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Driving Around Big Island (May 31, 2007)

Today we drove around the southern portion of Big Island. We went to the southern most point in the United States right off of South Point Road. Afterwards, we hopped back in the car and started our drive to Volcanoes National Park. We ate at a restaurant called the Lava Rock Cafe in a town called Volcano Village. Then we headed to the park. We drove around Kilauea's caldera and stopped off for the hikes along the way. I really liked walking through the lava tube. It is crazy to think that we were hiking through a tube where lava had once flowed. The lava tube is actually located in a tropical rain forest now. There is a ton of diversity on this island. We also drove down the chain of craters road. It is exactly what it sounds like, a lot craters. We stopped off along the way and hiked to see some petroglyphs. Once we made it to the bottom of the road we hiked to where the lava flowed over the road in 2003. As you can imagine, the road is no longer in a usable condition. The lava flow that occurred was incredible. It is 60+ feet thick in some areas. We hiked on the lava to see the steam where the lava enters the ocean. The water there is a mere 2200 degrees. We did not see any flowing lava though. It was another 8 mile hike. We decided against it. On the way home we stopped at Taco Bell (another one of my favorites) and ordered dinner. Things cost about 50% more at Taco Bell here compared to what we normally pay.