Hawaii Day 6

Wednesday May 4th, 2016.

We got up at a lazy hour on Wed and started our day by getting dressed and heading over to Hilo. 

We went to a brewing company to try out some beer. Hana Nui Brewing and Mehana Brewing, same company but two lines of beer. It was pretty good beer and we picked up a few.

We had snacks in the Jeep before heading on our way to the next thing. We overheard a couple talking about an Orchid maze that was on the road to Volcano National Park, so we kept an eye out for it.  It wasn’t so much of a maze as a show room but it was pretty cool. They have some beautiful orchids! And some creepy ones. Some had blooms bigger than my hand! 

We continued our journey on to the only winery on the island, Volcano Winery. They had some interesting wines.  A couple we felt worthy of sharing. 🙂

Then on again to Volcano National Park. We arrived at the visitor center to get my stamps and then took a walk in the rain. The weather difference between Kona and Hilo is amazing. Kona is warm, humid and mostly sunny. Hilo is cloudy, cooler and rainy. The national park was no different. With our sunburns we were ok with coats and cooler weather. 

The national park is at 4000 feet and we walked along some sulphur vents and steam vents on the crater rim of Kilauea volcano. It reminded me very much of Yellowstone National Park. Rotten egg smell and yellow stained rocks. 

 The steam vents were just holes in the ground with, yup, steam coming out. No poisonous gases. 

The hike back to the visitor center had some small informational signs about various plants of which I took no pictures. I did take pictures of the plants though.


There was a really neat rock valley we had to walk through.

We then drove to the Jaggar museum at the crater rim to wait for nightfall. We looked at all the items in the museum and saw lots of different kinds of lava expelled from the volcano.

In daylight, you can’t see much more than steam.

However once the sun sets, it becomes amazing!!



We had dinner at the lodge where we could look out and watch the fiery glow. So we had dinner at the edge of an active volcano!!

Then it was start the long trek home. 

Hawaii Day 3!

Sunday May 1, 2016.

The fun continues! I am not sure how we will top this today!

We got up early and hit the road to head to our helicopter tour. Yes a real helicopter! I have wanted to fly in one for a long time so I was totally psyched to go. The ride was amazing!! 


We flew between the two volcanoes over to the active crater on the east side of Hawaii.

The landscape on the West side is dry and barren. Going through the valley between the two volcanoes is covered in various colors of different lava flows. It was so fascinating to see that from the air. Really gives perspective on the enormity of it all.


We flew over the crater and got to see lava bubbling down below. It was so very cool!

After that we flew over Hilo and then up the East coast to view the cliffs and waterfalls on the coast. I took pictures with my DSLR and stole the ones below from Kris. It was so beautiful!


Kris and I with our pilot.

After the helicopter ride we drove north to the end of the north running road. We hiked down the trail to a black sand beach. The views were amazing!

I built a couple rock piles for fun and we cracked open a coconut.

We were planning to hit another beach but it was 2 o’clock and I felt beat up from the early morning, the heat and the hike down 1500 feet. So we headed back to the hotel.

However along the way I happened to see this amazing thing by chance as we were driving along. I told Kris to turn around. Turns out it was an amazing lava tube!

Lava flows are pretty interesting. This particular one had lots of gas in the lava as the rock is very holey. It is also very brittle. The colors in some of the rock was intense! 

I am thoroughly enjoying our trip here!

We did finally return to the hotel where we swam for a bit, had dinner, then sat in the hot tub for a bit. Fun day!


Three Pools Project

Two more trips to Three Pools for my photo project. Started in Feb this year and have gone every other month since to take pics in the same spots.

We went on Saturday and Jason came along with us. We left early to hopefully beat everyone else out there and we did. The lot was empty when we arrived! We cleaned up some trash first at the lower pools and then I shot my photos. There was no one else there so we let Twitch run around off leash which he enjoyed.

Then we walked up the trail, stopped in a few spots for more pictures and then finished at the upper pool. We picked up more trash and then decided to cross the river to the other side. I finally got to be in the most magical place ever! It’s like it was built in Disney or something it’s just so magical. As if it could only exist in a fairytale! Gentle streams flowing around and over moss covered rocks. Beautiful! 

Before we even crossed the river I turned around to check on Twitch and he was wet! He had either fallen in or jumped in. After we crossed over this, one pool had pine needles floating on the surface. Twitch was catching up to me and decided he would take a shortcut over the needle covered “ground”. The look on his face when he found himself belly deep in cold water was priceless!! I wish I had snapped a pic of it but I was laughing too hard. 

He also decided that the white water needed to be controlled and I do have a few pics of him trying to bite the water. Lower jaw submerged and all!
We walked all the way down to the first location but on the opposite side of the river. I had never been on that side of the river before. It is so neat to see how the water has carved out the rocks.

We picked up more trash and then left. By that time several groups had begun to arrive so we didn’t have the place to ourselves anymore.

Next we headed to Opal Creek for a hike. I thought it was 3 miles but it was 6! Oops. It was gorgeous and we found some neat new spots.

This spot looked like a natural water slide the way the water carved a path down the rocks.


The water is so clear up there!  
This little wave was fun! Hard to tell in the pic but it blasts up about a foot from the surrounding rock.

This is the canyon leading into Opal Pool up near Jawbone Flats. 

The forest road we walked on to get to the trails had these bridges with spacings in the wood that caused Twitch to slow down and carefully place his feet. The spacings were the perfect size to snag a Twitch foot! So Kris carried him. Twitch was so tired he just hung limply from the harness. Lol I am pretty sure Twitch would have liked someone to carry him the rest of the way by then.

This is old growth forest with large diameter trees that are very tall.

It was a great day, lots of fun and beautiful area! We were on our feet from about 9 am until 3:30. We had the short drive from Three Pools to the Opal Creek trailhead but otherwise we were climbing or walking the whole time. Probably covered 8 miles of rugged terrain that day.

More rocks – Detroit Lake

Yesterday Shelby, Kris, our three dogs and I went walking along the almost dry bed of Detroit Lake. We started at Hoover Campground and walked upstream next to the Santiam River which feeds Detroit Lake.

The travel was mostly smoothed cobblestones with some sand as the lake level is extremely low due to lack of rain and snow melt. 

Below you can see the bed of Detroit Lake. The post behind Kris is a No Wake sign.

At this point we should be 20 feet underwater. 🙁

The dogs were allowed to run off leash as we were the only ones out there. When we did see others we leashed until past them.

The sheer diversity in the rocks we walked on was amazing. I took pictures of a few for this post. The cobbles ranged from granite to volcanic to sandstone.

 These green stones were interesting because most of them were very brittle. They were green all the way through and I have no idea what the composition is.

Here you can see sandstone that was laid down with various layers of a darker material. Most likely due to ash or dust in the sky. Could also be from a flash flood event where this rock was formed higher up a bank or shore where only silt settled out.

There were also a number of these types where it was a compressed mix of larger pebbles and sand. Very interesting! 

The below conglomerate has bits of granite and sandstone mixed inching you can see at the lower right of the rock as the darker spot.


Here is another sandstone rock that had two different colors of sediment compressed into it. There were a number of these out there.