Monday, March 08, 2010

A Trip to Paradise, Part 6

Day 6, continued

After lunch, we headed up towards Volcano National Park. On the way, we stopped at the plant orchard that features the orchid valued at $20,000.

Please, in the name of all that is holy, do not ask why this plant is valued at this. Trust me when I say that it's a claim that does not stand up to careful scrutiny. I bought a $.79 key chain at this store that is more valuable to me than this plant.

We eventually entered the national park. This is a park that contains ACTIVE volcanoes. No one knows when they might pop off again. This is a picture of a caldera of an active volcano. You might notice it's the size of a small town...

The park is also peppered with steam vents. If you recall your basic high school physics, you know that steam is actually invisible. The white stuff that you see is actually water vapor that has changed from complete gas to partial liquid. So visible steam is cooled enough to be harmless. Observe...

(An aside: yes, that is me. Aren't you all glad I don't post pictures of myself more often?)

We headed back down the mountains after this. We stopped at an exit where we could walk through a lava tube. If you ever get a chance to walk through a tube of solid rock that once upon a time had red hot molten lava flowing through it, then do it! You won't be disappointed.

We returned to Hilo, Hawaii, and I was disappointed to find that Wal-Mart had invaded.

At the airport, after traveling through security, we spent our time in the Hilo airport departure lounge. Note to Homeland Security--who will soon surely ship me to Guantanamo--check folks who wear cargo shorts! I had in my pocket a 6 ounce bottle of sunscreen that went through security undetected. I am kidding about this by the way.

I have to say that of all the airport lounges I have been in, this one was the most comfortable by far! The chairs and couches were all fitted with comfortable cushions, and it was very easy to become so comfortable you didn't want to leave, especially after spending a day in constant motion. We nearly missed our flight!

We finally arrived back at our resort at nearly 11 PM...

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