Southern half...

Tide pool sea turtle at Punalu'u Beach

Today's road trip was amazing. From green fields and trees, to smoldering desolated craters, to tropical rainforest... all in just a few hours.

We saw ancient lava beds on the west side, nearly covered in lush green landscape. And we tracked down the newest land on the island, a lava flow from December that threatened the town's transfer station. The only thing we didn't get to experience was the summit of Mauna Kea, which we had planned to explore. But because of record snowfall and winds from 55-80 mph, the summit road was closed to all traffic. I was sorry not to see this one last bit of the island during our stay, but we'll be back.

SE coast of the Big Island, lush with grasses and coffee plantations, barely hiding the lava from ancient eruptions

The smoldering crater of Kilhuea

The December 2014 lava flow that almost took out the transfer station

Rocky beach just south of Hilo

One of Hilo's beautiful lagoons

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