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October 2, 2009

Rainy day at Volcanoes National Park! It was coming down pretty heavily when the group departed. By the time the group arrived at the national park the rain let up a bit. As the group approached the park they talked about general geology of the area, highlighting the formation of the landscape and the fault line underneath. When the group arrived in the park, they went to the visitor’s center for a bathroom break and a look at the relief map. Guides noted many interesting facts about the volcanoes and their respective formations. They talked about the difference between, extinct, dormant, and active volcanoes, identifying each aspect in local volcanoes. The group talked about the Kilauea volcano and the current eruption! Guides pointed out what is expected from a geological standpoint in the next 10,000 years. (Talk about looking at our lives from a different perspective). The group then drove around to Kilauea Iki trailhead and ate long gong fruits. The group contrasted the forest in Puna and the forest in Volcano, noting how species were/are introduced to native forest (the group then made sure to collect all our fruit seeds and pack them out). The group hiked into the crater of Kilauea Iki. They identified and discussed the uses and significance of the Hapu’u fern tree, ginger and Ohia Lehua. When the group arrived at the crater floor they did a silly sun-dance, found different types and colors of lava and ohela berries. They explored the crater, discussed its creation, the “bathtub ring” and the still active steam vents – first hand. The group at lunch at the bottom of the crater and asked volcano trivia. They reviewed indigenous and endemic plants and then hiked back up through the rainforest to the lava tube. The group explored a lava tube formation and underground Ohia roots. They brought headlamps and explored the unlit part of the tube a bit – a highlight for sure.

Check out more images of the volcanoes here!

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