The Moment of Red at Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii Big Island
Whattawowmemory: The Moment of Red at Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii Big Island
Around this time of year, two years ago, I was rolling around Hawaii Big Island with my white prince, Nissan Altima. The rent of the car was ridiculously expensive, I hadn’t prepared myself for that, so I made sure that I was making the most of my scenery rides and really enjoyed the island road trip. One girl and a big smooth car, what more can you ask for! I even slept in that car once in the parking lot of the Longs Drugs (and went to the store into to the staff’s toilet and brushed my teeth before I went to sleep).
Every day on Big Island was a special adventure, but let me tell you about a first-time-story: a story when I saw an active volcano for the first time in my life.
For that morning I had booked a helicopter ride to see the marks of the volcano from air. That was crazy! Huge areas of the island were covered with lava – continuous large black yards on a continuous move. Red spots were sneaking somewhere to show it’s really lava and not just any kind of dark horse shit. That was an exciting flight. Something new to see – I had only seen one big glacier in Franz Josef in new Zealand and the world’s wettest areas on Kauai from the helicopter before! And now, my experiences continued with quite cool stuff!
Heli trip took the whole morning and after landing back to Hilo I started the engine and started driving towards Kilauea – the volcano itself. (We couldn’t fly over with the helicopter because of the dangerous gases or Western regulations). It was a couple of hours drive and I was speeding, I wanted to see the volcano so bad.
I made it there just in time. I had some time to wander around the surroundings and in the nature by the volcano. There was steam coming from the grounds no matter which direction I looked into. And it smelled like eggs of course. The nature was lush because of the rich lava base but also partly mountainous with the low plants. I did a walk and didn’t see many people on the way, so I could enjoy the area basically by myself.
I was lucky to be there in the afternoon, because when I drove to the volcano the night started falling and only then I realised; oh my this is of course the best time to see the active volcano! When I got to Kilauea it was still light and the beauty/beast was still having her day nap. Then slowly the volcano started to show its real character and its best! The moment was just getting more and more deep and intensive. This red moment of my life. Wow.
I got a feeling that I have to experience this by myself. At the main spot there were quite a many people but I remembered that I had read about another, more silent secret spot where you could view the volcano privately. So I drove there in the dark. There weren’t any buildings nor lights, so there was only the amazing contrast or pure pitch blackness and the red Kilauea. And it was only one couple and me (yeah I was the third wheel) and we were just silent and speechless gazing at Kilauea. Only before leaving the spot we asked each other a favour: I took a picture of the couple kissing in front of the active volcano (I know, yacky!) and they took a Whattawowmemory silhouette of me. Me and Kilauea (kissing).
Whattawowmemory is a recurring set of articles, where I’m capturing the most memorable moments and the strongest feelings that I have felt on the road. I also attach a special song that will always remind me of that moment.