Mauna Kea as seen from the Mauna Loa Observatory. Ye gods that mountain is so motherfucking beautiful. T_T
Hualalai as seen from the Observatory Trail signpost.
Lava tube-cum-emergency shelter, a.k.a. How Not To Die In A Howling Blizzard.
Ahu, a.k.a. How Not To Lose Yourself In The Tractless Waste.
Pāhoehoe rampart from the 1984 eruption. Oh, and my mother. This rampart did not exist in my mother's previous hikes with my dad; the trail had to be rerouted around it.
We've just crossed over into the National Park, now. The trail follows a chain of vents from the '84 eruption... silver-black pāhoehoe to the left, brick red in the throats of the vents, and a field of bronze-gold cinder left behind in drifts from the fountaining (patches of cobalt blue cinder can be found as well).
Check out the colors inside the vents: brick, terra cotta, pumpkin, burnt orange. Who says lava is black?
That, ladies and gentlemen, is a field toilet.
The view across North Pit towards Mokuʻāweoweo Crater and the summit of Mauna Loa.
The trail across North Pit towards Mokuʻāweoweo and the summit cabin. When my mom was here in the 80s, North Pit was all that gold crackly stuff. The silver stuff is new.
HOLY CRAP I MADE IT! Hui o Pele/Mauna Loa Summit Cabin. The thing on stilts is the toilet.
EAT THAT, BITCHES. With dramatic lens flare!
Look at these nice beds all made up for us with foam pads and sleeping bags and actualfax pillows! This cabin was so plush, you have no idea. Real glass windows that actually open! Curtains! A kitchen! And everything is clean! By backcountry standards, this is a five-star hotel.
Cabin from the outside.
Oh yeah, this is the view from our front doorstep. Mokuʻāweoweo Crater and the summit of Mauna Loa.
View toward the south from the caldera's edge.
View toward the north from the caldera's edge.
The other toilet, with view.
Giant ahu, with prayer flags!
Sunrise on top of the world.
The view south.
The view west, toward the summit. The crater floor had looked dead the previous afternoon; steam condensed in the cold night air, revealing dozens of active steam vents and frosting the black lava.
SHABAM! ...I don't have pictures, but at the end of the day we stood and faced the east, our backs to where the sun had disappeared behind the summit, and we watched the shadow of Mauna Loa rise into the purpling sky, only to be eclipsed by the shadow of the earth itself cast against its own atmosphere. T_T
Aaaaaaaand a bunch of other random pictures, because I can and I feel like it.
Waipi‘o Valley, "Valley of the Kings". This valley was the capital and permanent residence of many early Hawaiian kings. King Kamehameha I, or King Kamehameha the Great, was given ownership of Waipi‘o as a young royal; from this home base he spread outward, conquering the island of Hawai‘i and eventually all of the islands in the chain, uniting them for the first time as the Kingdom of Hawai‘i.
From my Parker Ranch horseback-riding trip. Mauna Kea, and horsies!
Kohala, and donkey!
Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. It was a glorious day and all four peaks were visible, but I don't have any really good pictures of Hualalai.
Pu‘u Maka‘ala Natural Area Reserve, some of the most pristine Hawaiian rainforest in the state and one of my favorite places on Earth. State land, not part of the National Park, but sometimes we get permits to seed collect and check up on some of the rare plants there.
Hapu‘u tree ferns, loulu palm, sunlight, Pu‘u Maka‘ala.
Remember when I posted pictures of my Kealakomo Waena work site being set on fire? This is Kealakomo Waena before the fire, looking mauka (towards the uplands) towards the Holei Pali, where I stood to watch the fire.
Kealakomo Waena after the fire, looking makai (towards the sea), Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park (HAVO).
One of my other summer work sites, Kupukupu. This is what a Hawaiian forest looks like six months after Pele burns it down. Incidentally, this is more-or-less where I was on August 3rd when Pele started an eruption four miles away.
Kupukupu. Some of the nicer bits look like this.
Kupukupu, HAVO. Look at me, I'm doing Science! :D
...I think I completely failed to mention the whole Reflooring Project? We basically had to move out of our downstairs for most of September while our friend Jerry ripped out the linoleum tile and nylon carpet of most of our entire first floor and replaced it with this. This is locally harvested and milled Grevillea robusta (silk oak, silky oak, or silver oak), it's a highly invasive alien species in Hawai‘i and it's god-damn GORGEOUS. Everyone should chop down silky oak and turn it into flooring. ...Anyway, we have a new floor and new furniture and our house is PRETTY.
Mauna Ulu as seen from Pu‘u Huluhulu, HAVO.
The view from Pu‘u Huluhulu down the Rift Zone toward Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō on the horizon, HAVO.
Looking down into Pu‘u Huluhulu (with Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō in the horizon, top right); we spent all day scrambling around in there. It was fun, and only slightly hazardous. Have I mentioned lately that I love my job?
‘Ama‘u fern, Nāpau Trail, HAVO. Young ‘ama‘u fronds often come out red or orange or pink like that.
Red lehua, Kahuku Paddocks Unit, HAVO. I can never have enough pictures of lehua, it seems.
Yellow lehua, Kahuku Paddocks Unit, HAVO. At this rate my lehua collection will rival my collections of sunsets and waterfalls.
Kahuku Paddocks Unit, HAVO. Does this look freaking idyllic or what? (I mean, what we're really looking at is native forest that has been devastated by cattle ranching, but still. The hills are alive with the sound of music, etc., etc.)
Look at this GQ orange ʻōhiʻa lehua right here. Kahuku Paddocks Unit, HAVO.
Closer look at the same tree.
I DON'T REALLY HAVE A PROBLEM, I CAN STOP ANY TIME I WANT. (Kahuku Paddocks Unit, HAVO.)
NO REALLY. (Kilauea Field Station, HAVO.)