The Volcanoes

I had a little moment this morning, heading down the state highway to Volcanoes National Park.  I realized that those clouds were not clouds.  And I was driving toward them.

I had another little moment when I stopped the car at the first Scenic Overlook.  This is where all the “steam vents” were.
That is steam.  Coming out of the ground.  I know everyone that has been to Yellowstone or wherever is laughing at me right now, but once I could feel the heat coming from that hole, I was all:  “I am standing on top of a live volcano.”
Then I got to the real Overlook.  This isn’t even the good picture from the good angle, but I imagine you get the idea.  I was all snappy-snappy with the pics because I wasn’t even on the hiking trails yet and I thought this was the coolest thing I had ever seen in my entire life.
In fact, the actual words that came out of my mouth on a day that I planned to speak to absolutely no one were, “F*** Europe, Man (this is the best vacation ever)”.
So I get to the better view and I can’t even show you the pics because I neglected to pack the cable and have to e-mail myself every single shot until I get home, but then I hit the hiking trails and saw the lava lake.
You can’t see in this shot, but I saw a dot of red at the bottom that was a person.  There were two people down at the bottom of the lava lake.  So I took the picture and said to myself, “I want to go to the bottom of the lava lake.”  And then, right that second – I can’t make this stuff up, Guys – my mother sent me an e-mail that said, “You get back in that car!”
( I had sent her the middle picture.)
I didn’t see any actual lava, because you generally have to be in exactly the right spot after the sun goes down to see it, but I saw enough.
P.S. You know why I travel alone?  Because when I drive by a sign that says, “Southpoint 12 miles” (the turn off point to go to the “southernmost point of the United States”) there is no one to make me take it.

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