Saturday, February 13, 2010

Just Venting

Kilauea Caldera was a real showboat today, belching out snowy steam and so much sulphurious smoke that the pregnant, aged, or infirm were not allowed to play on the rim. After some thought we decided we didn't fit into any of those categories so we hung out around the Jaggar Museum and took photos with the rest of the kids.

Every museum has its hairball and the Jaggar Museum is no exception.  Enshrined in a glass case are the clothes Dr. Thomas Jaggar, volcanologist, was wearing when he first set foot into the red hot lava flow in the early 1900s. The shoes are warped and melted, his bush-style slacks are in charred fringes, and his small pick hammer is completely encased in the black stuff.  Apparently Dr. Jaggar was doing a close inspection of his special lava, perhaps deciding if it was (1) a'a, rough and porous lava or (2) pahoehoe, which is smooth and ropey. There are no actual photographs of Dr. Jaggar after the incident.

While on Hwy. 11 we stopped at Punalu'u beach, and experienced the black volcanic sand first-hand.

After leaving Caldera we drove a few miles toward Hilo, and discovered that we had been misled all these years.  At least in Hawaii, the grass really IS greener on the other side.

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