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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Volcano, Hawaii, United States

May 3, 2018 - Volcanoes National Park

@@@@@@@ BACKGROUND Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet – USA chapter Hawaii has to say about Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park: Of all of Hawaii’s marvels, none equals the elemental grandeur and raw power of the two active volcanoes contained within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The entire island chain is the result of the volcanic processes on display here, which is nothing less than the on-going birth of Hawaii. The elder sibling is Mauna Loa, whose recumbent bulk slopes as gently as Buddha’s belly, as if the earth’s largest volcano...

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Oct 1, 2017 - Back in Volcano

The day's exploration continued with a stop on the way home at Ataska Orchid Gardens. While this is a commercial venture, visitors are welcome to come in and admire the more than 500 blooming orchids on display. I was really planning to buy one (they ship to the mainland) until I found out they take several years to bloom. Too long when I can buy one already blooming at home. After dark we realized it looked like the night would be clear. Perfect for a night viewing of the crater from the Jagger Museum overlook! It was! See photos

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Trip Journal


Living Our Dream

Oct 1, 2017 - North of Hilo continued - Hamakua Coast

Next stop - Akaka Falls State Park (after stopping along the way for shave ice). Another beautiful place with a view of the 442 foot Akaka Falls. However, I was disappointed because the trail through the tropical bamboo forest that I so loved 6 years ago was closed. Last stop along the Hamakua Coast - Lapahoehoe Point, a beach park memorializing the lives lost when a tsunami swept across the schoolhouse in this valley in 1946 claiming the lives of 24 students and teachers. Spectacular ocean views here. A so-so late lunch at Ken's Pancake...

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Living Our Dream

Oct 1, 2017 - North of Hilo - Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden - Day 10

A change of pace today - and a very busy day! We began the day driving north past Hilo to what is called the Hamakua Coast. First stop -the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, a 40-acre valley garden along Onomea Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The valley was discovered in 1977 by Dan and Pauline Lutkenhouse who transformed it from a dense jungle to a pristine tropical paradise. What is so amazing is that all of the work of clearing and planting was done by hand by Mr. Lutkenhouse and 2 helpers. The photos don't even begin to depict the idyllic...

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Living Our Dream

Sep 30, 2017 - Lava Day continued

Our afternoon adventures took us into the area around Pahoa where there have been very recent destructive lava flows. We were turned away from driving into one area where there are still houses standing surrounded by lava. After taking a roller coaster road along the beautiful coast and stopping at one of the parks to watch the waves pound the base of the cliffs, we came to the Lava Tree State Monument. In 1790 a fast-moving lava flow raced through a grove of ohia trees, quickly cooling and creating rock molds of their trunks. We walked the...

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Living Our Dream

Sep 30, 2017 - A Lava Day - Day 9

We spent the first half of our "lava day" on the 19 mile Chain of Craters Road which descends from the 4,000 foot elevation at Volcano House to the ocean, ending in a thick black mass of rock from a 2003 lava flow. This area is considered to be some of the youngest land on earth and is still growing from continued flow. The temperature change was amazing - cold with jackets when we started to very hot at sea level. Lots of photos. Back at Volcano House we had pizza delivered to our room for lunch while we rested up for the afternoon...

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Living Our Dream

Sep 29, 2017 - Volcanoes National Park cont'd

Back to the National Park. This afternoon, in the misty rain, we walked along the steam vents that line the rim of the caldera. Rainwater seeps into the sometimes huge cracks in the ground where it is heated by the volcanic rock and rises in the form of steam. From there we crossed through a grassy meadow lush with small native orchids but devoid of trees because the ground is too hot for anything with deep roots. A boardwalk led us through the stinky, smelly, smoking sulphur banks, home to the ohi'a trees which survive by closing the pores...

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Living Our Dream

Sep 29, 2017 - Volcanoes National Park - Day 8

The Kilauea Caldera is a circular depression 2 miles by 3 miles and 540 feet deep. Within it is the Halema'uma'u Crater which is 3,000 feet across and 300 feet deep, constantly spewing ash and volcanic gases called vog from a fiery lava lake deep below. This is what we saw out our window! Since Hawaii Volcanoes National Park contains one of the world's most active volcanoes, it is a very popular daytime tourist spot. Knowing this, we decided to begin our day at one of the most popular spots, Thurston Lava Tube, before the park opened. (Our...

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Living Our Dream

Sep 28, 2017 - Oahu to The Big Island (Hawaii Island) Day 7

This morning Karin picked us up for brunch at The Nook, a restaurant managed by Karin's boyfriend, Chris and then dropped us off at the airport for our 38-minute flight to The Big Island of Hawaii. Coming into the airport at Kona, it looked like we were going to be landing on solid black lava rock, but suddenly there was a runway. After picking up our rental car, we began the long, slow, rather stressful drive south and east on the curvy, hilly Belt Highway 11, arriving at the Volcano House just before dark. There were a number of...

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Living Our Dream

Jan 12, 2016 - Green Sand Beach

Volcano Village, HI We had not quite finished with Volcanoes National Park yesterday so we went back today, starting with a trip through Thurston Lava Tube, a 500-year old lava cave. Caves like this are formed when a river of lava gradually builds solid walls and a ceiling. When the lava flow stops and the last of it passes downhill, a cave is formed. These caves can be a few feet high and only yards long, or they can stretch for miles with high ceilings. Then we walked Devastation Trail. This trail offers fantastic views of Mauna Loa...

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Hawaii 5-0

Jan 11, 2016 - Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

Volcano Village, HI Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park encompasses two active volcanoes: Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, and Mauna Loa, the world's most massive active volcano. Climates range from lush tropical rain forests, to the arid and barren Kaʻū Desert. The Chain of Craters Road, as the name implies, leads past several craters from historic eruptions to the coast. It used to continue to another entrance to the park near the town of Kalapana, but that portion is now covered by a lava flow. In fact, when we were here in...

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Hawaii 5-0

Jan 10, 2016 - Burn, baby, burn

Volcano Village, HI It was a busy day but two of our activities really stand out. We spent a couple of hours meandering through the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. It is a 40-acre valley of amazing and beautiful plant life. It features streams, waterfalls and a boardwalk along the ocean. Some of the garden's mango and coconut palm trees are over 100 years old. We were really impressed with the size of many of the plants. What would be a houseplant in a small pot at home is big enough here to build a house under. Our other big adventure...

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Hawaii 5-0

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