Saturday, January 30, 2010

holy vog, batman!

what a weird word.
apparently it's what the hawaiians call the pollution from the volcanoes.
vog = volcano + smog. who knew?

let me tell you there is A LOT of vog on the big island.
our second day in hawaii i dragged charlie (or he dragged me) out of bed at 5 am to start the 2 hour drive over to hawaii volcanoes national park.

first of all, i had no idea this island was so empty. aside from a cattle ranch, some coffee farms, and a tiny bit of tourism there's not much here.
oh, there is a military training camp in the middle of the island. with no signs. seeing armed tanks come out of no where can definitely scare the crap out of you.

anyway, volcanoes.
there is a lot of pollution. sulfur dioxide to be exact. stuff that is not good for your lungs, or old people, or pregnant people. luckily charlie's not pregnant.

a lot of the park was closed because the air quality was so bad.
we ended up doing a 4.5 mile hike into and across the Kilauea Iki crater.

sulfur dioxide vent
this is the view from the top of the crater.
the huge plume is a sulfur dioxide vent that recently opened up. there are two open in the park right now. see how hazy it is?

crater of 1959
you can sort of see the trail that goes across the crater.
it's not really a trail. just where people have broken up the lava rock from walking on it.

first we hiked through some rainforest down to the bottom of the crater.

there were a lot of cracks.
and i was wearing a sweatshirt because when we started out the temperature was in the 50s. and i had no pants.

plant growing on the lava rock.

looking across the crater.

we didn't spend a lot of time in the park. we just did our hike as quickly as possible and then left. i figured the less sulfur dioxide we breathed in, the better.
besides, the beach was calling us.

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