|View of the crater trail from the Crater Rim Trail. |
Can you find the tiny people?
|Fur from the giant tree fern, used to be cultivated and |
exported for mattress stuffing
|Giant tree fern|
|As active as the volcano was|
We realized we wouldn't be able to get to any of the backcountry sites that night on foot, so we just headed for a campground in the middle of the park. The Crater Rim Trail was a beautiful hike through lush rain forest, which occasionally gave way to vistas of barren rock-strewn plains in the Kilauea crater. Five hours later, when we finally arrived, exhausted and hungry, to the campsite, we couldn't get our stove to work. So, we ate cold canned beans, rice, and avocado, and went to bed. While staring up at the crystal clear night sky, we realized how complete the silence was, without the familiar coqui frog obnoxiously serenading us to sleep.
|'Ohi'a Lehua tree, one of the first |
plants to grow out of new lava
|Holly embracing her dorky homeschooler heritage|
|Crazy lava colors and formations|
|Cutting down the |
|Scraping off the outer bark|
|Ceylon cinnamon drying|
|Pounding the inner bark to|
|Raw inner bark|
One day Tane and Maureen were heading south to check out a friend's new farm, and they kindly invited us to tag along. The farm happened to have the distinction of being the "southernmost organic farm in the US." The farmer had only had the land for nine months, and already had an incredible amount of produce growing. He was even planning on implementing an impressive aquaculture system. After our visit wrapped up, we all decided to go check out the southernmost point in the US, since it was so close. As we approached the coast, we noticed that all the trees were bent almost double from decades of relentless wind. The spot was marked with an official sign, and a platform positioned over the cliff's edge for daring jumpers.
|Southernmost point in the US|
|Holly and Mary|
|Honey the puppy enjoys watching|
Scrabble from a comfy vantage point
On March 31st, we said goodbye to our big-hearted Big Island friends, and set off for our next stop: New Zealand.
|Bak choi with oyster shell and sand|
|The rainforest in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park|
|Tane and Maureen, our super kind and knowledgeable hosts|