Picking up the oft-delayed vacation photos series, here’s the first half of our trip out to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and the volcano Kilauea.

Kilauea is often referred to as the most active volcano in the world. To give you an idea why, its latest eruption started in 1983… and is still going!

We got to the park fairly late in the day, partly because we underestimated the amount of time it would take to drive there from Kailua, and partly because we stopped at various points of interest along the way. It was mid-afternoon by the time we got to the visitor’s center, where Katie stood transfixed by the lava videos and I checked out the maps.

We stopped for a late lunch at Volcano House, an old hotel built on the edge of the Kilauea Caldera. Check out the view!

Wide flat area with cliffs rising to the right, treetops in the foreground.

The crater Halema‘uma‘u, which contained a boiling lava lake from 1823–1924, is visible near the center. The southern slope of Mauna Loa rises in the background. The whole caldera is roughly elliptical in shape, and Volcano House is one end of the longer axis. I don’t remember exactly how far it is from one side to the other, but judging by the map I’d say it’s about 2×3 miles.

Off to the right, behind a tree in the panorama, are the steaming bluffs. Groundwater gets heated by the magma below the volcano and seeps out through cracks all over the caldera.
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