No trip to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is complete without a visit to the end of Chain of Craters Road. Many times, visitors will check out the Holei Sea Arch, but completely skip out on fully venturing to the end of the road. Don’t be one of those people. The hike to the end is relatively short, though at times it feels like it is never ending. The National Park Service says that it is a one-mile roundtrip hike, but it feels much longer than that. It’s probably because the hike in and out is on a flat and monotonous paved road. Doesn’t matter, I’d suggest that you tough it out.
The Halemaumau Overlook at the Jaggar Museum in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a must see whenever visiting this one-of-a-kind national park. We decided to visit the Jaggar Museum on the last night of our stay at the park. It was about 5pm, or so, when we found ourselves at the famous volcanic museum. Unfortunately for us, it was very cloudy with slight showers. The clouds were plentiful and hovering close to the crater, leaving us and every other spectator with nothing to see. So, we decided that we would head back to the Volcano House, wait a bit, and then return to the Jaggar Museum later in the evening with our fingers crossed.
The main attraction at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is Kilauea and the active craters that surround it. That said, The Holei Sea Arch is a neat little side attraction that you can visit as you explore the various lookouts on Chain of Craters Road. Near the very end of Chain of Craters Road is a formation known as the Holei Sea Arch. As far as what it is, I’ll let the scientist explain it:
I’ve been trying to imagine what the 1959 eruption of Kilauea Iki looked like ever since I hiked the hardened crater floor a few weeks ago. That’s how I came across the video footage below of the eruption by Fred Rackle. In the early 90’s, Rackle donated the footage to the Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. When Kilauea Iki erupted in 1959, Rackle left the camera shop that he worked at in Waikiki and flew to the Big Island to film the eruption using a 2nd hand Bell & Howell Filmo 70-DL that he picked up for $30.
Pumpkins are to Halloween as rainbow poopies are to unicorns. Being that it was Halloween, the Animal Heads Super Team had to pay a visit to a legitimate pumpkin patch. The Waimanalo Country Farms Pumpkin Patch would be our patch of choice. Oh how disappointed we all were. Why? Read on animal head lovers!
Pele’s Chair is a popular spot for locals. It’s located just next to Alan Davis, a spot made famous for its jumping pole. Both Alan Davis and Pele’s Chair are typically accessed via a side trail located near the parking lot. Follow the faint trail and you’ll reach Alan Davis. Keep walking and you’ll eventually see the unmistakeable rock structure known affectionately as a Pele’s Chair.
The closest that most people get to the Makapuu Lighthouse is a distant view from the nearby Makapuu Lighthouse Lookout at the end of the paved trail. A few risk takers find ways to bypass the locked gates to get a close-up view of the old lighthouse. Only a handful of people have access to the inside of Makapuu Lighthouse. The lighthouse keeper and the maintenance crew are a part of that handful. Exploration: Hawaii was granted an opportunity to visit the lighthouse, go inside of it, and get up-close-and-personal with the bulbs that light it.
Strange things tend to happen during the ghoulish month of October. For example, the birth of Animal Heads Super Team. What happens when you get a squirrel, panda, giraffe, and unicorn together for a mini road trip? You get a magical trek through the back roads of Oahu. Of course, misadventure and hilarity ensued. Please enjoy this utterly strange drive from Makapuu to Waialua. The unicorn would insist that you did.
A few weeks ago I spotted the photography of Scott Sharick on Facebook and was fascinated by his work. Scott had his Nikon D80 converted to infrared to capture these shots. He is not using a lens filter, instead, the hot mirror filter (designed to pass visible light while blocking infrared and ultraviolet light) in front of the camera sensor in his D80 was physically removed, thus allowing for the capture of infrared light. The results are staggering and very different from typical, non-infrared photographs.
Very cool video. My one hope for first-time visitors to Oahu: get out of Waikiki. See the island without all of the tourist distractions. It’s a great feeling to turn a corner without having see an ABC store. If you’re exhausted from seeing too many ABC stores then you know that it is time to get out of Waikiki.
“We were recently given the awesome opportunity to a free vacation on O’ahu for 5 days. We aren’t the resort-type, so we rented a car and went exploring. This is a tribute to the adventure found when you leave the resorts, the people, and the beaten path and get lost in exploration and wonder.” -Gavin Beck
Yes, the island has so much more to offer than ABC stores.