I can't say I've ever seen a rainbow that formed a complete arch from one end of land to the other. I suppose it could have something to do with the latitude and being located just south of the Tropic of Cancer, though. I mean, haven't all the rainbows you've seen sort of formed in the sky on one end and the bottom was on land?
Near the end of the Chain of Craters Road is this impressive arch. It's called the Holei Sea Arch and it stands 90-feet tall. Eventually, it will collapse as waves continue to erode the arch. New land created by lava flows sometimes break off and fall away into the sea.
All along Chain of Craters Road are markers indicating the year of lava flow, which has crossed the road several times. This is the Kealakomo overlook near the hairpin turn in the road. You can see the steam rising. Part of this road is almost impossible to navigate due to steam, sulfur and moisture blanketing the road. Everywhere you look it's gray, and you can't see two feet in front of you. And chilly.
Along the ocean at the bottom of the Chain of Craters Road is a portion of land that appears to have been spared from the lava flows. A cluster of palm trees line the shore. Although, I don't know if this is an area where I would want to build a house, if you know what I mean, jelly bean.
At another viewing area are the petroglyphs, carvings into the lava rock by ancient Hawaiians. The various drawings at Pu'u Loa depict life on the island and consist of circles, which are supposedly the burial grounds for newborn umbilical chords, and stick-like figures of people, canoes, food. About a mile off the road is a man-made boardwalk, which provides a viewing area for visitors to walk around the petroglyphs.
Here is the end of the Chain of Craters Road. The last lava flow from 2003 completely covered the road and sealed it off. You can walk another 1/2 mile or so on top of the lava bed, but the land is unstable from that point forward. On the other side is another road accessible further up in the park where sometimes you can see hot lava, but it wasn't flowing for us. What I find amazing is how quickly vegetation will grow in the lava. Well, it's how Hawaii was formed.
Photos: Elizabeth Weintraub