Continuing on pastmthe Desolation Trail and the older Caldera, we hike on another mile to the current eruption viewing zone. Fortunately the “eruption viewing” wasn’t actually the outhouses, but lay beyond.

Unfortunately it’s cloudy. Also the volcano is fairly quite currently, which may or may not be fortunate, depending on how you feel.

Once again, click Continue Reading to see the pictures!

Yep. That’s it. Some of that is fog, some of it is steam venting from the ground.
Looking the other way.
Cool lava flows. Behind this flow you can see a HUGE chunk of land that collapsed into the Caldera, taking the road with it. In the foreground, some sort of gift for Pele?

After this we hiked the 1.5 miles back to the car, back down the Desolation trail.

After this we departed the national park for a time to go to a winery 5 minutes away that Emily wanted to visit before they closed.

Then we went back into the park and to the other side of the Caldera.

What really is not conveyed well by pictures here is the SIZE of this Caldera. The amount of destruction and creation wrought in living memory is just astounding. You look at the island from the mountain to the lava shore, and you know the volcano was a thing, but you think of it on geological timescales, not on the scale of a single person being able to see. Seeing this giant Caldera, and the sign showing the different years of the volcano and what has changed really cements in your head that this is active, and powerful.

Views from the drive home:

It’s interesting how ABRUPTLY the biome changes. Nice green field, suddenly lava.

Lastly, a few NightSight photos of the waves, which are coming in rather stronger tonight.

2 Replies to “Calderific”

  1. The middle flower looks like I peonie, they come in variety of flower colors. Will probably grow in your neighborhood. They are awesome pictures.

  2. Yes, the pictures are awesome. So glad the volcano behaved itself while you were all there. 🙂

    I also love the pics of the waves at nighttime.