Hawaii Part IV: Volcanoes and other Fun




In which we hang out with family in and around Hilo swimming, lounging, and seeing the sights.



Starting with the big one: Volcanoes National Park!! Although it’s difficult to tell, what you see here is live lava pouring into the ocean.

The Big Island is the only island in the Hawaiian archipelago which still has live volcanic activity, and is the home of Pele, the Goddess of volcanoes and fire. Hualalai, Mauna Loa, and Kilauea are all active volcanoes, with Kilauea erupting continuously since 1983. Since that date, about 500 new acres of land have been added to the island.



C’s dad, also called C, braves the lava field.

We drive to the end of the road, then hop on bikes and take off across the lava field.


J and C the Elder tromping amongst lava rocks

When we reach the end of the road, we park our bikes and walk about a mile over the lava rock.


Ya’ll, lava is cool.



AND THEN WE FOUND THIS! Live lava, just oozing around, minding it’s own business, about 5 feet from our shoes. Above, C the Elder and some lava. He’s 5 ft away folks, not actually touching it.

The lava here is about 1700 degrees, and the heat prohibits you from getting dangerously close. It is unnerving, though, that the top crusts over and looks exactly like everything you’ve been stepping on for the last couple of hours.


Oozing lava is so mesmerizing and cool.



Casual family photo in front of oozing lava.

We explored the area, took tons of photos and videos, and had a picnic dinner while watching for the sunset. Once dark, we could clearly see the glowing red of the live lava, even at a distance. With headlamps, we tromped back to the road and biked out. Simply amazing.


Other photos:


J ecstatic at Suisan, the local fish market.

With all these family photos, there hasn’t been room or food photos!! Never fear, we’ve been stuffing ourselves with fish and poke, not to mention daily fruit smoothies and Kona coffee.



C taking the plunge at Boiling Pots, just above Rainbow Falls. Only swimmable because of extremely low water levels. Usually the current swirls and riles here, hence the name Boiling Pots.



Hanging w the Hawaii fam: C, cousins Leialoha, Autumn, Genesis, Lorie, J, Lyric, and mum Pauline.


Weekly Kalapana music festival with cousins.



Liliokulani Gardens. According to Pauline, this was an exceptionally scary and daring thing to do when she was a wee one.



Speaking of childhood sites, J and Pauline making the leap into the Ota family summer swimming hole at Ke’El Road.

I remember coming here in 1992 and being so impressed watching my cousins leaping into turbulent ocean waves, then swimming through underwater tunnels and into other holes. Apparently it’s not nearly the death-defying plummet I’ve always pictured.

After almost three weeks in Hawaii, and a full dose of Aloha spirit and Pidgin English, we finally head back to Seattle! As fantastic as this adventure has been, we are excited to be home, to see Twy again, to move back into our apartment, see our friends, and enjoy Seattle at its summertime best.


“Seattle At It’s Summertime Best.” Rock climbing at Amazonia with Shannon and new Seattleite cousin Josiah.



And in a shameless, unrelated plug, we are Aunties!!! Baby Vatland, still unnamed, was born to C’s sibs Lani and Stig in Norway on July 21st. Yay!

And here closes another chapter of the great CandJDontPayRent tales! Til next time, folks!!


Lots of Love!!

C & J


One thought on “Hawaii Part IV: Volcanoes and other Fun

  1. It’s hard to convey how amazing it is to be up close and personal with molten lava … but you succeeded with a great description and super photos. Nice action shots of diving, too. The cliff diving at Cap’n Cook isn’t death defying after all? Looks like restful fun at X38, though I know those climbs are hard. Love, Dad

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