Ryan's Journal

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?" — David Mitchell


Posted from Volcano, Big Island, Hawaii at 9:12 pm, September 8th, 2022

Last night after exploring our new rainforest retreat home we headed into Volcanoes National Park after dark to see if we could do some photography of Kilauea’s latest eruption. After a mile long hike under a nearly-full moon a portion of the horizon started glowing red, and then we emerged onto the park’s lone lookout that provides a view of the erupting vents. A surprising number of other people also made the hike at night, and my 400mm lens proved to be a popular way for the folks there to look into the crater, nearly two miles away. Spending an evening photographing an erupting volcano is a far more interesting way to pass time than my normal Wednesday night regimen.

After arriving home late last night (11pm) we slept in (6:30am), lounged around the cottage, then went back to the park to explore a few more overlooks, the Thurston Lava Tube, and the 20 mile Chain of Craters drive that travels through craters, lava fields, rain forest, and eventually emerges at the sea where the 35 year long eruption of Puʻuʻōʻō (1983-2018) covered more than 45 square miles and added 203 acres of land to Hawaii’s coast.

Kilauea crater at night
Kilauea crater at night (five second exposure).
Kilauea crater at night
Kilauea crater at night (ten second exposure). The red flares far from the main vent are cracks in the solidified surface of the 1000 foot deep lava lake.

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