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Live from the lava

January 18 2001

15 114 words, 593B


To Big Island

Lava, Lava, Lava - A Live Report

12:36 "Ok ladies and gentlemen, it's 12:36. I just met a couple of people heading out, I'm heading in now (I'm) feelin' good, it seems to be very hot, (I'm) gonna dig into some sushi I have with me."

12:50, 14min later (14min) "It's 12:50. I'm about to finish the second part which is, which has got a seal on. It's absolutely sweltering hot, and, yeah, interesting landscape. I'm walking through grasland at the moment, but I'm about to get on a big, big lava field, and I hope then I get my first view of what's happening there. I can see something steaming up there, and it could be that this is the burning forest and actually not Pu'u O'o because it's quite high up in the mountain."

House close to lava, Kalapana House close to lava, Kalapana

12:53, 3min later (17min) "12:53 I'm now where the path gets on the lava field and I get a really good overview. I'm standing here in the middle of the vast, vast lava platform so to say. There's a really pretty house which probably just has been spared on the right and I can see that something is burning there up in the forest, might be that surface flow - I hope it is - a couple of flames over it. I would expect that I'm there in one and a half hours or so."

13:08, 15min later (32min) "13:08 I'm just on the second part of sealed road, seems to be some kind of intersection. There's one road coming up from the coast, and I continue on the main road. I would say that in horizontal direction I'm about two kilometers from the flows. The flows seem to be quite high up in the mountains so I guess I will have to do a fair bit of climbing. It's not really climbing in the sense that the mountain is steep, but it's uphill and - let's see how it goes."

13:15, 7min later (39min) "13:15 I'm now on another part of sealed road, and I'm coming across a number of parked cars. At least, well, skip that, it's scrap cars I think, so let's see what that is."

Burning forest on Pulama Pali Burning forest on Pulama Pali

13:20, 5min later (44min) "13:20 I'm now on a small knob overlooking the whole area. I'm getting probably quite close to the lava flow now, it's about maybe two kilometers. I think the early estimate was a bit wrong. There is no lava entry visible into the ocean so I wonder what's going on. You indeed see two smoke columns from the left and the right of the lava stream and the lava looks pretty fresh."

13:25, 5min later (49min) "13:25 and I'm standing in the middle of a really broad lava stream, and I guess that this stream is about three kilometers broad, and there is another piece of woods about two kilometers wide, it seems a couple of streets are going there, and then there is a rather narrow thing maybe five hundred, six hundred meters wide where the lava is actually coming down."

13:36, 11min later (1h) "13:36 I'm now at the sign where it says "Smoking volcanoes is bad for your health". The road has a turnaround here. There seems to be a new side road here going to the right and I'm gonna take because I have to get up to the flows anyway."

13:40, 4min later (1h 4min) "13:40 Here is a weird sign about special fishing regulations stating that only the native (Hawai'ians) are allowed to fish here. That's interesting!"

Leaving the road, Kilauea Leaving the road, Kilauea

13:41, 1min later (1h 5min) "13:41 I'm at the end of the road and now gonna head out straight over the fields towards the lava flow. I think it now maybe is two and a half kilometers, so scrap all the two kilometer stuff, allright?"

13:43, 2min later (1h 7min) "13:43 I'm carrying on, this is incredibly cracking stuff [crackle, snap, pop]."

more "I'm at the end of the road, somebody has marked a route it's rock cairns, and partly on the rock cairns is a yellow band or fabric. Oh shit, I lost my hat, ah, there it is again."

13:51, 8min later (1h 15min) "13:51 I'm standing on a flow which is obsidian on the top. Maybe it rained on that thing. It's really obsidian for the first centimeter or so, sometimes a bit thinner. Really very crunchy!"

House in Royal Gardens Subdivision House in Royal Gardens Subdivision

13:55, 4min later (1h 19min) "13:55 I'm straight below the Kalapana Gardens Subdivisions or Royal Gardens Subdivisions thing [it's the Royal]. I can see four roads coming down the hill and making here a bend, and the road most to the left, ahm, the right is buried under a lava stream partly."

13:57, 2min later (1h 21min) "13:57 I'm now at a obviously new flow. It's absolutely hot and it stinks quite nicely of sulphur."

more "I walked over it - phew, that was hot!"

14:05, 8min later (1h 29min) "14:05 I'm reached a small road which is close to that burned out car or rusty car that you can see on the one photo; carrying on to the lava stream."

14:06, 1min later (1h 30min) "14:06 crossing a lava ah sealed road which comes straight down from the mountain."

14:12, 6min later (1h 36min) "14:12 I'm now pretty much below a stalled A'a lava flow. The stuff here is smoking and steams and the lava is too hot to touch where I'm walking at the moment. I'm pretty sure I will have to find a different way to approach the whole thing."

14:32, 20min later (1h 56min) "14:32 I see, I'm now past that burned forest, ahm, I'm pretty much on the stream. There's a couple of smoking things, and ah, on the left border, where the forest is, I see a skylight, pretty bright."

more "The smell of burned forest here is pretty strong."

more "And it's hot. And it's hard to say if the lava is heated by the sun or, if it's just cooling down."

14:46, 14min later (2h 10min) "14:46 This is gonna be a long hike. I'm now walking up the field and I'm coming out to the steeper part of the pali, maybe a kilometer or so, and I try to make it over to where it steams. I have no idea if it's lava tube action at the moment or if the lava is coming out somewhere. I have to check."

Lava platypus, Kilauea Lava platypus, Kilauea

15:00, 14 min later (2h 24min) "It's three o'clock now, I happen to run across an active lava stream on the left field and I have to say the sight is as incredible and spectacular as I had thought. It's just - thank you, Madam Pele, really, that's really great. Excellent."

Lava glowing in crack, Kilauea Lava glowing in crack, Kilauea

Burned off tree stump Burned off tree stump

Tree stump holes, Kilauea Tree stump holes, Kilauea

"Anita, I wish you would be here and see it. But maybe we can go in from the National Park end, it seems to be shorter. Wonderfull. I'm really grateful for that."

Lava flowing from bursted tube, Kilauea Lava flowing from bursted tube, Kilauea

15:15, 15min later (2h 39min) "15:15 It seems that triumph and defeat is pretty close together. I just realized that some thing on my camera broke and I can not shut the back part or keep it shut. The good thing is I probably can fix it up, that is holding it shut somehow, and then I just keep going and see what comes out. In the night I will make sure that I get a couple of shots on the 400 ASA film and ahm I hope it's alright."

Christian poking lava, Kilauea Christian poking lava, Kilauea

15:35, 20min later (2h 59min) "15:35 I hopefully finished the repair of my camera with a bit of cord and the sticker from the pepper spray, and now I'm out in the lava field just walking around a bit and watching the lava spilling in there."

Christian close to lava, Kilauea Christian close to lava, Kilauea

"And I've just been poking a bit of lava, and it's like, it's a hard crust, you really can indent it a bit and then you poke through and the stuff inside is really liquid. And every now and then the lava is breaking out, it stagnates and then suddenly there is an opening and it runs out again, and it's really brightly glowing red red [as it] comes out and I'm pretty sure it's gonna look really really decent in the night."

Tree being felled by lava, Kilauea Tree being felled by lava, Kilauea

more "It's really cool where the lava enters the forest. It's gets hold up by the trees and the lava crust splits and rips and fresh streams of lava [are] running out. And pretty much the whole hill in front of me is in movement so I guess I'm not going that terribly far so I don't want to cross any active streams."

Tree bursting into flames, Kilauea Tree bursting into flames, Kilauea

16:56, 1h 21min later (4h 20min) "16:56 It's allready a bit darker and lava is easier to see. Just a bush which has fallen over bursts into fire, like some short, ja, just some short episode. Otherwise the scene is very peacefull. You just hear, the, ahm, it's like breaking some glass, of the lava, that's what it does."

more "On the slopes below me there's a old Heiau or some similar structure."

Burning forest at sunset, Kilauea Burning forest at sunset, Kilauea

17:09, 13min later (4h 33min) "17:09 It's really incredible, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the lava is flowing, it's absolutely tranquil. Sometimes a tree is falling down and bursts into flames, and the lava has outbursts here and there so the whole hill is pretty much lit up with lava, tongues slowly moving forward like thick, thick syrup."

Pahoehoe stream in the dark, Kilauea Pahoehoe stream in the dark, Kilauea


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