I knew it would be good but I didn't expect it to be THIS good! Since we were staying on the west side of the island, we got up early to drive to the southeast portion, giving us plenty of the day to explore the park. As we neared the park, we experienced "vog" (volcanic fog) and watch the landscape change from greenery and flowers to hills of lava and desolate wilderness. The park was anything but desolate! We started off with a tour from the visitor's center. Travis, our tourguide, was full of fascinating facts, so much to remember that I wished I had taken notes to refer to during one of our many hikes that day. At the end of our tour, he sang to us a traditional Hawaiian song about respect of the volcano and its place in the birth of new land. It was haunting, for sure! Later, on our own, we hiked past vents huffing with sulfur-scented steam, along lava-lined trails bursting with the color of wild orchids and tropical plants, weaving around the rims of slumbering cones. All this to the tune of the many songs of Hawaiian's songbirds. We couldn't get enough. At the end of the day, we saw the orange/red/yellow glow of Kilahuea illuminating the night sky. While there were no eruptions and flows that day, we were amazing at all we saw. The trip was too short. Yes, we'll be back! P.S. On the way home, it was very late. We rolled down our windows and drove with the accompaniment of the eerie and loud peeping of Hawaii's frogs.
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