When I booked my vacation to the Big Island, I never checked that status of the Kilauea volcano. My plans were simply to relax. Then, on September 29, Kilauea eruption, less than a month from my trip start. It wasn't until a week before I was to leave California that I saw the news about Kilauea's lava flow. I immediately booked one of the last rooms at Volcano House, the hotel on the rim of the caldera, and managed to get a dinner reservation for The Rim restaurant.
We already had a 9-night reservation at a timeshare in Waikoloa, but I figured we could leave our unit vacant one night for a chance to view the volcano. It's a rare event. It turned out to be a great decision.
When we arrived at Volcanoes National Park, I learned that both the hotel and restaurant had good night time views of the red glow, but to see actual lava flowing would require a short drive and a one mile hike to the viewing point. With camera and tripod in hand, I made off for the viewing spot late in the afternoon. I took this image at that time.
As pleased as I was with the viewing, I knew that hiking back in the dark would afford a more spectacular view, which it did. The lava lake glowed and it was easier to see the lava fountain activity.
The people were as interesting as the volcano. All sorts made the one-mile trek, including a woman using walker. There were lots of families with small children. Everyone had a phone or camera to capture the moment. It was truly marvelous.