snaked their way from the road where we stood, and for quite some distance. As we got closer and the glow increased at times, we realized that was most definitely lava we were seeing.
We continued walking and off on our left we could see great plumes of smoke rising up. At the base of those plumes, we could occasionally see bursts of flames. The plumes glowed a pinkish orange. This is the locations where the lava was pouring into the ocean. Although we could not see the complete picture of what was happening, it was amazing to see what we could. We could imagine what was happening beyond the plumes because of the film clips we have seen of the lava entering the ocean and the reaction that takes place.
As we continued to the very end where the final barricade was, we realized that the lava was moving toward where we stood…ever so slowly. This pahoehoe lava would move and cool as it was going, and then bubble out in a rolling fashion and create beautiful patches of bright orange, molten lava.
There is a sense of beauty and awe to see things at work in the earth such as this. What a unique creation! What a magnificent display of might, and power, and majesty! God is so creative…Beautiful!
As we began to leave, one of the people working at the lava flow site informed us that they anticipated the lava – the very lava flow we were watching moving ever so slowly – to cross the road tonight. They would be moving the barricades much further out after this evenings viewing time was complete. Wow! We were right there,and we were not afraid.
I am so glad we saw what we did tonight. What an incredible experience. Even though we did not know what to expect when we first ventured out this evening, we were pleasantly surprised at the beauty and the volcanic activity here on this island.
I took pictures on my little digital camera. Well, they look a little like a black background with a tree or two in the forefront and dots of orange scattered about the background. I will not likely be posting these pictures because they just do not do any justice to what we saw tonight. However, I hope you will find some online of the current flow at Kilauea. Enjoy!