Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Volcano.




The five of us woke up extra early on Friday, we had a long drive ahead.
We opted for a quick coffee shop breakfast......
everything is better in Hawaii......especially the coffee....
Once equipped with our caffeine and food, we headed on our way.


We drove along the coast of the island, over hills, beneath trees.....
Along the ocean,
Sunshine warming us through the windows.....
Hawaiian music playing, which is also the best........
chuckles from the back seat...
and sweet conversation.

There is truly something about being next to the ocean.....the never ending sight of water is breathtaking....it sparks thoughts of the entire world right next to ours that exist beneath the sea....

We pulled into Hawaii Volcanoes National Park a couple of hours later.  Once inside the ranger station, we were greeted and handed a bag full of gifts for our Make-a-wish boy.  The boys were given the proper paper work required for their Junior Ranger Badges that they hoped to earn, and we headed on our way.

Our first stop was LUNCH....we get pretty excited about food....  Especially food that can be eaten whilst staring out over a rim of a volcano....

The park is set up in such a way that you can drive along the crater rim tour, stopping at the different sites you desire to see...  There are hikes, crater look outs, even a lava tube that you can walk through!



We decided to drive ourselves to the very end of the road and work our way back up.  The road ends where lava damaged it many years ago....by one of the active volcanoes that has been active since 1983....this very volcano is responsible for destroying one of the visitor centers in the park as well as 186 other structures.  This volcano has added 500 new acres of land to the island of Hawaii since it began its eruption in 1983.  It is so interesting to think that there are actually 5 volcanoes on the Big island!

At the end of the road the ground is mostly hardened lava.  It looks out over the sea.  There is a beautiful sea arch and you can stand on the cliffs that are high about the waters edge...


 Phinlynn bounced around in the backpack as Devan walked along (too closely) to the edge....I still have nightmares about them falling over......  but, besides her tiny pink aviator sunglasses...nothing was thrown over the cliffs......  The park employees and rangers had been spotting whales at this spot in the days leading up to our arrival, but we missed out on the migration action......sadly.
Cell phone pics....and Parklen barely visable.

Just sitting on some lava

cell phone pic again, and Phinlynn is clearly thrilled about her loss of sunglasses....


We drove back up the road and stopped as Parklen's strength would allow (its hard to remember his restrictions with all of the island excitement.)
We are standing over a crater.

Paysen..."Im on top of the world."



Hiking down to the lava tube





We looked out over craters.

We walked through an old lava tube....
Heading into the lava tube

We learned.







We explored...




Junior ranger is tough work

My hang loose man....


And at the end of our time in the park we headed back to meet with a ranger.  We watched as the boys received their badges and were sworn in... They pledged to help protect the park, to teach people about what they had learned, to listen to their parents and to eat their veggies.....


They were proud of themselves as we walked out of the Jagger Visitor Center....(someone asked a ranger if it was named after Mick Jagger.....his response..."although we do see our occasional rolling stone, it actually is named after someone else."  ha ha ha


We found ourselves a quick little fast food joint on our way back to the hotel....fast food is also better in Hawaii.....are you sensing a trend here?   It was delicious....

It was super late when we got to our hotel and we all struggled to stay awake as we loaded the tram that would deliver us back to our room......

The day had payed its toll on all of us....but especially on Parklen.  He had gone above and beyond his strength, his abilities.  He had walked more, ran more, explored more, just done more....than he probably should have....but he survived.

And as he fell asleep that night....he was still smiling.

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