25 July 2007


Rachel finally booked her ticket to Hawaii. It reminded me that I'm going on a sweet Hawaiian vacation (because I'm a bridesmaid in a sweet Hawaiian marriage) in about a month or so. When Rachel (my wedding date. She's hot, I know.) sent me her flight information, it reminded me that I should probably actually start planning stuff to do while we're there. I had been thinking that I want to book an island hopper on one of the days so that I can explore an island besides Maui. And until now I had been pretty set on traveling to the Big Island, as I am dead set on seeing an active volcano (which there are at Volcanoes National Park).

However, the National Park Service website is a real Debbie Downer. They need new PR staff because their "safety" page is really not enticing. In fact, it talked me out of going to Volcanoes National Park.

This is their sidebar:

[photo of magma creeping along]
Caption: "View Lava Safely. Prepare well - Stay alive!"

"Stay alive!??" Thank you, NPS, for your advice. This is their safety page in full (Charlotte, don't go! Pregnant women should not be around the volcanic fumes).

Listen, I'm willing to "prepare well to stay alive" if I'm going to see some lava. But apparently the danger level (based on some stupid earthquake like a month ago that's still going on) has increased enough to force a couple of park area closures and it seems here that there's no lava to be seen, at least on one of the volcanoes: "According to scientists at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, NO lava is visible at Pu`u `O`o, flowing on the pali or coastal plain, or entering the ocean."

Well, you can't fool me. I am pretty good with research in the "internets." And I DO KNOW that there is lava/magma to be seen somewhere, but according to this bulletin, that area is closed:

Road and Area Closures Due to Current Seismic
and Volcanic Activity on Kilauea Volcano's Upper East Rift:
An intrusion of magma into the upper east rift zone of Kilauea has prompted the closure of some roads and areas in the park while the situation is carefully monitored.

Side note: as a communications student, I was only required to take two soft science classes to graduate with a B.A. I took Astronomy (along with pretty much every other liberal arts student...I fucking punished the final in that class too) and "Geology of National Parks." Aside from my Ancient Architecture class, this had to be the coolest elective I took in college. I've already been on my gothic cathedral tour of France, I'm ready to see some volcanoes erupt!

National Park Ranger guy, I ask you this: Am I going to see some fucking magma or what? Tell me now before I book my ticket. Until then, I am bookmarking this geological "blog" which will update me daily on the volcanoes' status. If I can't figure out this situation by mid-August, Oahu it is.


Rachel said...

I made the decision at an early age that volcanos are just about the scariest thing ever and I was never going to go. Infact when i was little i was afraid of hawaii as a whole because of it. so on volcano day I think i'll stay by the pool and hot tub with charlotte thanks

Scary things in order
1. Volcano
2. Twisters
3. Snakes
4. velociraptors
5. Rabid Raccoons
6....thats i'll i got

LG said...

What about a volcano that erupted many snakes and then a twister came along and scattered them everywhere?!

Also, I think they filmed Jurassic Park in Costa Rica, so we probably don't have to worry about velociraptors in Maui.

C said...

Rachel: I have the best news you're ever going to receive:

There are virtually no snakes in Hawaii. The only snake you are in any danger of finding is called the "blind snake" that is harmless is usually mistaken for a worm. They are illegal and if you see a snake in Hawaii you can LITERALLY CALL 911! They consider that an emergency.

Also, Much of the location filming for Jurassic Park was on Kauai.

The grossest thing we might find is a feral pig on a hike.

Rachel said...

Charlotte that IS good news!! I think i might be able to handle a blind snake...clearly i'll scream and go running the other way, but at least it wont see me and chase after me :)

Also its a good thing we arent going to kauai