The weekend has struck and Runj is here! The fam is back together and we’re hella excited to see lava!!! Once eleven hit and we made it out of the hotel away we went to Volcanoes National Park, just two days before their centennial. There we split off a bit to start, with Doug and Melanie talking to a fancy climate science bro while Isa, Runj and I saw some crazy steam vents and a huge steaming crater, both along the roadside and at the Jaggar Museum. There we also got ourselves some matching Volcanoes National Park long sleeves, cause don’t we all know that the crew has to roll in style.

Met up with the other two at this fancy lodge on site then went to grab food before we started adventuring. After a lot of wandering and stress from our time crunch, (which, I might add, never ended,) we found a Thai food truck where I got some delicious crazy noodles and a banana lumpia – yum. Then we rushed back to the park to stake a claim at the campsite, because we’re super awesome and camped there, and to meet up with Aaron and Charlie. Super quick set-up and speed away and then we were off to the lava. Ahhhhh!

Half an hour later we were at the lot next to the trail that lead to lava. There began our journey, a full 8.4 mile trek round trip. We barely made the start of it at sunset, and while the original plan was to make the lava for sunset I think it was nicer this way since we weren’t getting slammed with sun. It was a pretty straight path that just had some rolls up and down, nothing wildly challenging about it besides the distance. And so, approximately two hours, many improv duets with Isa, total darkness and Christmas carols later, we hit lava.

Now I’m not a fire/heat/warm person at all; I’ve got that New England heart for ice and water in my veins. But oh dear lord did this night open my eyes to the beauty of all things molten and glowing, sweet burning lava. We were mere feet from the flow, even inches at one point and damn did I feel alive! You could feel it from so far out you feel like a marshmallow or a pig at a Greek festival (thinking of you Ria), and then you actually get to see it. It’s like this soft pulsing of intense light, scattered about in small glowing pockets or raging from the earth in a slow but steady stream. You could walk up on the hardened lava rock, which we did, to follow the lava up and away from the sea. Isa scored some a-frickin-maxing shots, which I’ll put up soon. We spent at least half an hour there just burning in the beauty, I think I can honestly say that I’ve never seen anything cooler in my life. SO SPECTACULAR!!!!

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We finally pulled ourselves away only to be treated to an impressive show of shooting stars, holy Nuktuk there were a bunch! 27 by the time we ducked off the trail (around 11:30), and way past 50 just at the campsite alone. Hella rad yo. Back at the campsite we had a full gig going, complete with hot dogs, beans, badass sporks (I have the same fancy one!!!) and chill music. We stayed up til 2:30, or at least I did (and I wasn’t the last to bed) just watching the stars in companionable silence. One of the most lovely nights of my life.

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