Hawai`i - Chain of Craters Rd.
Chain of Craters Road, Kilauea
Chain of Craters Road used to extend through Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, past the village of Kalapana, and then became HI Route 130 on the way back to Hilo. Kilauea, being an active volcano, decided it would rather send so many lava flows over to the southern coast that Hawai`i would have no choice but to close the road. Now Chain of Craters is a 20-mile long dead end, and all of the craters are in the first 5-7 miles. There are great views farther along the road, but it would have to not be rainy for those.
Lua Manu, the first crater with a view. In the first photo, a pocket of water trapped beneath the surface of the lava finally built up so much pressure it exploded out and created a cylindrical hole. The yellow rock is unrelated, but shows off the forms in which lava can cool and also bears a considerable amount of sulfur; most rocks are colored red by the iron instead.
Next, Puhimau Crater.
Hi`iaka Crater, which appeared to be the deepest and steepest. On this misty morning I was unable to get a few photos I had wanted, including a lava "lake" (now cooled) on the eastern rim of the caldera.
Napau Crater trail no longer leads to Napau Crater thanks to fresh lava flows slowly creeping across it. The road has been closed, or at least not maintained, for so long that the center stripes are white, not yellow. The U.S. converted to yellow by the 1960's.
Nene for some reason tend to like to live in lava flows. Another nene habitat with warning signs is Haleakala on Maui, above the tree and cloud lines.
Without the crater, the landscape is otherworldly.
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