I hiked across the Kilauea Iki crater, which was this awesome black moonscape of a place with steam vents, although no visible lava flowing, and found this pack of bikes arrayed and waiting for more tourists to come and hop on and ride around. As recently as 1959, there were fountains of lava here, and a lake of lava 400 feet deep. According to the guides, though, recent bore holes indicate that the lava is farther and farther beneath the surface each year, one of them stating something about 1000 feet down, which still sounds very close.
The picture above both needed to be taken, and also posted to the blog. There I was, just trying to empty my brain and relax, when suddenly "HEY BLOG THAT!!" was an irresistible urge. I did wonder at first if it was parking for when Kilauea overflows again, and Mrs Alpha was laughing at me, because she knew that there I was just trying to empty my brain and relax but that I wouldn't be able to resist the combination of sign and bikes. I did soon empty my brain and relax, though, so much that I was unable to answer simple questions or remember where I had just been. Seriously, people in conversation would inquire where we had visited the day before, and I was so chillaxed that I was unable to form the answer into words. Which is fantastic. Perhaps I should hike volcano craters more often. Just briefly, I was able to summon the mental image of a bicycle volcano, spewing steel frames forged in the fires of the bowels of the earth. Pele bikes: I need one.
|The white stripe down the center of the crater is formed from the footprints of thousands of dazed tourists|