The excursion here took us to see craters, steam holes and through a lava tube. I had never heard of a lava tube before this. It is basically a cave through which lava flows.
These photos were taken at the Halemaʻumaʻu crater. The Halemaʻumaʻu crater is a pit crater within the much larger summit caldera of Kilauea in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The crater floor is 770 x 900 meters, 83 meters below the floor of the Kilauea caldera. In feet, that is 2,530 x 2,950 feet for the floor. and 270 feet below. Halemaʻumaʻu is home to Pele, Goddess of Hawaiian Volcanoes, according to Hawaiian traditions. According to the Hawaii Volcano Observatory, the crater is currently active, with lava in an open vent fluctuating from 70 to 150 meters below the crater floor. (This info taken from Wikipedia)
Doesn't this look like smoldering ground fires?
This steam was HOT. That is my friend John in the orange shirt. I couldn't get as close as he did without my glasses steaming up.
I handed the camera to my husband as we began our descent into the lava tube. I wasn't sure how steep, dark or slippery this was going to get. It wasn't bad but I was very cautious where I stepped. Look up "chicken" in some dictionaries and you'll see my photo.
Ahhh, light at the end of the tunnel, er...lava tube!
Above and below are views of the crater from another vantage point.
This last photo is a close up of part of the previous photo. See those specks? Those are people walking across the crater.
Our visit to Hilo was on January 18th. Our tour guide kept saying that something was "cooking" because he had been noticing subtle changes. Was this said to boost interest in his tour or was he serious? On January 22nd, when we were taking a city tour of San Francisco, a 4.7 earthquake hit 5 miles below the Kilauea volcano!
It is nice to be back in our boring little home town where nothing shakes unexpectedly. If only I could have brought home the blue skies and warm weather.....