Yesterday was just a low-key tourista day. The basic plan was just to circle the north side of the island and make a few stops. This took us back up and over the Saddle Road which I had driven in the dark a couple of days earlier. It was an utterly spectacular day with clear views of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. We got a textbook example of "the rainshadow effect" as clouds bumped up against the almost-7000' mountain pass. The first stop was Rainbow Falls which was the first real waterfall we have been to since arriving on the Islands. After that it was down to Pahoa for another "geo-gasm" for me. For those of you that missed earlier posts, Pahoa was the small town that was almost wiped out by a lava flow this year. I had visions of lots of tourists still swarming over the area since it was such a big news story just 6 months ago. It turned out that we were the only ones there. *lol* This allowed me to hop the small plastic barrier and actually walk out on the lava. It was some of the strangest stuff I had ever seen. Being a geologist, if I pick up a rock I can usually say that it is 300 million years old +/- 10 million years. When I picked up a rock here, I could say this rock was "born" on November 10, 2014. The last stop of the day was at the spectacular Akaka Falls which are some of the prettiest I have ever seen. The hike to the falls themselves is equally impressive as you walk through rain forest. Dinner was at the Kona Brewing Co. pub, home of Longboard Ale. And now...PICS!
Lava flow over Cemetery Road
11/17/14 lava flow into the transfer station
Something for procyonid. The Keck Observatory from Waimea, 18 miles distant and 11,000' higher.