Here is a picture of Kilauea spewing her gases into the air. My parents actually hiked through this crater on their first visit to Hawaii. Kilauea is only 3980 feet.
My daughter and Mimi are doing the "I went pee pee!" dance. Oh the things that are exciting for a three year old. Going to the bathroom was one of Abigail's favorite Hawaii past times. And she like going even more when there weren't restrooms available. She went behind rocks, bushes, and on many a hiking trail:) Sorry if that was TMI.
View of Kilauea from the Jagger Museum. The museum was wonderful. It was full of history and culture, telling of the Hawaiian Goddess Pele, who controls the fury of the volcanoes. Even though I was often wrapped up in tales of many Hawaiian gods, I could not help but think of the LORD of the Universe who is sovereign over something so powerful as the Earth changing and shifting I witnessed at the park.
There were LOTS of people at the museum and it was very windy. So much for a good family photo :)
Here is one of my favorite Hawaiian plants "Ohia Lehua". There is a Hawaiian legend that a beautiful woman was loved by a beautiful man. But the goddess Pele was jealous of their love and demanded that the man love her instead. He refused and she turned him into the plant. The other gods felt sorry for the woman but could not reverse Pele's curse, so they turned the woman into the beautiful red flower. Their love endured! It was amazing to see how these flowers grow out of the barren volcanic rock!
I recently heard a Matthew Henry quote about the parable of the sower. In essence, the parable was less about the soil than about the seed that bore fruit. "Christ does not say that this good ground has no stones in it, or no thorns; but none that could hinder its fruitfulness. All are not alike; we should aim at the highest, to bring forth most fruit. The sense of hearing cannot be better employed than in hearing God's word; and let us look to ourselves that we may know what sort of hearers we are."
I have many stones and thorns around me, cares of this world that threaten to keep me from bearing fruit. But these little plants continue to be an encouragement to me! Oh that we would listen to God's Word and let it transform our lives into a beautiful, fruitful life.
We soon found ourselves walking in lush rainforest. The terrain of Hawaii had changed again. Soon we'd feel like we were on a different planet.
Here we are taking a short break to drink some water before heading across the bottom of the volcanic crater, which had once been a lake of lava.
The wind was strong and the footing unsure at the bottom of the crater. I felt like I was on the moon, except for the sparse vegetation we occasionally saw. Can you believe we hiked all the way down here?!
Abigail wanted to hike up the hill, so Hannah got to ride in the backpack carrier. I got a break! We're back in the rainforest again!
At the end of the trail is the start of another very short trail that led to the Thurston Lava Tube, an underground tunnel where lava used to flow. It was huge (and wet!). Abigail enjoyed hopping in the puddles.