A Trip to the Big Island
I had the opportunity this past weekend to take a quick trip to the Big Island to experience one of the most amazing sights in the world: The creation of this very earth via the Kalapana lava flow.
We started out at OGG airport on Maui and booked a couple of tickets on Mokulele Airlines. The airplanes hold 9 passengers and offer some of the best views of the island. It’s a great way to see the islands from the air while traveling.
Upon our arrival to Kona, we decided to catch a quick nap before our adventure. We wanted to catch the lava flow early, so that meant starting our 2.5 hour drive at about 1AM in order to get there a few hours before daylight. This is optional, however documenting this sight in the darkness is something I would highly recommend.
My father Don Slocum is a professional landscape photographer, based out of Kailua-Kona, HI. He knows the island well, and was the perfect person to show us the ropes and give us photography tips and location spots. You can take a look at his online gallery HERE
Arriving to Kalapana in the darkness, we prepped our bikes, strapped on the the head lamps, and loaded our photo gear packs. The bike ride is about 4 miles from the parking area to the flow, so the bikes really help to speed up the commute. Cycling towards the site, an eerie orange glow can be seen far off in the distance, with complete darkness all around. As we got closer the orange magma could be seen dropping directly into the ocean and sizzling to the ocean floor.
Jaw dropped, I unpacked my camera gear and started shooting….
As the sun started to rise behind us, the orange glow became a bit harder to decipher, however the magic was still there. Thick plumes of white steam and smoke rose off the cliffs and around the point. The other great thing about getting there early was that we had the whole area to ourselves. Once sunrise hit, the viewing deck became crowded quickly. We made our way back to our car shortly after the crowds came, but not before we snapped a few pics.
If you get the chance to take a quick trip while on Maui, I would highly recommend that you consider a flight over to the Big Island. While the lava looks impressive on TV, the feeling increases ten fold in person. It is truly something to cherish for a lifetime.
Let me know what questions you have about planning your next adventure!
Christian Slocum R(S)