There it was printed on the last remaining coloured threads of a canvas sign. "Experience the Edge of Creation!" the sign proclaimed in faded block yellow letters. Could there be a better catch phrase?
I was brought to this place by my dad and his friend - we know him as Uncle Bob. We lathered on the sunblock (there is no shelter, or bathrooms, out on the lava fields) picked up some bikes, and hit the trail. It is walkable, but with only 4 hours of light left we opted to speed things up on two wheels.
Bob and I wanted to see hot lava. We noticed a group of kids heading toward the fiery hills above the freshly twisted earth. The Ranger told us to watch our step; there was active lava flowing under the surface.
We were walking on hot glass. It was like an alien world - something out of a Power Rangers movie. My shoes began to stick to surfaces as we hiked. A couple in there mid fifties walked back to the trail. They told me a woman had fallen through the lava - incinerated - a few years ago.
Some of these formations were days old, and others were years old. All around the lava fields were these white and copper burn spots. They looked like asphalt on a cul-de-sac after the 4th of July. "I wonder what these might mean?" I thought.
"Be careful - don't walk over there!" a voice yelled. A blast of heat rushed up my leg as I stepped over a crevice. "Walk over that way!" A man yelled and pointed at me to go right. I was walking over an active lava flow and the lava could be quite weak. Those white spots I noticed earlier? All places where the hot gasses built up in the lava tubes erupted and cracked the hardened surface. File that under "Do Not Walk On."
But he called us to where he was because it was not only safer, there was a small crack where you could see lava!
It was bloody hot. We ventured back to the coastal viewing area where the sea-breeze would cool us down.
As the temperature fell with the sun the intensity of the lava grew brighter and we sat on fresh earth to witness the edge of creation.