We have been in Hilo on Hawaii’s Big Island for the last few days, and one of our adventures there was a hike in Volcanoes National Park. If you look closely in the photo you can see steam rising out of a vent in the earth behind me. Our hike reminded us quite a bit of one we had taken in the Wai -O- Tapu Thermal Fields in New Zealand, where earthquake activity has created a similar landscape.
The Kilauea volcano is the youngest volcano on the Big Island. It is said to be the home of Pele the goddess of volcanoes. The latest eruption began in 1983 and it has been erupting continuously ever since.
Signs like this along the way warn of the danger of straying off the path in the park. One rather gruesome warning billboard with accompanying artwork told the story of a boy who had left the trail to explore a steam vent and had been badly burned.
Molten rocks have come together to create interesting natural art pieces along the trail.
Perhaps the best part of our volcano hike was lunch at the Lava Rock Cafe in nearby Volcano Village. I was interested to learn that Volcano Village is the birthplace of American poet Garrett Hongo. His poem The Legend was one of my favourites to teach in my high school English classes.
It was nice to visit Volcanoes National Park and Volcano Village but I’m not sure I’d want to live there.