The Kilauea Iki Volcano erupted on Dec. 31, 1969 to blast the old year out. It had previously broken through a road in the Volcano Park causing it to be closed because of the lava flows, but that morning a fountain of fire spouted behind an old crater so we were allowed to drive in as far as the road was open.
The fountain, about 150 ft. high, was creating orange pudding with black topping that poured off the edge of the old crater rim like hot sauce into a hot chocolate pie. I do mean hot! There is no way to put in words the beauty of waterfalls of molten lava.
Our reluctance to leave changed quickly as the fountain began to grow and spew out clinkers. A clinker the size of a grapefruit thumped on the roof of our car as we drove away. Too close! Whew!
A little later from the observatory 7 miles away we watched the fountain rise 1700 ft. and disappear in the clouds as Madame Pele, Goddess of the Volcano, climaxed her show by wiping out the parking lot and area we had just left. Aloha Pele.
What a honeymoon so far! In five years we had stood on the rim of an erupting volcano – twice! We had experienced an earthquake, and had unique “Hawaiian adventures” at a rodeo, luaus, parades, and sailing on Hilo Bay.
We had island-hopped to Kauai and Maui to see wild goats in Waimea Canyon, and to walk and swim at some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. We survived the road to Hana, and saw a glorious sunset from 13,000 feet on top of Haleakala Crater.
Most of all, we had experienced the Aloha of the people of Hawaii, multiethnic, multilingual, multicultural – blended together to be kamaainas, – “children of the land.”
Aloha Hilo, Aloha Honolulu. Aloha Hawaii! (Aloha means goodby, hello, and love)
We were already looking ahead to June, a summer at home with the folks, and then moving to Honolulu for the second island on our Hawaiian Honeymoon.