Hawaiian Islands

Going with the Lava Flow Navigating the treacheries and discovering new land at one of Earth’s fieriest national parks

By Dale Patrick Myers

A towering plume of sulfur-smelling smoke explodes from the crater of this desert landscape as a tepid breeze blows the sweet scent of jasmine and pushes the sinewy smoke over the devastated plateau that tumbles down into an abyss worthy of Mordor. However, this isn’t fictitious Middle Earth, and this smoke-filled scene is not the cause of Mt. Doom. This is Hawai’i, and this smoke is belching forth from one of the most active volcanoes in the world.

Having been plagued since childhood with reoccurring nightmares of running from erupting volcanoes and being engulfed by lava, which stem from watching “Krakatoa, East of Java” with my parents and further compounded and solidified by being repeatedly subjected to footage of the Mount St. Helens eruption while in grammar school, I want to experience the freedom from fear of free-flowing lava, pit craters and steam vents. What better place to eradicate this fear than at Kilauea, a volcano that has been continuously erupting since Jan. 3, 1983? However, 4,000-foot-plus Kilauea isn’t the only monarch of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, as its majestic and imposing cousin Mauna Loa is also active. Mauna Loa, which last erupted in 1984, looms over the fuming and immensely sprawling park and casts an ominous shadow as it is at the beck and call of unpredictable Pele, the volcano goddess, and is the most dangerous volcano in Hawai’i. Mauna Loa is still, silent and snow-capped on this October day, but looks like it could literally blow its top at any moment depending on the mood of Pele. Conversely, there is a seemingly infinite emission of volcanic gas escaping from the mythological home of Pele, Halemaumau crater, an angry pit where after dark the glow from the cavernous crater looks like a downed, simmering meteor that has just rent the earth.

At night, Halemaumau, which is part of the Kilauea caldera, illuminates its eerily beautiful immediate surroundings; however, witnessing this frenetic spectacle in the daytime, I am awarded sweeping vistas of immense and contrasting beauty: from a stripped lava-rock plateau that spills down to endlessly blue and shimmering Pacific waters to rainforest as lush as any found in the tropics. Leaving Halemaumau emboldened by having stood near the rim of the smoldering crater, one of two current eruption sites in the park, I set out on the Chain of Craters Road with the idea of seeing as much volcanism as possible before ultimately reaching the end of the road where lava has literally crossed it, making it impassable except on foot. I choose a pit crater first and hike to the floor of Kilauea Iki, which in 1959 after a series of earthquakes literally turned into a lake of fire. But I didn’t encounter what in 1959 must have seemed like a circle of hell in Dante’s Inferno, but rather a dense, vertiginous tropical trail on the rim of the crater that occasionally opened up to reveal lofty views of the park and the 400-foot crater below. Once reaching the floor, instead of a lake of fire I find a black-sand lava bed that I can roam in any direction.

Traversing the crater, I can imagine molten lava bubbling and gurgling with flaming lava fountains exploding almost 2,000 feet in the air and a shower of lava raining down, which it did in 1959 in this mile-long, 3,000-foot wide pit crater. On this day, however, it is a tranquil sojourn across a soft, opaque floor dotted with ohi’a trees with sanguine flowers and steam vents that hiss like cappuccino makers while trade winds ruffle the tops of the Koa and fern trees 400 feet above on the rim of the crater. Getting back in the car and checking the odometer, I realize there are miles to go and not enough time to see everything along this fiery freeway so I tear off down the road anxious to see where the active crimson lava flows into the sapphire Pacific. A crowd gathers on the serrated sea cliff where the road ends (due to layers of hardened lava that crossed at this point when molten) at the Holei Sea Arch – a medieval-looking natural arch that was caused by surf and erosion that will eventually crumble into the ocean.

From the arch, I set off across seemingly solidified lava but see a posted warning that states “Collapse of lava bench occurs without warning, causing violent steam explosions…” Still determined, I gingerly trek across the potentially perilous ground and spy the smoke rising from where the lava is introducing itself to the sea. I am literally witnessing earth being born, and I know my dreams that night will be of an island that is alive and pulsating whose fiery lungs are breathing new life into it at every moment, and I won’t be running from lava but toward it.

About the Author: Dale Patrick Myers is a travel writer, journalist, editor and novelist from Ventura, CA. He was the editor of MotorHome magazine and is a frequent contributor to Global Road Warrior and The Circumference.

Thank you for reading and commenting. Please enter the Independence Travel Writing competition and tell your story.

jimmyCASE

In August 2013, I had an amazing adventure in Maui with my wife Kathy, our two kids Ben (12) and Leo (10) and my incredible in-laws.  This Hawaii adventure changed my life. I had worked as a TV and digital programming executive at networks like Playboy TV and ABC Family and produced reality shows, like American Gladiators.

I felt like I was at a mid-point in my career and wanted to try a new challenge.

iPhone 5S wallet case
jimmyCASE prototype August 2013

I had built a prototype for an iPhone wallet case — a generic iPhone case with a strap of elastic stuck together with blue painters tape. The improvised case could carry my drivers license, credit cards and hotel key card, strapped to the back of my iPhone.

As we traversed the island with the kids from one adventure to the next, snorkeling, surfing, parasailing, zip lining, road-to-hana, I quickly dumped my Costanza wallet, and was carrying everything I needed on the back of my iPhone.

jimmyCASE iPhone wallet case Maui stick dance
the family that stick dances together…

Spending this time with my family in the relaxed beauty of Maui, I realized that I didn’t want to be an executive working in an office for the few years left with my children at home. I wanted to take them to their after-school activities, make them dinner, and be with my family. I wanted to be a stay at home dad and entrepreneur-in-residence.

When we returned home to Los Angeles, I gave up my corporate career focus and started full time on the launch of jimmyCASE. The case allows you to carry the things you need most (credit cards, drivers license, a little cash) strapped to the back of your phone.

 

jimmyCASE iPhone Wallet Case
jimmyCASE sewn on old school Singer machine

 

I’m hoping the launch of this new endeavor will lead to many new adventures with my family. Thank you Maui for showing me the way.

 

 

 

Special Discount for We Said Go Travel reader: 

Promo Code: TRAVELWITHjimmy  20% off plus free US shipping. Good through end of May 31, 2014.

More about HAWAII from We Said Go Travel:

jimmyCASE
jimmyCASE

 

 

Lisa and NokiaThank you to Nokia Connects for sharing a Nokia Lumia 925 with us and letting us write about it on their site!

Seeing the world is many people’s dream, and with inventions like the commercial airliner, taking time out to explore cultures and climates around our planet is very possible in this day and age. Having a powerful and reliable device to record our adventures is also within our grasp, and that’s why we have traveller and writer, Lisa Rajna, to tell her story of when she took the Lumia 925 with her to South-East Asia…

“The powerful camera was far superior to what we were using and the Internet access and applications that were available opened up a new world with this innovative device”

My husband, George, and I took a sabbatical year in 2008-9 and travelled for eleven months in twelve countries mainly in South-East Asia. During our meanderings, we explored incredible UNESCO sites like Borobudur in Indonesia and Ayutthaya in Thailand, snorkelled and scuba-dove in Sipadan, Borneo and came face to face with a variety of cultures from Indonesia to Mongolia. With all the walking and smaller food portions, I lost nearly sixty pounds and was thrilled with the new me. On the second anniversary of our first date, George asked me to marry him underwater in Koh Lipe, Thailand. I never imagined that technology would be an important part of our life and our adventures but after meeting online I should have guessed that it would be.

Lisa Nirva Nokia Lumia 925

Before I met George, I was still using film to take pictures; however, as I evolved inside and out, I joined the digital revolution! After returning to Los Angeles and getting married at the location of our first date, we started a blog called “We Said Go Travel” to share our journeys. Armed with an HD flip video camera, we began shooting video and opened a YouTube channel under the “We Said Go Travel” name.

Click here to read the full article!

More videos with Nokia Lumia 925

Nokia TrialFrom Nokia:

Our Trial a Nokia programme has been a source of much experience, comparison, inspiration and FUN for a number of years now. Whether you’re reviewing for a tech blog or it’s your first time using a Nokia phone ever, we love to see and share the stories and experiences that come from it.

In the article ABOUT WE SAID GO TRAVEL:
Spending the time to sit down and capture super high quality images isn’t always an option when you’re generally using your phone. So how does the Lumia 925 handle every day point and shoot?

Well, Lisa from We Said Go Travel has been testing just that. She’s been on a mission around Thailand to Malaysia, Philippines, Palau, Guam, Oahu and then back to Los Angeles. During her trip she has been exclusively using the Lumia 925 to capture her memories.Nokia Trial two

We are very excited to be using the Nokia Lumia 925 for photo and video on our travels. It really is amazing! We will be sharing more video, images and articles soon. Check out this new video from Palau shot on our Nokia Lumia 925!

WATCH: Palau Pacific Resort

Flyer for email

Meet Mia Coffin at Park Restaurant 

2885 Kalakaua Ave

at Lotus Honolulu

Thursday November 7

5pm-7pm

Mia Coffin is a waitress, a world traveler, and would-be anthropologist. Coming from a large family in a small town in California she continually escapes her normal life in search of distant shores and adventure. Being an experienced traveler, Mia knows if things can go wrong they surely will––just how wrong, Mia recounts as she travels solo through Indonesia, Lebanon, Africa and New Zealand.

Mia is charged by an angry elephant, kidnapped by a Hezbollah drug lord, and gets caught up in a in a baby smuggling ring––all the while keeping her wicked sense of humor and never forgetting to email her worried mom back home. She fumbles with strange cultures, unfamiliar languages and unforgettable characters and realizes just how precious her home and family are to her. Invariably, Mia steps up to each ticket counter throughout her travels and requests––One, please!

One Please is available on Amazon.com in paperback and kindle.

 Park RestaurantPark is a new Waikiki restaurant specializing in unique Mediterranean cuisine. Come visit us today at Park for the best in fresh new Waikiki Dining!

 

Big trip map 2012 2013Hafa Adai Guam, Aloha Hawaii from our October 1st News:

We have started hopping home towards California after fifteen months of travel (see map), first to Palau where we swam with jellyfish and sharks and they use US dollars and then to Guam, which is a US territory with wide sidewalks and supermarkets with an almost ridiculous amount of choices! We had our first Couchsurfing experience with Jenny who is a military nurse in Guam with a three-bedroom condo, two dogs and a view of the sea. It was nearly mind-boggling to use the dishwasher, washing machine, Tupperware, walk the dogs and make dinner. One day while we were there was the most rain ever in history on a day in September and there was flooding all over the island. After so many months in hotels and hostels, it was wonderful to be in her home and meet her friends at a party on our first night. She took us in her car to a Chamorro Village where we learned about local practices of weaving, salt drying and coconut creations.

OutriggerDinnerEnjoy the best beach in Guam and the fantastic dinner BBQ at the Outrigger Guam Resort. We can highly recommend this gorgeous hotel and thank the marketing team for inviting us to visit. They connected us with their next-door neighbor, UnderWater World Guam and we enjoyed dining at Sea Grill and wandering around with 37 sharks in the SeaTrek experience. This is a great way to see rays, turtles, sharks and guitarfish up-close and from inside the tank! (see photo below)

JOIN US : Oct 3rd in Oahu, Oct 16th in Los Angeles and Oct 23rd for our online webinar with the University of Pennsylvania about Exotic Burma. We hope to see you or your friends at one of ourupcoming events!

We appreciate all of you who read our newsletters, articles, website and BOOK! Thank you to everyone for your support of our journey and all our writing. Connect with us on FacebookGoogle+LinkedInPinterest,  SlideShare,  Twitter , and YouTube.

Happy and Safe Travels from Kauai, Hawaii! Mahalo and Aloha!

Lisa and George (Click here to sign up for this newsletter. )

More articles to enjoy : Enjoy George’s article about music on the road with Spotify, his article about flying vs. overland travel, and our Myanmar movie about a Hindu festival in Mandalay!

LG UWW Guitar Shark
Our memoir, Traveling in Sin, is available on Amazon.com.

 

Park restaurant waikikiHello Honolulu!

We look forward to seeing you TONIGHT October 3, 2013

7pm at Lotus Honolulu for 

Travel Talk Story with Lisa and George from We Said Go Travel: Living without Regret

Have you dreamed of long-term international travels across Asia? Considered quitting your job to become a travel blogger and book writer? Want to connect with travel-minded community members?

Festival of the Pacific is a celebration of travel and transformation hosted by We Said Go Travel. The theme, “Living Without Regret: Travel, Love and Success: Make your Dreams a Reality”, presented by the founders of We Said Go Travel, Penn graduate Lisa Niver Rajna (C’89) and her husband George Rajna, will give an inside look into long-term exotic international travel across Asia. They will share their travel expertise, read an excerpt from their new memoir, “Traveling in Sin,” and provide information about We Said Go Travel’s writing contest, and upcoming community.

Join us for an evening of Travel Talk Story with Lisa and George, network with the travel community, and enjoy hosted pupus and drinks. There will be goodie bags for all attendees and raffle prizes.

Mahalo to our Sponsors:

Lotus Honolulu for providing the venue space. Book your stay at Aqua Lotus Honolulu for a peaceful retreat steps away from the beach, Kapiolani Park, and Diamond Head.  The hotel decor is Bali-fusion inspired with Hawaiian warm hospitality. Aqua Lotus Honolulu amenities include in-room high speed Internet & WiFi, safe, complimentary coffee and tea service in the lobby, daily local newspaper, valet and concierge services, banquet/meeting facilities and complimentary use of beach items such as sand chairs, umbrellas and mats for the beach just steps away. Lotus Honolulu’s Facebook Page  / @LotusHonolulu

Park Restaurant for hosting pupus. Park Restaurant uses fresh local ingredients.  The food will take you on a culinary journey of infused flavors borrowed from French and Italian, to Greek and Egyptian influences. Chef Collantes’ menu promises a dining experience that is as much adventurous as it is comforting. Park Restauurant Waikiki’s Facebook Page  / @ParkHawaii

Zaratez Mexicatessen for donating to the raffle prizes.  Dine at the restaurant for home style taqueria including tacos, burritos and quesadillas. Zaratez Mexicatessen’s Facebook Page / @zaratez

Uber Honolulu is providing the first 35 attendees roundtrip car service to and from the event for NEW USERS, up to $30 each way.  Please download the Uber app for iPhone or Android and use the promo code traveltalk2013 or the link http://uber.com/go/traveltalk2013 when signing up.  This code is only valid for Thursday, Oct 3rd.

Gogobot Oahu for collaborating with We Said Go Travel. Download the Gogobot travel app (on iPhone and Android) and join the millions of travel community members in reviewing and sharing travel experiences and postcards. Gogobot Oahu’s Facebook Page / @GogobotOahu

Isle Discount for donating discount cards for the goodie bags.  The iDcard is an annual membership to exclusive network of savings at your favorite local restaurants, retailers, bars, and attractions in Oahu, Maui, Las Vegas, Japan, and Canada.  Isle Discount’s Facebook Page / @islediscount

 

lotushonoluluTravel Talk Story with We Said Go Travel: Living without Regret

Have you dreamed of long-term international travels across Asia? Considered quitting your job to become a travel blogger and book writer? Want to connect with travel-minded community members?

Festival of the Pacific is a celebration of travel and transformation hosted by We Said Go Travel. The theme, “Living Without Regret: Travel, Love and Success: Make your Dreams a Reality”, presented by the founders of We Said Go Travel, Penn graduate Lisa Niver Rajna (C’89) and her husband George Rajna, will give an inside look into long-term exotic international travel across Asia. They will share their travel expertise, read an excerpt from their new memoir, “Traveling in Sin,” and provide information about We Said Go Travel’s writing contest, and upcoming community.

Join us for an evening of Travel Talk Story with Lisa and George, network with the travel community, and enjoy hosted pupus and drinks. There will be goodie bags for all attendees and raffle prizes.

Mahalo to our Sponsors:

Lotus Honolulu for providing the venue space. Book your stay at Aqua Lotus Honolulu for a peaceful retreat steps away from the beach, Kapiolani Park, and Diamond Head.  The hotel decor is Bali-fusion inspired with Hawaiian warm hospitality. Aqua Lotus Honolulu amenities include in-room high speed Internet & WiFi, safe, complimentary coffee and tea service in the lobby, daily local newspaper, valet and concierge services, banquet/meeting facilities and complimentary use of beach items such as sand chairs, umbrellas and mats for the beach just steps away. Lotus Honolulu’s Facebook Page  / @LotusHonolulu

Park Restaurant for hosting pupus. Park Restaurant uses fresh local ingredients.  The food will take you on a culinary journey of infused flavors borrowed from French and Italian, to Greek and Egyptian influences. Chef Collantes’ menu promises a dining experience that is as much adventurous as it is comforting. Park Restauurant Waikiki’s Facebook Page  / @ParkHawaii

Zaratez Mexicatessen for donating to the raffle prizes.  Dine at the restaurant for home style taqueria including tacos, burritos and quesadillas. Zaratez Mexicatessen’s Facebook Page / @zaratez

Uber Honolulu for providing sleek black car service for attendees to this event. Sign up for Uber by downloading the app (on iPhone and Android) and request your black car service on the event day. Uber’s Facebook Page / @Uber

Gogobot Oahu for collaborating with We Said Go Travel. Download the Gogobot travel app (on iPhone and Android) and join the millions of travel community members in reviewing and sharing travel experiences and postcards. Gogobot Oahu’s Facebook Page / @GogobotOahu

 PLEASE RSVP: CLICK HERE

Fight the Inertia – Building a Personal Travel Writing Brand

Trover InterviewThank you to Trover for inviting us for an interview to talk about how to build your own Travel Writing Brand.

Lisa Niver Rajna and George Rajna, founders of We Said Go Travel, host travel storytelling contests for emerging travel writers.

They shared a few minutes with Trover on building a personal travel brand. Here are a few gems from our chat.

You and George have established quite a travel blog together. What advice would you give to someone considering a travel blog of their own?

Lisa: Thank you! We have been fortunate to have so many travelers choose to share their stories with us through our website and contests. My advice for someone considering a travel blog of their own would be to just start. The inertia against beginning is one of the hardest things for most people. There are many choices to be made but you can always refine your site later.

Pick a day of the week and post once a week somewhere. Once you begin, you can figure out the next pieces. As they say, “Every journey begins with one step.”

One great first step would be our travel-writing contests. The “Gratitude” contest begins September 11. It has a free entry and $1,000 USD in cash prizes. All contest entries that meet our requirements will be published on our site.

 Read the full interview — click here

Learn more about our Travel Writing Contest: Click here!
Lisa and George are speaking in Oahu October 3rd at Lotus Honolulu, in Los Angeles October 16th at Luxe on Sunset and in an online webinar on October 23rd for the University of Pennsylvania! Join us!

Image

Lost Ring in Oahu!

The day just started off on a bad note.  My father in law let the dogs out in the front yard by accident…again.  Leina, my fiancé, dragged herself out of bed early to watch the dogs.  Sasha, our oldest dog, was not the problem.  It was Pa’a, the one year old puppy, who was trouble.  He had a history of chasing anything he could hump.

By the time I woke up to greet my future wife, she looked like a crab surrounded by a tornado of hormones and moodiness.  There was only one way to reclaim the day at this point.  “We’re going out for breakfast,” I said.

2013-08-01_13_57_33 We took the high energy dogs with us, being sure to give them a long walk before going to the diner.  Then we planned to go  hike to the Lighthouse at Makapu’u. But we only made it ¾ around the block before she turned around and gasped.  Her look of panic hit me like a flash flood.  It only took half a second for me to read her mind.  I sprung into action, retracing our steps as she muttered the dreaded words, “My ring!”

It was gone. Leina walked like a stunned zombie, bare finger in tow.  Before I turned the corner, I said, “I have a feeling that it’s back at the house, but I’m going to circle back just in case”.  My heart pounded as I knew we only had a matter of minutes before someone else could pick up the ring.

Thoughts pounded in my head.  “What do we do if it’s not at home?  Does this mean I need to buy her a new ring?  I can’t afford a new ring.  My poor baby…I hope she’s OK.”  Through the high speed flow of mental notes, an image of the chestnut dresser next to our bed floated into my mind.  A wave of calm came over me as the feeling in my gut told me that the ring is by that dresser.  But there was only one way to find out for sure.

Thoughts pounded in her head.  “How did this happen?  What is he going to think of me?  Is he mad at me? The thought of going to work without my ring makes me feel ashamed.  Where is it?!” I felt her fear all the way around the block.

By the time we reconnected, I had already sprinted around the block with Pa’a.  No luck. I ushered the family back to the car.  “We’re going home to look for the ring,” I said with urgency.  Once Leina hit the passenger seat, the tears poured down her face.  “I’m so sorry!” she sobbed.

“Don’t apologize.  I think I know where it is.”

Believe it or not, this is not the first time I have recovered a wedding ring.  My mom lost her ring once in our garden.  The acrobatic ring jack knifed into the 3 inches of fresh soil she had just laid down.  I have the distinct memory of my deceased great grandmother over my shoulder, guiding my hand to the pin point location of the ring’s burial ground.  My mom smiled at the news that Great Grandma Kennedy was watching over us.  The presence of my deceased Grandma Kennedy continues to be a comfort to me, something that many people experience in our Bloodline Healing workshop, where I put my intuition to work to help others feel their ancestors.  Great Grandma helped us recover my mom’s ring.  I look forward to seeing how ancestors help the participants at our next workshop at Brandeis-Bardin (near LA, California) on October 10th-13th of this year.

But, Leina never took off her ring.  Her rude awakening this morning made her frazzled, so she lost track of the ring on her finger.  Damn her low-carb diet! Her fingers had obviously shrunk, making the ring easy to lose.

I barged through the door to our apartment, and stood in front of the chestnut dresser.  I tossed the top drawers like scrambled eggs.  Nothing.  Had I lost my mojo? Despite the calming vision, another surge of anxiety surfaced when the ring didn’t immediately turn up.  The zombie arrived in the room, fussing with the little corners where she stored jewelry.  Nothing.

“I keep seeing this corner of the room, babe.”  She helped me toss the pile of laundry at the foot of the dresser.  Our comforter had oozed off our bed during the night to attack the laundry pile, making it a huge lump of cloth.  3 layers later, Leina’s hand retrieved the hiding engagement ring.  She held the ring in a waterfall of tears.  The shock, the pent up drama, and her gratitude poured through her eyes.  I held her, feeling relieved that my intuition had helped me in another heart wrenching situation.  It turns out that sleeping with a psychic has its benefits.  “I’m so glad that you have ninja skills, babe,” she said.  “You were so confident that we would find it here. I’m so lucky to have you.”

Relief! We found it!

Leina looked at me with relief.  “You know, there must be a lesson in all this,” she said.  “Yea.  Life is telling us to do the laundry,” I replied.

2013-08-09_09_39_40

  For more information about the Upcoming Bloodline Healing Workshop at Brandeis-Bardin on Oct. 10th-13th, please go to gkhunter.com