This review is for Cheryl and Scott's Kalapana Lava Refuge Poke-A-Stick tour.
We had no idea there was a tour this close to the lava! We had initially though that the lava fields were no longer accessible since the lava fields are still privately owned by individuals. There were even park department personnel in the parking lot to make sure nobody snuck out on their own into the fields. Apparently, there have been enough people needing rescue over the years to warrant their presence.
By luck, we spotted a small vinyl sign for their tour. I took the number down but the call almost never happened since we had to drive back out to Pahoa to get a ATT/TMobile signal. Verizon seems to be the only carrier with reception out on the lava fields. Cheryl graciously answered all my questions and reminded us to bring plenty of water and closed toed shoes. The next day we arrived at 5:15pm for the evening hike. We found the parking area pretty easily since we walked right passed the driveway the day before. I suggest spraying insect repellent since the parking area is swarming with mosquitoes. After a safety briefing, we headed out with our poking stick. Thankfully, there were no more mosquitoes on the lava fields.
The hike distance varies according to the constantly changing flow of the lava. The hike was surreal trek through a crunchy landscape. Throughout the hike, Cheryl and Scott were a virtual fount of information drawing from their own personal experience and current volcanology. I don't want to give away too much. I will say that I came away with an experience that can't be replicated anywhere else.
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