After a five hour hike through various Lava fields from naked Pahoehoe to withered trees strewn across splintered rock, Lipoa and I walked along the jagged coast till we approached the steaming cliff. Just as we passed a stark neighborhood built on the highly affordable sulfurous land adjacent the Volcano, rather aggressive rainfall began, luckily rain in Hawaii is never too cold. The Lava looked like scarlet ribbons running down the black rock into the ocean where steam plumed along the beach. It reminded me of birth, seeing the earth give out such a powerful yet somehow seemingly vulnerable part of it’s self into the crashing sea. It was mesmerizing. We found a shorter trail on the way back and ended up on a small, remote road somewhat far from our vehicle. We hitched a ride on the tailgate of a truck pilled with Noni fruit, which for those who don’t know, do not have the most pleasant odor, but it was a ride and the friendly driver took us all the way to the Kava Bar where we had started our hike. With the sun high overhead, it was nice to end our volcanic experience at a place with fresh Acai and cold water.
Last month I graduated. After three years in Southern California, I have my degree and I am done with the West Coast for a while. Before leaving the vast, diverse terrain of California I had a few stops to make. Yosemite was the first. Each morning the crows above my tent woke me up around 6am and I ventured into the dense forrest around me. The river was crystal, and cold, the air fresh and the people friendly. It was an adventure of pleasure and pain, and I will never forget it.