On day three, we were up with the chickens and ready for some exploration! We said goodbye to Hilo and made our way south to the Puna District. Our first stop was the Lava Tree State Park. We almost missed it, for this little, wooden sign was the only marker at the entrance.
In 1960, the town of Kapoho was destroyed by lava that spewed from a fire fountain over 2,600 feet wide! In 1790, a lava wave surged through a nearby forest, leaving tree trunks covered in black stone. Only the hallowed-out lava trees remain. Although, new vegetation has grown back to join the tree casts, which make up Lava Tree State Park.
We departed the State Park and made our way to Kapoho Pt. on the Pacific Ocean. I was amazed at how we would drive through miles and miles of volcanic devastation one minute and then enter lush tropical forests the next. It was proof that the power of a volcano shows no mercy!
It was fascinating how the ocean could be completely calm one minute and then have ginormous, crashing waves the next! Wifey captured my “wave drama” sequence…
I had mixed feelings about our next destination…MacKenzie State Recreation Area. I would describe this area as a cliff-top campsite, surround by an ancient ironwood forest. While researching our trip, I read many times that this area was said to be one of the most haunted places on the Big Island. Wifey was all about that…me, not so much!
The park was built by prison convicts in the late 1850s. Many of them succumbed to the hot climate, lack of clean water and diseases. There are no records of where their bodies were buried, but presumably somewhere in the park. Native Hawaiians believe that the park is a spiritual place that belongs to lost souls.
I must admit, there was a definite stillness and eerie feeling to this park. Although there were coastline trails to hike, we decide to continue on our way. I can’t say I felt peaceful in this place. Within a mile of leaving the park, the vegetation changed and life was abundant once again! Thank goodness…I still get goosebumps just writing about this park!
Right now, you are probably thinking that was the end of day three, but wait…there is more! Watch for Our Big Island Adventure: Part III tomorrow! You won’t want to miss our adventures at an active volcano!
“Fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.” ~Author Unknown
Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…