Ramblings about what I encounter within the realm of the geosciences, as well as the occasional rant about nonsense.

09 September 2009

Haleakala National Park

As promised, I am continuing my brief travelogue of my trip to Hawaii. Part I is available by clicking on the appropriate link. This post summarizes my trip, complete with some pretty pictures, to Haleakala National Park (pronounced EXACTLY as it is spelled, and it is very fun to say).

When we set off in the morning, it was quite cloudy. We were worried that it might not be a good day for it, but we decided we at least made the good decision to sleep in a bit. The evening beforehand we debated getting up early and watching the sunrise from the summit. Though we did run into groups that made that adventure (these groups all looked very tired and shared their story of woe). Here is a shot of one of many clouds that came rushing past us on our way up the volcano.And here is the same cloud a moment laterFortunately, for the purposes of photography, the wind was gusting around 40-50 mph (enough to almost hold me up when leaning into the wind). So any clouds that came into the area were not going to be sticking around for long. But they did lend themselves to some neat shots up near the vent.I don't know what it is about this next shot, but I really like it.and as an inaccurate demonstration of the wind speed, here is the same shot less than a minute later (and zoomed out a bit so I could get more of the vent):Here is a shot taken of Mauna Loa from Haleakala. The thought of taking a picture of the largest volcano on Hawaii from the largest volcano on Maui was too tempting to pass up. Interestingly, Haleakala is LARGER than Mauna Loa, but since it is older it has undergone more subsidence. If you account for the entire volcano, Haleakala is the largest volcano in the chain. Haleakala is a little over 10,000 feet high. Considering that most visitors started their morning, more or less, at sea level I guess a little cautionary signage is a good idea:It threw me for a loop when I realized I was at an elevation almost twice that of Denver, CO and was still within sight of the ocean. Growing up firmly landlocked might have had something to do with that, but I still get a kick out of seeing the ocean from 10,000 feet up with my feet on solid ground. I am pretty sure that island in the background is Lanai:The keen observer probably caught sight of the high tension wires running up the volcano. They are there for the benefit of the Haleakala Observatory. They tend to focus on studying solar flares and track man-made objects:Phew.... That is a lot of pictures.... and I haven't even started on the photos I took as we were leaving the park. I think this post will have to end with the phrase that tended to haunt my youth. To be continued...

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Disclaimer

All the Latin on this page is from my vague recollections from High School. There are mistakes in the text. I just was trying to get the point across

Between Los Alamos,NM and White Rock, NM

Between Los Alamos,NM and White Rock, NM
The photo of the travertine spring was taken in the small opening in the center of the image.

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