Well while in Hawaii its important to have a few new life experiences. This is the first of several episodes that are coming out of ourHawaiian adventures. Join Amy and I today as we hike the Kuleana Iki trail that takes you through floor of a dormant volcano.
In life, we have two choices, to experience or to exist. Every week, each of us makes that choice to either seek a better way to live or to get by walk alongside me each week on the strive seek find podcast as we continue to seek our own brilliant future. Hey, welcome strive seek fighting podcast in Hawaii. I'm chance Whitmore. This is the first of our actual adventures. It's day three in Hawaii. And we are on the road to a hike on one of the volcanoes of volcano National Park. This is our first time away from my wife's family. I'm going to be real honest about it. We've done very little planning on this, because this has been a trip with my wife's family. So this is it's been an amazing trip. But now we're looking forward to seeing some of the beauty of this island and looking forward to share it with you. Stay tuned. So like most adventures, ours today is starting out with an unexpected treat. We're at the killer ekey Crater hike. It's a four mile hike round trip, about two to three hours worth the top. It's raining like a sign of the gun. We are going to check this out, we're going to go down through the rain forest down to a old volcanic lake. Our pictures are going to be misty and messy. But we're not going to let that stop us. It's going to be entertaining. I'm going to get in on and out on this as much as I can so that I can share some of these things, hoping to get a podcast completely out of this because this is really freaking cool. We're gonna be soaking wet. But it's a nice warm, warm rain. And I will be honest, we did bring our rain jackets. What I am wishing for right now is a little sun so I can get them a picture of the bottom of the crater. But I don't think that's going to happen today at all. All right back in a bit. All right, we're beginning to descend the crater. Rain is still on and we are surrounded by ferns. It's about a 450 foot drop to the crater floor. 450 foot drop to the crater floor. I'm not sure if you can hear me. But she and I are soloing it today and not the hike. So yes, the hike. But try not trying to make it sound like this is some massive physical activity that we're doing. You can show up here and do it in tennis shoes, which is what I'm doing right now. And they've carved stairs and got safety rails along the first part of the trail because it's steep and muddy. I'm feeling for most of the year and it's muddy. But it is and it's slick with it with rain right now. So and muscle girl on anything here. So but it is a there's levels of grain that unless you've been to someplace near the equator, you can't begin to imagine. And we could be 10 minutes away from the clouds breaking and getting blasted by 80 degrees with high humidity because all the rain that's just dripping off of us right now. Anything to add me You could probably hear the rain hitting all the broadleaf plants around us as we're moving. There is that and he could probably hear the occasional rain drop hitting the microphone. I apologize for that. I just thought this would be fun today. Also got a little video of this and if the video turns out being recorded underneath my hood as I walk we'll put that out there as an experiment on YouTube as a supporting matter for the podcast. I really have no interest in doing a YouTube channel as such, but supporting videos might be fun. God I can't wait for this to open up but this is just so gorgeous. We first planned this hike we had been told that it was going to be Oh 84 degrees by about noon. Doesn't look like that now I thought it could still happen. So we left our room at Six, fivea 5:30am 5:
30am. two hour drive. Big Island. Big Island is about the size of the state of Connecticut. And the rest of the Hawaiian Islands fits neatly inside of it. So having been first time Holy crap, I can see it through this. Just a little bit of the fog. It is immense. Wow. Wow. An old lava flowing lava lake you can see the far side. Wow, I hope it clears up just a little bit. Yeah, just through the mess to kind of get the idea of what you're seeing. Pictures will not do it justice. But a lot of the tried lava flow the basalt cracked, the trail markers are going to be piles of stone. And they say wear good shoes to this because you'll frickin tear your shoes up. I can see people down there and they look the size of Oh, I don't know. Those little What are those toys called the kids play with? Legos. And what are we talking about the little figures the minute we'll go with Lego minifigs even though they're a little bigger than that? Well, the figs are. But right there the couple moving across the but it's pretty incredible view. As I saying Big Island is about the size of Connecticut, the rest of the islands fit easily inside of this one. Like the size of ladybugs down there. ladybugs is a good example. I was thinking toys. I am definitely a parent. And the mud that we are sloshing through right now is kind of the consistency of coffee grounds of what have wet coffee grounds, which is disgusting anyways, oh, there's a better view as a curator. Oh, get some shots of this deer. Get some shots of this. But yeah, this will definitely be the poster that I use to advertise this one. But it is incredible. I can't imagine this filled with molten rock at all. Amy pointed out to me just a few minutes ago that this is kind of the tiny volcano on the island. The tiny crater, the tiny crater overall. And it's just it's still immense and it's tough to picture where I grew up was on the caldera of one of the of the Yellowstone supervolcano, which puts all of this to shame, obviously, but you wouldn't if you didn't know is there you wouldn't even recognize it as such. So very different. I've never really been any place with this many firms, for instance, it'd be really easy to film a jurassic park here and just painting the dinosaurs as you went. I'm gonna have to do it. Clever girl. Doing this, explain what the first couple of days in Hawaii have been like. We got in late. Got some food at Costco so that we'd have things to eat on because price of good food is good. Prices are a little higher here on the island. We're traveling in a group. I'm not doing a lot of planning on this one because well, it's Amy's family trips, so she's taking the lead. Which means I'm ordering meals and chances eating seafood. I've eaten more fish in the last two days than I've eaten in the last 10 years. Or possibly longer. Here this is right here. Oh, that's a beaut. Can you see down there? There's a railing. There's a guardrail here. Yeah. That's incredible. Yeah, I wouldn't want to try to step off of that. Yeah, you can't even see the root structure down there. So the first couple of days have been good, but they've been just I won't say disorganized, but differently organized. Because disorganized means there wasn't a planned. I mean, yesterday was farmers market. We went over to Kona brewing, you will hear about some of that tasted some good beer. And then hung out, we found out found a nice little place called rum. What was it cuyana room. You'll hear more about that later on. Because we're going back to dinner there tonight. Discovered right now in COVID times that restaurants are way too crowded, and that you can't get into a lot of places. Which wasn't a huge surprise, because we've been expecting it but living it's a little different. And you get the fact that different pace of play last two days. And by now, honestly, Amy would be rather be sitting by the pool, probably. But I was coming stir crazy and we had to get a hike. And I'm always good for a hike. I'm like adventures to Yes, but she also is okay with being at the pool a lot more than I am. accurate, accurate. Okay, I'm gonna urge you guys to check the pictures out that are gonna be on the Facebook page of this. Because you have this, the clouds are starting to burn off a little bit, the mist, the rain is stopping, you have this lush green forest that goes right down to the bottom up against the rocks of the caldera. And it it's like something out of a Pirates of the Caribbean movie. It's something out of a movie. But pictures I can't say do it to justice. Just because the level of grain and the level of contrast that you get here. how smooth the former Lakers you can see little waves in it still. It's just incredible. It looks smooth. From here. I'm interested to see when we get down there if it actually is as smooth as it appears. It's Yeah, it's definitely not there's going to be Cinder along the edges, probably. But it's, it looks, it looks really smooth it it's not glassy. But it's not like we're going to be picking over the top of stuff that's cutting the bottoms of our shoes open. Yeah, it doesn't look like Craters of the Moon. Which Fun fact is a place where they tested some of the moon landers, not the moon landers, the moon buggy in Idaho. So more in a second, we're starting to really drop into the caldera down to the bottom. And we're back into the place where you can't see what you're walking down to. We're surrounded by yellow greens and reds, and trees and deep greens. It's what I think of as the primeval forests, but it's more accurately stated is a tropical rain forest. You know, come from a place without humidity and you're breathing a lot more water than you're used to kind of feels like you're chewing air. different experiences. And that's exciting. I'll be honest, I could do without a six hour flight. But nobody wants to sit in place for six hours. But I wouldn't trade this for about anything right now. So down the trail from us as a bird that Oh, it's injured, seems to be injured, but it's it looks to be about a 20 pound bird. Pretty impressive. I can't get it. I'm gonna try to get a little better look at it. But like most wild animals, I'm staying away. I like having all my limbs in one place. sucker just stared at me as I walked past didn't move. I'm going to kind of leave it alone. It may just be eating but it was dragging a leg pretty seriously when we looked at it. Just down the trail, it didn't seem normal. I'll say this. Unlike most trails, there's going to be there's a good chunk of this trail that you're not going to be able to get lost on. You're trapped inside. See people wandering all over the place because there's nothing to damage. And they're gonna find their way back to the trail because there's only one way out unless you want to scramble up the rocks. Your hands and knees and through your jungle on your hands and knees. I don't think you'd want to do that because all the brush down there is all like mossy and mushy. Yeah, it wouldn't be easy. Let's be honest, it'd be nasty and I would not suggest it Got a nice wide trail, this case, you stick to it. A lot of us that are wandering this today that have no idea about the plant life for animal life for this island. So you, you treat it with respect, you stay where you're supposed to, you read the signs, try not to touch anything, see what the and then just generally have fun because of it. Don't become the object lesson of having the helicopter called into the hospital. Because if you do that, you're not gonna have a good time. So I just read a sign that says that the nettles here in Hawaii, don't have stingers. Because there are no naturally occurring grazing animals on Hawaii. And so they have never developed the stinging parts of the nettle. And speaking of someone that has walked into piles of those, let me just say, I wish that had been the case elsewhere. Well, but they did not develop their stink. On the other hand, I don't want to miss out on a steak either. Yeah, it's tough to see across. But we're at the sort of the far end of the Cold era where we're going to come down and dropping elevation fast. It's only about 500 feet of elevation loss on this, I believe I could be wrong. But with the clouds hanging up there still on the the far end of the caldera and the gray stone beneath us and little bobbing colored figures of the people who are way ahead of us. And we took off our rain jackets, because it had started to clear up and we had blue skies and it was getting hot. And now it's starting to mist again. Yeah, we're not gonna wait on this one. I think we're just going to get wet. But live and learn, live and learn. I hope that came through, I will say is we're almost down to the bottom, the caldera looks a lot bigger and more challenging than it did at the top with the mist covering chunks of it. Not arrogant. Oh, we're not even close to the bottom yet. We still have probably 200 feet to drop. But we're getting closer. And some of these stairs are impressive. They're meant for people with the legs of a seven footer. Not a torso light with stubs, like myself. But thank God for the safety rails, which when you actually step down, then hit you on the shoulder. So I'm crediting the people who put this sucker together. The amount of rain this gets the fact that they can keep a trail in place is pretty incredible. Okay, we've reached the bottom finally. And it's roughly here along the edges, a lot of broken stone. You're following a path. Karen's got to watch your footing. But the stone itself isn't really sharp stuff. But you can tell this is the way it cooled. And it's fascinating. You can see cracks and breaks and how some of it is starting to weather away already into smaller individual rocks. To the point where where the trail is actually only marked with piles of stone didn't have to carry anything down here. They just had to pile it on up. Some trees have started to take root and all of this bushes more and it's pretty fascinating to see. Part of the rock you're walking on as we're walking on is the pumice stone like you find in the bottom of your grill. The mist has come up big time. Another Karen so I'm gonna have to shut off the can the phone for a little while and we'll be back. We're starting to get to the smooth part coming out of the past. And it's impressive Still, the rank. The mist, I should say goes pretty fast and pretty heavy. We're running a little bobbing heads going across the moonscape at this point only they won't see me gray on gray in this they'll get a look at Amy and her nice blue neon blue shirt so they'll see her stuff by Get lost. I'm just on my own at this point. So we're really wind exposed so I'm not sure how well this coming through. But one of the cool things is a few years ago apparently they let you hike this when there was still enough lava down here that you could see glowing red in the cracks. You can hike it at night, hiking at night I'll pass. Right now we are on kind of what? You know the classical. I won't say moonscape. But rolling lava domes with cracks. It's good, smooth, easy walking. But we still have to go back up 500 feet on the far side of this bad boy, at least 500. And it looks a lot farther up than it did come and downs. So so it's beginning to look like that the height goes something like this a mile down mile, two miles across various terrains and then a mile backup. I'm kind of dreading the last part of this, and I still got another mile on the bottom to go. It's fine, it's fine. We're taking a lot of pictures. Looking around, we're kind of meandering, as much as we're hiking, this is not what my wife likes to call my forced march approach. Now this is my kind of hiking and check back into. So we're kind of on the last part of the bottom trail. What I'm noting here is, you can really see where the trail is supposed to be without the carrots, because there's been enough human feed across it. That it's nice and I won't say polished, but it's a different color than the rest. It's a lighter gray, and the rock that has been eroded away by human steps, and settled as really fine pea gravel in low points, which is one of the many reasons with the rain and that my shoes I'm wearing will be lunch, he's gonna get home, they're black, and they're not gonna come. So we got here plenty early. We're doing the hike to make sure we were trying to avoid heat. We should have got here even more early because as we get ready to head up the other side the crowds are really starting to come down. So advice if you choose to come to Hawaii and choose to make this hike would be to get here by probably seven o'clock to get the your hike started. So do the trail counterclockwise because I man, the people the hordes that are coming down from this other edge right now. It's incredible. We're headed to getting ready to head up, and we're gonna head into LA, go check out lava tube. And then we'll start up back up to the minivan, which is hard for me to say. Well, the crater wall and the rain is back. The mud is thick. And the green is even greener than it was on the other side. visibly, so it's vibrant, it's bright. And so far, the answer came down, there were those huge steps to come up. It's a nice, slow so far off up the trail. The mud is going to make it slippery is anything because volcanic soil is but isn't too bad so far, long ways to go. So the road out is not nearly so far, what the otherwise it's slippery. It's human, superhuman superhuman, but it is not nearly as steep and the stair steps are not as big. So we're back at the top. That's four miles total. The trail on the way back up was more the consistence consistency of brownie butter kind of sticks to your feet and is slicker and get out. We're now looking to go into the Thurston lava tube, but it looks like there's a pretty good line. So we will see. And then we'll make our way back to the other parking area. But the hike itself does end up being was right when we hit the tire spectacular. And when we hit the top of the loop, it was already at four miles. So pretty cool. So change in plan. The lava tube was more of a waiting line exercise than a hike exercise at this point because there's so many people that have come in since we went over the edge. So we're out week because some of these things should be new experiences and didn't go through a lot of lava tubes in different parts of Idaho. I'm sure this one looks a little different, but it's a little greener. But we're talking about another four half mile hike probably an hour do even get into the tube. So I think we're off to O'Brien at this point. Thanks for joining me for this little travel talk. The boss who planned it, and made the loyal tag along. And definitely a hike worth checking out. Make sure that you if you do it, go counterclockwise and bring all of your all weather gear because we experienced it all and bring lots of water. Not that we needed a lot today, but if the sun gets out on the rock floor, you're gonna go through a lot. And we saw people even in this weather struggling because they hadn't brought water with him. So take basic precautions. Use hiking etiquette, like no one to get over and let people pass you and have a great time. It's a beautiful hike. And it is more than worth checking out. So check out the back matter and hopefully a video. I don't know how that'll turn out. But the pictures we'll put up from the hike on the strive seek find a page on Facebook. See you next time. And that concludes this edition of strive seek find. Thank you for listening. If you enjoyed the episode, or would just like to support the podcast. Here are a few ways you can do it. You can leave a review on Apple podcasts or pod chaser. They will help bring more listeners to the podcast. If that isn't your style, you can buy me a coffee or purchase some mirch links are in the podcast description. Finally, if you have ideas or feedback, please reach out to the strive seek find page on Facebook or to chancewhitmore5 on Twitter. Until next time, keep seeking our own brilliant future. ave a great day.