Reading the story “Volcanic eruption is fascinating and frightening” in today’s Honolulu Star-Bulletin instantly took me back to childhood days growing up on the Big Island.

I can still vividly recall the days of riding home in the car from Hilo and seeing the glowing curtain of lava spewing high into the air from Kilauea. It was like something from another planet. After a big eruption, we’d find “Pele’s hair” (the fine fiberglass-like strands) and “Pele’s tears” (smooth rock in a tear shape) in our yard, at the tennis courts…basically all over Kona town over a hundred miles from the source.

As a kid, it amazed me to see this act of nature taking place in my own “backyard.” And still today, whenever I visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, just the sight of Halemaumau Crater (see via live webcam) takes my breath away. I never get tired of seeing something so beautiful no matter how many times I’ve been there.

It doesn’t surprise me HVNP is the most popular visitor attraction in the islands. Born and raised in Hawaii, I often take for granted what makes this place so special. I can’t wait to take Ensen to volcano one of these days and see the reaction on his face.


[Photo courtesy of National Park Service/N. Judd, March 24, 2008]

  1. golfnutn8 says:

    Sharol…allow me to do some research on the best sites that tell the story of Pele. I’ll be back in touch soon with more info.

  2. Sharol says:

    I would like more info on Madam Pele’s website and her burial ground in Hawaii?

  3. Kona Grandma says:

    What a coincidence… in our staff meeting this morning, a couple of my co-worker’s (kumus) mentioned going out to Volcano last week. Both were just amazed to see fire coming out of Halemaumau Crater. One was there at midnight, just before the explosion and considered it a personal sign of sorts. BTW, both performed their ritualistic chants to Pele before going to the rim.
    Shucks, the last time I was there (10 years ago), during an agency retreat at KMC, I believe the Chain of Craters Road was still closed. We had dinner at The Volcano House and it was pretty eerie watching the sulfur vent out of Halemaumau Crater as we ate and as the sun setand it became pitch dark. That was also the one and only time I had the opportunity to hear Glenn Grant tell his “spooky” stories.

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