Witnessing the creation of an island
We all know how volcanic islands are formed. Wether it be from grade school classes or casual reading we understand how molten lava flows out of the earth, down the slopes of a mountain and into the sea. Let me tell you first hand, knowing how this process happens and being a witness to it are two spectacularly different things.
On my last trip to Hawai’i, the big island, I made it a point to head over to Volcanoes National Park and spend a day exploring. The grand event planned was to hike from the end of Chain of Crater Road to where lava was actively pouring into the sea. In order to get great images I’d have to be out there for sunset and navigate back across the lava fields in the dark, a huge risk.
The lava fields are not felt. They roll up and down as much as thirty feet in places. The ground is cracked all over and one must be super careful where they step. In some place the earth is a thin crust with lava rivers flowing just underneath. If you fall in, you’re dead. The edges of the rocks are very sharp. In places like razor blades. Many of formations are no different than edges of glass. You must wear thick work gloves the entire time. If you loose your balance and put your had out to catch yourself you could slice your hand to the bone. Your shoes won’t be much use to you after the hike which can take up to 90 minutes each direction.
I’ll do most anything to get amazing photographs and this opportunity was no different. Here is a small selection of my sunset along the ocean, witnessing the creation of an island.
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