9/8/2002 - 9/21/2002
Day 8 - 9/16/2002 - Off-roading and lava flowing
Location: Volcano, Hawaii
This day's journal entry is dedicated to Jen and Dan. Let me explain:
We got up and ate another killer breakfast before checking out of our hotel (well … bed and breakfast). We headed south. As we were driving along, we decided that in order to kill time before checking into our new bed and breakfast, that we would try to hike to "green beach!" Seemed simple enough!
We turned down an eerie single-lane road that went on for 10 minutes. We passed some windmills (modern ones) and they sounded so strange! It was really scary!
When we found the visitors center (and paid for parking) (and didn't have a map) (and his directions consisted of "follow the path") we were in good spirits. We changed in the car into some hiking shorts and were on our way. Shortly after starting our journey (and because the visitor center had no bathroom) we found some shrubs with good cover to go to the bathroom.
Shortly, the road split left and right, so we picked right. After walking for about 20 minutes, we started questioning ourselves. Just then, like a knight in shining armor, we spotted a red jeep coming from the opposite direction. Surely they would know where the green beach was! We waved them down and asked, but they said that they were looking for it, too, and they didn't spot it from that direction. Puzzling …
They said that they would try to drive to the visitor center and come back to tell us where the beach was, which was really nice of them to do!
We kept walking what we learned later was the wrong way for another five minutes. It turns out that we were in South Point, which is the southern-most tip of the United States. The nearest land mass was 7,500 miles away: Antarctica.
The red jeep returned and its occupants, Jen and Dan, informed us that we were going the wrong way and then offered us a lift! They definitely won the "nicest people we met on our trip" award!
The least we could do to return the favor was take Jen and Dan's picture! :) They even gave us a lift back to our car back at the visitor center, where we signed in so they knew we weren't dead. :) We gave Jen and Dan a firm handshake and a hug for all the help! Weird side-note: the jeep's license plate started with Hilary's old initials ("HBP …") and our rental car's license plate started with her new initials ("HBV …"). Weird!
After that trip, we drove down to the town of Volcano, where we drove to the coast to see the fresh lava flows! It was a little disappointing. We saw steam from the lava hitting the ocean water, but we couldn't get close enough to see any lava (or so we thought).
Hilary, who before today, was excited to go to see lava flows, got really nervous and wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. Aside from the heat, (which felt like being in an oven) and the smell (which smelled like hotdogs over a camp-fire to me) :) it wasn't too bad!
We quickly retreated, though, and headed to our bed and breakfast in town. We then found out that in order to see the glowing magma, you have to go at night! So we plan on getting up early tomorrow and driving down in the pitch black of night.
We want to dinner at a really nice place that was a hunting lodge. It reminded me of a Royal Bavarian hunting lodge. (That one's for you, Russ). :)
I had parker ranch beef! (That's from local cows on the big island). It was very tasty!
Well, we have a full day planned for tomorrow, so I'm going to sign off for now.
And thanks again to Jen and Dan.
We visited a black-sand beach today, too.