Denise Goldberg's blog

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

A little more magic

Oh! Denise has been doing a lot of the writing on this trip. I think it's my turn!

Breakfast at our current B&B is the same each day, but that's more than OK. Fresh papaya is always wonderful, and papaya + bananas + pineapple is even better. Yum. Gary's waffles are really good too. They have a somewhat secret ingredient, taro. That's the plant that is made into poi. I don't know if I would like poi, but I know that Denise & I both like the waffles. One more fabulous breakfast day before we head home... I think that Denise is getting spoiled here. But that's not a bad thing.

The white plume rising from Kilauea pulled us to the Jaggar Museum before we started our morning wander. And that was after we ignored the warning signs flashing as soon as we entered the park informing us of "poor air quality". The wind direction had changed, and it was carrying that plume of sulphur towards us. Funny, it didn't smell that bad, and my breathing was fine too. I find it interesting to watch the changing shape of that rising cloud.

poor air quality warning, hawaii volcanoes national park

white plume rising, hawaii volcanoes national park

Once we were done watching movement in the sky, we headed out to the end of Hilina Pali Road. That's a nine-mile one lane two way road. If you haven't already figured this out, that road configuration is not a favorite of Denise's. She really prefers two-lane roads. I guess I can't blame her. This road wasn't anywhere near as bad as the road to her first B&B here, but there were still sections where it would have been difficult to pass an oncoming vehicle. A good chunk of the road had a smooth grass or rock section next to the pavement, but there were some sections where the surface next to the road just dropped away.

The terrain changed as we drove. There was a section of old (brown) lava rock, places that housed stark dead trees. Oh! those trees were beautiful, and there was no where to stop. Ah, I guess we have memory photos for that section. The road ended in an area filled with swaying grass, volcanic rocks visible too. Hilina Pali is a cliff (or fault scarp) that is 1500 feet high and 12 miles long. It's the starting point for some long - as in overnight - hikes. We bounced just a little bit down one of the trails. I could hear Denise thinking that she'd like to have time to do more exploring here. I know she hasn't done any overnight hikes in a long long time. I wonder if that's what she is thinking, or if she thinks maybe we should just do some all-day explorations here. Uh oh. We're really out of time for this trip. Denise doesn't need an excuse to return to this park - I know we'll be visiting here again.

from the end of the road to Hilina Pali, hawaii volcanoes national park

Time for a longer walk... we turned our feet to the trail to Pu'u Huluhulu. That's a really funny name; it means Hairy Hill. The walk was across old lava fields, from the 1974 Mauna Ulu flows. At the end we climbed the short Pu'u Huluhulu to get to a spot where we could see a frozen and flat lava lake. Then we turned around and walked back the same way we came. Denise did her usual straying from the "path" when she saw something that interested her camera eye. Oh, you want to know why I put path in quotation marks? If it hadn't been for periodic piles of black rocks, you wouldn't see a trail at all. We were bouncing on old(er) lava, so it wasn't as black as the lava we bounced across yesterday, but I still didn't see much of a mark on the ground.

along the trail to Pu'u Huluhulu, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

We came to what most people thought was the end of the hike, but Denise saw a path leading off through some woods. We followed that for a bit, then came out into a different moonscape kind of area. Very interesting.

moonscape, hawaii volcanoes national park

Next stop, Sulphur Banks. Oh, you're right, we've been there before on this trip. Denise keeps getting pulled back by the steam and by the wonderful bright yellow sulphur decorating the rocks.

Denise had one more place she wanted to wander today, a trail that we'd never set foot on before. We pointed the car down route 11, heading to the west, to the trailhead for the Ka'u Desert trail. At the beginning of the trail there were trees scattered in rough aa lava. And then there was sand. I think we walked a couple of miles down the trail, then we reversed direction. Very interesting...

alond the Ka'u Desert trail, hawaii volcanoes national park

We definitely need to visit again so we can bounce down more of that trail!
--- Rover