On Thursday morning we drove a few minutes from Kilauea Military Camp, which is located on the rim of the volcano, to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which is in the volcano.
At first I had some trouble visualizing that we were inside an active volcano.
In my mind's eye a volcano looked like a defined mountain with a hole in its top.
Like the Nicaraguan volcanoes
...both of which I'd seen while visiting my daughter who was at that time working in Nicaragua in the jungle outside the city of Leon.
Through a clearing in the jungle one could see Momotombo off in the distance. One could also drive or hike up to the top of the volcano and look into its vast smoking crater.
In fact on weekends my daughter used to lead groups of adventurous foreign tourists on volcano hikes to the top of the local volcano craters to raise funds for Las Tias, an organization of women in Leon who cared for street orphans.
Once during my visit my daughter and I traveled to the city of Granada from which my daughter hired a taxi driver to take us to the top of the nearby active volcano Masaya.
The driver took us right up to the crater.
It was hot up there, and the smoke that wafted up from the crater smelled of sulphur, and the crater itself was the size of a lake.
In truth, having seen one volcano, I didn't feel any burning desire to ever again see another. But Tom, who'd never seen a volcano, did.
And hence we were in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park standing inside the crater of an active volcano.
But the whole point of my story is this: to me, where we were didn't look or feel like the inside of a volcano crater. It just seemed as if were in some hilly countryside.
To be continued...