Pu'u O'o summit

Hawaii Travel Blog

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Rain and mud sop inbetween my toes as I slug over and around the black boulders that hold this jungle together.  Beautiful gnarled roots slither out of the ground in many successful attempts of grabbing ahold of my step.  All the while, life continues down this glistening trail...corner around corner.
The sunlight breaks through the roof more as trees become younger and shorter...then; a wall of nothing.  One can literally step over this line from forest to nothing; as if stepping back in time.
The black rock collapses and explodes for a field of seeming infinity; the jagged teeth of mother nature in her most primordial days.  And at the horizon.
..a looming presence of a hill, slightly uneven and notched.  A dark foreboding amongst the steam and sulfer filled sky.
There's a sign, literally.  A skull and crossbones set against the caution of yellow.  Hm...red would've been more effective.
Upon the foothill of this creation the ground screams 'go away!'.  It's a ball pit from hell...pointless ups and downs of razor sharp rocks just pleading to move from their rest and become yours.  
Finally the ground becomes one piece again as the slope climbs...the black even begins to give way as burnt shades of red, brown and white mark some insane happening.  I stop for a moment and look back...the forest line seems so far away; I am on and island precariously perched in a sea of black rock.
  And it is an amazing sight.
Trudging a little further up; suddenly, there I am - at the summit.  The entire top of the land is no more, a void of peak//imploded.  The hole belches fumes and smoke from all around - but there is a bottom not too far down.  Its ground appears unnatural...cracks run all through the heaving pieces of new earth that are littered with alien formations...not solid, not liquid; some weird limbo inbetween - jagged and raw, yet still growing.  And in the direct center, with a menacing open grin there is the crater within the crater.  Shrouded in smoke its mystery beckons...and I climb in.
Walking the rim and passing through a blast of steam, I find a slope that is climbable.  Each area touched is a different temperature.
..like the hot/cold game on crack.  Once my feet hit the floor it hits me...I am in a volcano!
My heart pounds with fear and excitement as each step further is done in the anticipation of the ground underneath completely giving way.  The walls of the summit are towering now, and the fumes distorting.  I no longer have sight of my friends up on the rim, as the thumping of two tourist helicopters circling the sky echo inside the crater and become near unbearably loud.
Half way to the center I pause, the formations are incredible...truly I stand in a different world.  As I spin to catch it all the ground's crust crunches and grinds into the layer underneath.  A soft crackle compared to the thumping of my heart as I crept closer to the middle - step.
looking into the heart of the Kiluea Volcano...
by.step.  A beat that joined forces with the helicopters that were sticking around way to long...my entire world was thumping as my hands began to tingle in a rush of anxiety and bliss - for the heart of Hawai;i was near within reach.  My body's logic refused to walk any further and I resorted to a crawl to the edge.  Slithering amongst a bed of brand new pebbles, trying to peer through the white plume and see this Earth's inards.  The side walls were striped in a variety of burning colors...along with an eerie neon green, and it all shimmered in a light condensation.  Yet the haze was too thick to see in and the deep merely held of pink glow inside.  But it is the sound that caused myself to recoil in dear survival from my destination.  A crashing that could be felt through the thin ground...a splash, hiss then pop - over and over.  The ground was liquid and furious...an ocean of earth smashing about directly underneath me.  I did not need to see it to feel the incredible awe and power...
Light-headed and tingling my way out was much quicker than in, following my same path caution was sacrificed for time.  And though I would do it, again and again...relief was prominent as I clambered to the rim; and finally - the helicopters left their perch above.
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looking into the heart of the Kilu…
looking into the heart of the Kil…
37 km (23 miles) traveled
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photo by: WorldXplorer