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Volcano, Hawaii. Mari, Melissa, Matthew and I got away for our New Years Celebration for a change. We had a great time exploring Volcano National Park, especially Thurston Lava Tubes as well as driving out to Kalapana to watch the lava as it flowed into the ocean!

A view of Mauna Kea from the road to Akaka Falls Melissa and Matthew can't agree which way to go first!
The keiki and me at the trailhead for Akaka and Kahuna Falls Melissa and Matthew by Kahuna Falls
A view of Akaka Falls through the trees A stand of bamboo growing along the path at Akaka Falls
Melissa and Matthew enjoying the view of Akaka Falls Akaka Falls
Mari and me by Rainbow Falls Mari and the keiki at Rainbow Falls
Rainbow Falls, near Hilo, Hawaii Me enjoying the cool shade under the banyon trees at Rainbow Falls
The falls at Boiling Pots, upstream from Rainbow Falls The swirling pools at Boiling Pots
Wider angle view of the falls at Boiling Pots The falls at Boiling Pots with Mauna Kea in the background
A swirling pool at Boiling Pots More of the swirling pools at Boiling Pots
Another view of Boiling Pots A couple of Nene enjoying some "grindz" near the Kilauea Caldera Overlook
Melissa and Matthew at the lookout above Halema'uma'u Caldera, Kilauea Volcano A family photog on a cool evening by the caldera
Melissa and Matthew at the entrance to Thurston Lava Tubes Matthew and Melissa at the bottom of The Thurston Lava Tube (approximately 1000 meters from the entrance)
Honu (green sea turtles) sunning themselves at Punalu'u (Black Sand Beach) Matthew and Melissa admire the gentle honu sunbathing on the black sand
This big guy didn't seemed bothered by all the attention The big guy doesn't look like he's built for speed, but moves much more gracefully in the water than on the beach
"Let's play chicken and run straight at each other" A mug shot of the "big guy" honu
A profile of another honu on the beach at Punalu'u A closeup of "another honu"
The display along the trail of the Ka'u Desert trail where footprints are visible in the solid volcanic ash from ancient Hawaii The desolute wasteland ofthe Ka'u desert extends another 8 miles to sea
The footprints forever locked in the volcanic ash Matthew and Melissa stop for a moment before hiking out across the lava to the Pu'u Loa petroglyphs
Petroglyphs in the Pahoe'hoe More petroglyphs
More petroglyphs The plume of steam rising from the southern flow of lava into the ocean. This flow is several miles up the coast from the end of Chain of Craters road.
More petroglyphs More petroglyphs
More petroglyphs More petroglyphs
A 1/2 scale replica of an ancient Hawaiian temple at Pu'uhonua O Ho'naunau (Place of Refuge) Melissa and Matthew play an ancient hawaiian game while a young visitor wonders when he will get to play
A Ki'i at Place of Refuge Even the honu find solace at Place of Refuge
Another view of the temple replica The temple stands alone surrounded by the ocean and watchful ki'i
Another ki'i guards the lagoon at Place of Refuge A smaller ki'i stands guard close to the temple
A couple of ki'i watching over the lagoon A lone ki'i across the lagoon from the temple and more ki'i
The lagoon where the royal canoes of the ali'i landed The ki'i can be VERY intimidating!
This ki'i stands a solemn watch Ki'i are everywhere!
A large honu pops his head above the water for a quick breath before submerging for more dinner among the rocks Melissa, Matthew, and me posing with two of the ki'i watching the lagoon
The family photog with a little ki'i Angry faces on the ki'i are intended to intimidate
Several tall ki'i near another temple Another view of the tallest ki'i
Another tall ki'i A ki'i stands guard in front of a sacred temple
A view of the temple from the ocean The waves crashing on the reef are subdued by the shelf of lava
Melissa leans against the 19' thick stone wall - I hope she doesn't knock it down! These walls were built without mortar or stonecutters
Another view back to the temple from across the pahoe'hoe A canoe that is being built using the ancient techniques and tools
Melissa and Matthew beside the canoe - ready to paddle away! A peaceful fish pond at Place of Refuge
A view of the palms that sway in the gentle breeze around Place of Refuge Another canoe ready to go to sea
A bunch of coconuts almost ready to drop The entrance to Pu'uhonua O Ho'naunau (Place of Refuge)
We spent New Years Eve at Kalapana to watch the lava flowing into the ocean The expansion of the Big Island of Hawai is constantly being challenged by the crashing of the waves
Matthew and Melissa excited to see the lava from just a few hundred yards away! More of expansion of the Big Island of Hawaii
More of the expansion of the Big Island of Hawaii More of expansion of the Big Island of Hawaii
More of the expansion of the Big Island of Hawaii More of expansion of the Big Island of Hawaii