We had about 40 minutes to stand in the cold wind before sunrise.
The sky kept getting brighter
We took a quick nap in the warm car and ate a few snacks before we set out on a hike on the Sliding Sands Trail down into the crater.
The landscape in the crater/valleys was lunar-like. On the older lava, tiny plants have established, but everywhere else is a sea of porous, abrasive lava.
Although it was very cold and very windy, Drew flushed out what we think was the Hawaiin state bird or nene. It looked like a Canadian goose. Incredible that any creature that big could be living here.
Drew drove down the mountain while I barely hung on to my stomach and achy head. We stopped for some Tums and potato chips, which was a recipe for tummy happiness. Feeling better, but still very tired, we napped again at the condo, ate some pineapple bacon sausages again at the pool, and napped a bit longer.
By 3:30 PM I was feeling human again, so we loaded up the snorkel gear and boogie boards and drove south to the end of the road. Literally. The road goes through the island’s youngest lava flow (about 500 years old), designated the ‘Ahihi-Kina’u Natural Area Reserve. At the end of the road is La Perouse Bay and a place called Aquarium, which is supposed to have the island’s best snorkeling. However, on this day…Goat poop! Due to the large amounts of rainfall four days prior, a lot of runoff from the island had entered the water. Most of the beaches on this leeward side of the island were still closed due to all the runoff from the storm. A Friendly Ranger was parked at the beach, warning people not to attempt snorkeling. So instead, we went for a hike on Hoapili Trail along the shore of La Perouse Bay
and onto the lava field at Cape Hanamanioa. The lava here looks almost like a freshly plowed field, only chunkier and rougher. It is a’a lava, formed from more viscous, drier lava that doesn’t really flow but lumbers along in chunks.
And finally, what island vacation would be complete without fruity drinks at Moose MacGillicuddy’s. Kahlua pork quesadilla and a burger for dinner before an early bedtime.