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]