Lava Flowing Into Ocean, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
Notes from the field
This image came from one of the most challenging hikes I've done. This lava flow was located several hours from the end of the road. The official trail only covers the first half hour or so. After that, I aimed toward the steam I saw far off on the horizon, scrambling over the remnants of other lava flows. There is only lava. There are no trees or anything else to help you to judge how far you have traveled, or how far you have left to go. But this was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Sitting on the bluff, waiting for the sun to set, the ground would rapidly get hot. I stood back, watched the rock bubble and pop, and was entranced as lava would ooze out. At sunset, I found a great location to get this image. As I hiked several hours back to my car, I thought about how the beach I photographed is probably no longer there. I got to watch new land being created, to see the power of the ocean turn that land into "sand," and then new land form over it. It was a geology lesson in fast-forward.