Volcanoes National Park, Big Island, Hawaii

I think one of the most dramatic things we saw on the Big Island was the Mauna Loa volcano—said to be the “world’s largest active volcano.” 

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The drive up the side of the mountain took us through “steam vents”—spots where the heat of the volcano seeps through the earth.

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ImageImageIt took us about 30 minutes to go from the bottom of the mountain to the very top. 

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When we got to the actual “volcano part,” it was just a gigantic crater—hundreds of feet (maybe a couple thousands of feet) wide and a small depression towards the middle with white smoke emanating from it. 

I had always thought that volcanoes were a large upside cone-shaped mountain with the volcano hole at the top with lots of visible lava in it, but that’s not what we saw.  The crater reminded me of a nuclear disaster movie—no plants, just scorched rocks.

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We wanted to see the volcano at night. because we heard that you can see it glowing red. The volcano must have been a little more active than usual because we could smell the sulfur in the air way before we reached the crater.  When we got to the volcano it had a huge cloud sitting in the crater (dense fog). Every once in a while we could see a dim reddish glow, but it wasn’t very dramatic, which is why I didn’t take a picture of it.

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Although we didn’t get to see it at night— I was thankful that I was able to see it during the day.

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As we were leaving Volcano National Park during our day trip, we saw that there was a lava tube on the premises.

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What an incredible “cave”– it looked like a giant worm had burrowed into the ground.

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The volcano and the lava tube made me appreciate the handiwork of God. Nehemiah 9:6, “You alone are the Lord. You made the skies and the heavens and all the stars. You made the earth and the seas and everything in them. You preserve them all, and the angels of heaven worship you” (NLT).

Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti
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