Hawaii - The Big Island

with Jackie and Elston Hill
Spring 2014
We were on the Big Island six nights, five in Hilo. We started our first morning by visiting the Farmers' Market, reputed to be the
best of the markets in Hawaii.
Next we hiked the Kilauea Iki Trail. This trail starts on the crater's rim and descends 400 feet through the rain forest to the
crater floor. It is a four mile loop trail.
The bottom of the crater is eerie with all kinds of twisted volcanic lava and warm vents.
Going back up, the entry
into the rain forest is
abrupt.
On the way back, we
walked through the
Thurston Lava Tube There
were few people on the
trail, but the lava tube is on
the rim road and there was
a hoard of tourists there
from a cruise ship.
This is one of many holes in the ground formed by lava flowing around trees. The trees are wet and the lava forms around them
before they burst into flame.
Our second day in Hilo was very rainy so we took the opportunity to walk in garden areas and enjoy the rain.
Our third day we took a helicopter ride to view the molten lava. Currently, there is not legal access to view flowing lava by foot or
car and the lava is not flowing into the ocean.

Note that the silver colored lava is still molten and flowing and might have had a glow if it had been dark.
Below the lava reaches and burns the trees.
Our third and fourth evenngs were spent at the Jaggar Museum, the closest point at the summit of Kilauea that provides views
of Halema'uma'u Crater. During the day there is a robust plume of volcanic gas coming from the molten lava rock churning in
the lava lake in the crater. After sunset, one can see a vivid glow that illuminates the plume as it billows into the night sky.
The second evening the last light of twilight lit up a cloud even as the volcanic lava lit up the crater.
This was Rainbow Falls the day of the big rain.
This was Rainbow Falls the next day still muddy and no rainbow.
And this was Rainbow Falls on the third day, flowing clean and with the rainbow which appears in the morning on sunny days.
The Nene is a Hawaii goose endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. It is also the official bird of the state of Hawaii.
This little fellow is endemic and is the Hawai’I Elepaio.
Sadly, many of Hawaii's birds no longer exist as a result of humans bringing in animals and plants.

Other non native birds have been brought in by humans as well including the Erckel’s Francolin from Africa
The Kalij Pheasant is a pheasant found in forests and thickets, especially in the Himalayan foothills, from the Himalayas of Nepal
to western Thailand. It was also introduced into Hawaii.