Monday, July 7, 2014

Big Island - Day 2

Today we woke up and ate our previously purchased milk and Krave while sitting on our balcony. My dad and I got ready first and drove out to a nearby Starbucks while the other 2 showered. Soon after returning to the hotel, we were on the road to Hawaii Volcanos National Park. We went down along the southern coast of the island, stopping and checking out various scenic points and things along the way. We made a 12-mile detour off to a place my Dad had previously researched, South Point.

This is the southernmost point in the United States and is a very scenic area. A 3 mile hike leads you to an area known as the Green Sand Beach, which is an apt moniker. Although we did not visit due to time constraints, it seemed like a very cool place to go.  After South Point, we finished the drive to the Park. 
Once inside the park, the first thing we did, just like always, was visit the Visitor Center and grab maps and information (and a junior ranger package for my sister) At this point, we were all starving, so we eat at the only restaurant in the park, the Volcano House. Although the food took forever, costed a ton, and the portions were small, there was no complaint. We were sitting in full view of the Kilauea Volcano and its steaming vent!

After eating, we ventured around the park and down the famous Chain of Craters road. The Chain of Craters road essentially takes you down a lot of volcanic landscape and lava flows and around a few older craters of past eruptions It ends slightly before the area where some lava flows ended up covering the near the coast, with a walk (that we skipped) down to the covered parts of the road itself. There is a very nice sea arch visible here.
We came back up , and ventured around the other side of the park, walking through the steam vents, before ending up at a museum, where we listened to the end of a rangers speech. We got a good look at the steam vent from a different angle.
At this point I was starving, and the rest of my family was not that far behind me. However, there was nowhere left to eat, since the park is in a secluded area and Volcano House was closed. We ended up rushing to a nearby general store with prices akin to a highway robbery. We finally ate chips and Cadbury for dinner, or at least until we drove back to Kona.

On the drive back, we stopped at a black sand beach for my first extraterrestrial experience: The black sand was radically different and cool. 

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