The lava field near fissure 8 still streams in many places. (picture credit: Noah)

I asked Noah to write something about our adventures on Wednesday. The paragraph below is all his. I made only a few editing changes.

On Wednesday May 29th there was so many adventures to do! In the morning we left our Airbnb rental house at 7:00 to go to our guide’s house for the lava field and more things. Once we got to our guide’s house we hopped into his car and we drove away. When we got there we walked on brand new land! As we walked further up the field we spotted a tree hole, which is a a hole made from where lava knocked down a tree that made a hole, it goes down about 6 or more feet down into the ground. When the lava came down the volcano it buried 700 homes under ground. We walked up further  and our guide pointed out the steam vent in the field. We also saw many types of rock of sorts of colors, black, gray, orange, red, white, green and many more. Once we were done seeing the amazing lava field. Then we drove up to the Chinese diner. When we ate we went back into the guide’s  truck to go see the largest lava tube in the world. We hopped out of the car and saw many wild chickens on the road. There were stairs that lead down the cave. We stepped down the stairs and tumbled down the cave into a space where we almost had to crawl down. The space was 3 or 5 feet tall. As we shined our flash lights down the cave for a few minutes then we headed back up to go see more things.

It really was a great day. We left Volcano Village early to meet our guide, Kai Logan. He drove us to private land (in which he shares an interest) that was devastated by the eruptions last year. Mostly, we are going to have to let pictures do the talking for us. It is impossible to imagine walking on the “new land” [as Noah says] because the ground is made up of several kinds of lava.  There were many areas that had lava tubes. Rocks had varied colors depending on their mineral content.

The mold of a tree created by lava near fissure 8.

Noah mentioned “tree holes.” These were trees that had been engulfed by lava and then left an impression of the tree behind. [After we wrote this, we learned that these are called “tree molds.”] If you stick your hand into one of these holes, the inside of which has an impression of the outside of the tree, you can feel the heat which is still present just under the surface of the lava. The landscape here was full of steam vents and looked more like a science fiction movie set on a volcanic planet than just a half-mile from a tropical rain forest. Kai was a great guide and explained what we were seeing and how it affected him and his neighbors.

Noah and Patricia trying to complete the volcano’s work of creating a new beach

After we left the lava field, Kai took us to an old/new beach. “old/new?” Where the old beach was is now covered with lava that has created a new beach of a couple of hundred feet  further into the sea. Kai said he used to surf at the old beach but it would be years before he thought the new beach would be ready for him.  We did see a couple of surfers but they were far offshore because the waves break funny.

We had an early lunch at the “#1 Chinese BBQ” restaurant. It was kind of a hole in the wall and the food was very good. Patricia and I had traditional Hawaiian plate lunches.

Headed into the Kaumana cave–really the end of a long lava tube

We then followed Kai up to the Hilo area where we first visited the Kaumana Caves. The caves are really the end of a lava tube that is 22 miles long (the longest in the world) that travels all the way down from Mauna Loa to Hilo. We had to duck and bend to get very far in.

Rainbow Falls

We then drove to Rainbow Falls. The falls are a tourist attraction, but worth visiting. I think they are about 80 feet high. Once again Kai was full of information about the falls and the area.

Noah completes a successful turtle hunt at Carl Smith park

Our last stop was one that I think Noah enjoyed a great deal. We stopped at Carl Smith Beach. The park is more like a lagoon than what you may think of as a beach.  There isn’t much sand.  The water is clear and shallow–and a little colder than the water at Hapuna Beach. There are sea turtles in the area as well. Noah went into the water and explored the area. We were proud of him because he went out by himself even though he was not used to the area and he did not know what to expect.

We drove back to Volcano Village and again the temperature went from the high 80s to the low 60s. And, it was raining again.

Patricia volunteered to make the last of the mac and cheese for dinner. Big mistake. She tried to cook all three packages in the sadly under-powered microwave at one time.  It ended up more like mac and cheese soup. But the best part is that Noah told her that her approach would not work and she went ahead anyhow.

It was a long day and we covered a lot of territory, so it may not surprise you that Noah (“I’m not tired!”) fell asleep while I was reading to him about Bilbo’s eleventy-first birthday party.

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