Hawaiian Volcanoes – Feeling the Breath of the Earth

Posted on 18 September 2011 by onthegroundtravel

Hawaii is known for its volcanoes.  One of the most mesmerizing moments on my recent trip there was to feel the heat generated by the lava from deep within the crust of the earth through a tiny vent hole on the ground.

The place was the Kilauea Ike Trail in the Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. It was a 3 hour hike through lush green forest and a barren frozen lava field. As we walked across the lava field (which took an hour to walk across), we imagined the hot explosive lava that was once beneath our feet. Today, the only evidence of volcanic activity there is the steam vents that litter across the field. The steam is only visible on a wet rainy day. I think seeing and experiencing the steam was our blessing for having braved through rain and mud to finish this trail that day.

We were forewarned by a park ranger that one could get burned by the steam. As such, we tested the soil around the vent hole first to make sure it was not too hot, and then slowly moved our hands over the hole. We immediately felt the undeniable heat that bubbled through the hole, straight from the lava still active down below! The experience was both humbling and invigorating at the same time. I had my proof that Mother Earth is still alive and breathing that day!  If you are planning a visit to Hawaii, you can not miss the Volcanoes National Park.

Hawaiian Airlines is running a pre-black Friday sale!  Expires 11/26/2012

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