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Photos 6, page 19
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Lava Hike (hot!)
December 29, 2009
12:00 Noon @ "A'a"
Here's some nice views of
A'a lava.  This stuff is absolutely awful to walk on.  It's very loose and very light and very sharp.  
Every step you take, the
A'a shifts and you can easily lose your balance.  Falling on this shit could seriously lacerate you!
By the way, in some of these views you can see the smooth silvery pahoehoe lava that has flowed over the top of the A'a.  
That's new lava.  I don't think it's molten under there but it's very, very warm and I wouldn't want to test it!
12:09 PM
That's an inviting looking
kipuka.  That
clump of vegetation around that
mango tree is separate from the
vegetation behind it.
12:12 PM @ "Kipuka"
A kipuka is an island of vegetation that
is surrounded by lava.
12:13 PM @ "Kipuka"
Oooh!  This is nice!  I could set up
camp here!  After all that hot blinding
sun and desolation out there, this is
like Eden!
12:15 PM @ "Kipuka"
Peeking out of the kipuka at the ocean
refreshing in here!
12:25 PM @ "2-28 Street"
Looking uphill.  All that silvery smooth
lava is new - within hours.
Here's what it looked like on 2/28/08
<-- 12:25 PM @ "2-28 Street"
Looking to the west you can see the
smoke, not steam, at the front edge of
the vegetation

12:26 PM @ "2-28 Street" -->
Looking south at the ocean entry.  All
that silvery lava in the foreground is new
- like right NOW!
12:28 PM heading back down
There's my favorite
kipuka on the left.  Again, all that silvery lava is happening.  It's really,
really hot and you can hear it ticking and crackling as it cools.  I don't think I want to step on it...
12:31 PM @ "Hot"
I was hiking back down when some color caught my eye and I realized that the new lava right next to me was moving!  you
could see it.  At night, this would be lit up like a Christmas tree but with the bright sunlight reflecting off the surface, it's hard
to see.
The very surface of the lava forms a skin because of contact with air but it remains somewhat liquid.  It's doughy.  I can
(and did) poke it with my hiking stick and it would break through the surface layer and plunge into the molten lava
beneath and burst into flame.  It's very, very hot and you can't stand close to it (within poking distance) for very long
without feeling scorched.
12:34 PM
MOVIE (4.6 MB)
12:34 PM
MOVIE (9.8 MB)
12:34 PM
12:35 PM
MOVIE (20.3 MB)
12:36 PM
<-- 12:36 PM
MOVIE (30.5 MB)

12:38 PM -->
MOVIE (24.1 MB)
12:53 AM @ 030
You can see the new lava riding right
over the top of the old A'a flows
12:50 PM before 030
All that bright new lava oozing down the hill at me...
12:58 PM @ 032
The new lava flow attracted helicopters like bees to honey or sharks to blood.  It was like a feeding frenzy with all the
buzzing around...
12:59 PM @ 032
One last look up the hill before reaching "Hot End", the end of the hot stuff...
1:00 PM before "Hot End"
MOVIE (23.4 MB)
And one last look at the hot stuff...
<-- 1:56 PM
I'm really tired!  Rubber legs.  I already
stopped at "Rest" for 9 minutes and
"R2" for 5 minutes but I couldn't get out
of the sun so I moved on.  I'm gonna
crawl into that little kipuka ahead and
take a break!

2:18 PM -->
20 minutes in the shade gave me
enough oomph to finish the trip....
All the trappings of civilization drop away and it's just me and the environment.  It is, of course, a completely pristine place -
the newest land in the world being created under my feet!  And it's all about putting one foot in front of the other and not
falling You may wonder why I keep going out there all the time.  I wonder myself.  Something attracts me to it.  First of all, I
need the exercise and it doesn't cost me anything to do it.  But, more than that, it's a chance to be in a place where all the
newest land in the world being created under my feet!  And it's all about putting one foot in front of the other and not falling
down and getting hurt.  It can't get much simpler than that.  And in this world it's something that I value highly - silence and
simplicity.  We are always barraged by the demands of living in a civilized world with all it's rules and regulations and
demands.  Out here I can get away from all that and be at peace!  Which is where we belong!