There are trees in this post!
In November 2011 we were on the Big Island of Hawaii, a favourite of ours.
We'd been to the Volcano National Park many times but always enjoy going there.
When we were finished we thought we would go to the Lava Tube but there wasn't any parking at the Lava Tube so we decided to head back to the condo.
As we passed the road for Mauna Loa we decided to take it, wondering where it went.
A very quiet road, lots of trees.
The drive is 13 miles at 15 miles an hour. After 3 miles it becomes a one lane road.
Once at the top there are two cars also parked.
The most interesting view from the lookout is towards the Volcano National Park where the steam is escaping from the crater.
Time to head down as it is around 4pm and it will be totally dark by 6pm. Lots of koa trees line the road.
The road cuts through the lava.
As we wind around the bend, back on the 2 lane section of the road WOW!!!
This had come down probably just after we passed it on the way up as we were the last car at the lookout!
How much noise would it make as it crashed????
Another car appears behind us as we call 911 - it is now gone 5pm so they are not sure when they can reach someone.
Cyclist managed to get around.
Ranger arrived shortly. He asked if we knew if there were any other cars and we said we had seen two at the top, the third car arrived then.
Examining the top of the downed tree with the ranger. It had lots of growth and buds on the top of it.
Road crew arrives around 6:15PM and it is pitch dark. In the interest of safety they say that they will come back at 6AM and get it cleared by 10am.
The road crew takes one couple into Volcano where they are staying. The four of us get into the ranger car and he takes us into Volcano where we hope there will be rooms available at the Kailua Lodge. They don't have rooms available but the manager makes a call to another lodge that does have a holiday home available. The ranger points out that the four of us are not travelling together and he has a better idea.
He takes us to the Kailua Military Camp KMC which he explains is for the use of the military and their families to while visiting Hawaii.
He gets us checked in and we get a rate of $66 a night. He then takes us to our rooms while pointing out the various buildings. He suggests we go to the Lava Lounge where we can get beer and food.
We take his suggestion and head over to the Lava Lounge under an inky black sky full of stars. The other couple from California join us and we then engage in conversation with some Scots that were staying there.
We we get up this morning we were able to walk around and get some photos and breakfast at the Crater Rim Cafe.
We called the ranger station and were told they had not yet completed moving the tree but would let us know. Imagine, to our surprise our ranger from last night, Andrew drove up to our room!! It was only 9:30am and the tree had been cleared. He took us back to our cars and we were on our way.
We had left our keys in the cars so the crew could move our cars out of the way.
We're amazed at the cleanup job done by the crew. The tree is now on the side of the road. Andrew explains that they will move the wood to another spot to prevent poaching of the koa wood as it is used for making furniture. He thinks the park services may give some of it to artisans in the area for carving.