Mother Earth's Scarred Country
A trip to Volcano, on the Big Island of Hawaii, is like visiting another planet. Just before we hopped on a plane from Oahu, the park closed a huge section of the hiking area, as they believed a 26 mile piece of lava flow was about to break off. The island is ever changing, creating and dying all at once. It's a spiritual...emotional...humbling experience.
We stayed two nights in Hilo, which allowed us to travel the eastern island sights, and spend a day in Volcano. The trip to Volcano wasn't long at all, and you start in rainforest and travel through so many different temperate regions climbing to the top of the volcano.
If you are planning to go to Volcano, BRING WARM CLOTHES. Yep. You're on top of a mountain...it's cold. It rains often on this side of the island, so it's damp. Damp and Cold. That combination isn't fun when all you have on are shorts, sandals and tanks. With the huge cast on my hand, I couldn't wear anything with sleeves, so I ended up with a beach towel wrapped around me. Yeah, really tacky!
Once in the park, you have choices. You can drive around the craters, and/or down Chain of Craters Road. As I was still in such delicate condition after the accident in Maui, driving through was really our only choice. I had planned on trekking the many hiking trails through the volcanic park...but no way.
When you enter the park, of course, you come to the visitor center first. Stop. Use the facilities...there's alot of nothing ahead. (hint hint). I'm going to try and give you an idea of the highlights, but I may need to go back and look at the map I got at the visitor center. (after all, I was really on some heavy painkillers, some things are a little unclear.
The tips that I have included for Volcano are concentrated on the park, as I never went into the town of Volcano. But, there is enough for anyone, of any physical level, to spend days in the park.
Darn...I have to get to work. I will be back to finish the tale, give great tips and share photos...lots of photos. I'll be adding more tips...keep checking back.