So Volcano National Park is another highlight of our trip. I think everything seemed to be a highlight of our trip. 

We decided to start our morning on the Kilauea Iki Crater Trailhead. Thankfully we started pretty early. A volunteer told us it stays roughly the same temperature the whole time but we heated up quite a bit as the sun came out.  We started in a jungle, going down. 

DSCF0631Then came to this sort of terrain.

DSCF0656Then we walked back up and out. It was honestly a lot like a very hot Iceland in the middle. I can’t say I ever saw a lush jungle like that in Iceland though. The steam vents were neat for the kids to see and we didn’t smell that much sulfur. I didn’t get as many pictures as I would have liked because we were always aware of all the kids, but especially Jack. I had to keep reminding myself that two years ago, he couldn’t walk more than a few steps. He did really great considering the terrain. We just had to go slow. 

This trail is roughly 4 miles. Apparently when you go down and backup with the switchbacks, the national park service claims it’s the equivalent of climbing up a 40 story building. It didn’t seem that hard to me, but we were really high when we started. The trail shows what happened after an eruption in 1959. Kilauea actually means “spewing.” It was evident that that’s what happened. 


DSCF0655The girls loved following the Ahu. Bria was actually pretty great on the trails. 

DSCF0665She made sure she was going to keep up with her sisters no matter what. 

DSCF0669The trailhead overlook comes out close to the Thurston Lava Tube. It was literally and figuratively a cool little break after the four mile hike.

DSCF0677Our view from the top…

DSCF0682At one time, that was a lake of lava.

We had lunch and set off down Chain of Craters Road. We drove all the way to Where The Road Ends.

DSCF0716Lava would be the reason for the end of the road.

We saw the Holei Sea Arch. That’s where I watched a tourist nearly fall off the side of the cliff after climbing over the yellow ropes in a long skirt. 

DSCF0702I was behind the yellow ropes thank you very much.

The walk to where the road actually ends is much longer than we thought it would be, thankfully it was on the road. 

DSCF0710Then we drove to Pu’u Loa Petroglyphs. It’s only a 1.4 mile round trip hike to see images that were etched in stone.

DSCF0722It was at this point that Jack started to give out. This terrain was much harder for him to walk on. He was tired and frankly couldn’t believe we were getting out of the car to go again. Plus, for all he knew we were tackling that 40 story building again. We finally decided it was faster for me to not hold his hand and tell him to follow Ray. The girls were having fun following the ahu stones and running ahead. About half way to the petroglyphs Jack started the mumble. It took a minute but he started to get louder the more frustrated he got. He was chanting, “Solve the problem. Solve the problem. We need to take a break.” It was really hard to not crack up. Around this time he also tripped. Now he’s really mad. 

The girls were on their own program at this point. I found out later Ray was trying to encourage independence while I was fuming about our family vacation being me hanging back with Jack following Ray. We finally got to the petroglyphs. 

DSCF0726Thankfully there was a bench so Jack could take a break. The walk wasn’t very far but oh my word, I was going to have to get Jack back to the van at some point. He’s not little anymore. Packing him out would not be fun.

Our walk started. Little man was not happy. The girls were running ahead seeing who could find the ahu first. Jack is muttering under his breath. He clearly at this point thinks we are mean, cruel awful people to force this on him. He hit a crevice and went down, flat. He caught himself so his face didn’t hit. Falling flat actually worked to his benefit, the lava rock didn’t scratch anything but he was pissed. Sorry for the language but there really is no better word for it. He starts full on screaming with a totally fake cry. Jack doesn’t cry a lot, still but when he does you know it’s real. This was different. I immediately snatched him up, checked for marks. He’s fine but yelling like someone stabbed him in the back. 

I start to carry him. I have at least a half mile to go. This is not going to be fun and I’m a little worried about tripping. Ray tells me to put him down. This is good for him. He’s never had to use his muscles, we’ll go slow, it’s only a half mile. He offers to hold his hand. Now, I’m walking just ahead and Ray is telling him to follow Mama. For whatever reason, Jack slows way down when you hold his hand. Ray dropped his hand. The second he did, Jack sat down. “I NO GO!” He was done! 

Ray finally got him going again. I was trying not to break out in hysterical laughter. I really wish I had video of it. Ray is telling Jack that he’s a big boy, he can do it. He just had a birthday. He’s six now. Jack said, “No. Not 6! I’ll erase it for you!” Then he started wiping wildly with his hand. We got him to the car. At that point, he was so relieved the real tears started to come. Poor boy. We decided to forgo the next hike and headed back to Jagger Museum instead.

DSCF0745 DSCF0737I don’t know if my kids will remember the stories about Pele. I will. I can tell them anytime they ask.