One by one…They return to their homes…Visit to Lava Tree Park…We begin to return to our wanderlust lifestyle…

This sign served as a valuable warning to keep us and others from exploring beyond this point when we visited Lava Tree Park yesterday.

As Tammy, Tracy and Vincent head back to Minnesota today, we are reminded of how quickly the time flew.  Now, only daughter-in-law, Camille and granddaughter, Madighan remain in Big Island for another week during which we’ll spend together at the beach, the park or strolling along the boulevard in the village of Pahoa.

Lava Tree Park has been closed to the public due to the risk of lava fissures creating vast openings in the ground. In August, Hurricane Iselle ravaged the Big Island leaving this and other parks closed due to risks from fallen trees and resulting lava shifts. We visited yesterday with Tammy and family going as far as we could stay safely within the marked areas.

Today, we’ve already begun the process of moving back into the house next door that Tom refers to as the “birdhouse” (so it looks from the aerial photos). This house is also situated in close proximity to the raging surf, the spray from the surf, and the roaring sounds. We’ll be as content as we were in the “birdhouse” prior to December 20th when we moved into the house next door to accommodate our family’s arrival.

A crevice area that was fenced off to protect visitors. This crevice was very deep.

Although we’re only moving next door, we still have sheets, towels, and more laundry to do plus the packing required as for any move. Packing neatly isn’t an issue right now. We only require that the clothes fit into our luggage and we can close our bags. Once we leave the Big Island in 13 days, we’ll be more diligent in regard to packing neatly.

Another roped off crevice in the park.

A huge storm is brewing in the islands over the next 24 hours, expected to hit the Big Island tonight or tomorrow morning. As a result, we’ll stay put hopefully not pounded with rain while we move next door.

Big Island is all about the lava as shown in these drawings.

This morning I packed my clothing and later today, I’ll begin the process of packing all that we have scattered about this big four-bedroom house, mainly in the master bedroom, en suite bath, and kitchen. I’ll be relieved when we’re done and situated, perhaps stopping to take a breath and realize that most of them are gone, back to the frozen tundra of Minnesota, now with temperatures below zero.

Map of Lava Tree Park original walking path.  We were restricted from venturing any further than the “You Are Here” designated area on this map.

Oh, how right it was that we left such a cold place, definitely not a good settling point for seniors. The risk of falling on ice and snow, hazardous driving conditions, and shoveling and snow blowing simply doesn’t make for an ideal scenario for the aging population. Plus, being cooped up during the long winter as a retiree never appealed to us.

Sign on display at the park.

Yes, we are warm weather people, following the sun wherever we may go with a few exceptions into the future, as we seek to fulfill our dreams of a few cold-weather wildlife expeditions. 

A picnic area in Lava Tree Park was desolate. 

I’m a little out of sorts today. As the storm brews, the air is outrageously humid and I can’t seem to shake this sticky feeling. We awoke before 6:00 am this morning to say goodbye to Tammy, Tracy, and Vincent. Showered, dressed, and ready for the day by 6:30 am, we have a long day of work ahead of us. 

Hibiscus, hearty flower that they are, continue to grow in the desolate park.

Soon, we’ll be settled and at peace, as we spend our final 13 days on the Big Island, amid an upcoming storm, the lava flow, and us two old-timers looking forward to the next phase of life as we carry on our worldwide travels.

Downed trees and shrubs in Lava Tree Park continue to flourish.

Also, thanks to our many readers who graciously inquired as to my dear sister’s health. She left the hospital yesterday and is recovering nicely at home. Son Richard’s shoulder injury is on the mend. We enjoyed a lengthy chat yesterday.

The highlight of living in these two neighboring houses has been the raging of the wild surf.
While lounging in the chairs, one is kept cool by the spray from the waves.
A huge surf pounded the shore yesterday.

We’ll be back tomorrow from the “birdhouse” with more good news to share. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed this lovely house but look forward to being settled once again.

Be well and have a safe first Saturday in 2015!

                                            Photo from one year ago today, January 2, 2014:

We left an egg outside for the mongoose who’s families often surrounded our house. We were happy to see one of them enjoy it. For details, please click here.