Go with the flow

Thursday, June 19th, 2008 | All Things, Travel

The Big Island is so called because it is the biggest of the archipelago — hundreds in all, eight “main” islands. At 4,030 square miles, about three-quarters the size of Connecticut, it is larger than the other Hawaiian islands combined, and constantly increasing in land mass due to KÄ«lauea, perhaps the world’s most active volcano, which has continued to pour lava into the ocean since 1983.

The spectacle of red molten lava hitting the water in blooming clouds of steam draws crowds every night. As the park rangers (and many signs) are quick to warn, trekking out to the view point is something done at your own risk.

Setting foot on this newly formed, perhaps not entirely stable, land is a disconcerting experience: 23 acres of land fell into the ocean last May; over several hours in November 2005, 44 acres of coastline disappeared in segments — the largest collapse since KÄ«lauea Volcano began its current eruption, and a collapse which included a park station and a segment of the original road out to the lava flow lookout point.

We drove out over a road washed over in parts in hardened lava and hiked half a mile over jagged black rock as we waited for sunset.

Check out the video below — spectacular!

KÄ«lauea lava flow photos on flickr.

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