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April 20, 2003

Surf Babes

So, the Big Island has the volcano, but Maui has the beaches. And, it had Laurie and Lael, my travel companions from Boulder.

Beach. Mmmmmm.

Moonrise through the palm trees.

The trip was mostly about surfing, but it was also about rejuvenation on the beach

[Tribute to Sol, Laurie's dog and best buddy who was taken by a mountain lion last month.]

and spending time with good people.

[Laurie and the ocean. Lael not pictured--yet. I need to get some pictures off my video still.]


[Me, Laurie, and surfing Sylvia.]

Without rain, there can be no rainbows, and it's especially nice when it's just raining over there.

I unfortunately still need to write a lot of this stuff up. Don't think just because all I do is post some pictures that there aren't any stories to be told.

Posted by beth at 9:13 AM | Comments (1)

What? Leaving Already?

Last day in Hawaii! I'm on my way home! See you in Boulder.....

Posted by beth at 7:05 AM | Comments (1)

April 10, 2003

Down and Out in Maui

Maui. Go go go in this place. We've been here forever, it seems, with as much as we've done, but there's so much more to see and do..... I'm sold. Laurie is sold enough that's she's seriously thinking about moving here, and Lael can't believe she's only here for a week, and I'm just enjoying it. Maui.

Today, the big excitement is the big break-in. We headed out early to surf, but since it was cloudy decided to hike first instead. Where to hike? The trail with the swinging bridges. But we couldn't get a permit for that one because of the weather and flash flood hazards, so we went for the Waihe'e Ridge trail instead. It was nice. We walked up the ridge into the clouds, enjoying views of incredible valleys and long, stringy-looking waterfalls and neat vegetation INCLUDING my favorite plant ever that I know of called sensitive plant/dormilona (sleeper, in Spanish)/makahiya(ashamed, in Tagalog) because it closes when you touch it. Then, we snacked at the top and came down. And found our car had been broken into.

Are you sure? I ask, from the back of the car, watching them peer inside and thinking they are noticing something missing. Yes, they said. The broken window's a dead give-away. Sure enough, no driver's-side window save a few remnant shattered glass chunks around the perifery. What's gone? I've got my camera, luckily, and Lael's got her's, and my wallet's in my back pocket, and Lael's in the trunk.... but Laurie's was in the front. They'd taken her bag, containing credit cards, drivers license, cell phone, the whole bit. Including her bathing suit. To add insult to injury. (Luckily, she's got another, so surfing's still on today.) Before leaving, sleuth Lael noticed two other piles of broken glass nearby. Ah-ha. This has happened before. And now, it happened to us.

We drove back to the Banana Bungalow hostel, where we're staying, and I called the police and Laurie started searching around for her bank information on the web, and when the policeman came Laurie was on hold. So I took the phone for her while she went to talk to the policeman, and improvised a bit. She gave me what she thought was her account number, and I went from there. Except the man asked me a few other unpredictable and ridiculously obscure things like her social security number and home phone number, for which I had to plead space cadet and run out and ask her. Sheesh. Anyway, I got one card cancelled and she made it in in time to cancel the others. Two charges had been made on her credit card. The poor robbers needed some gas. Why didn't they just ask?

Now, we're on to surf. We'll deal with the rental car later.

Until next time, over 'n' out.

Posted by beth at 1:36 PM | Comments (3)

April 7, 2003


I'm in Maui! And it's GREAT!!!!

Posted by beth at 7:35 AM

April 5, 2003

Earning My Keep

To earn my keep at the bed and breakfast, I had agreed to give a talk on our work on Erebus.

First of all, let me tell you about my keep.

The My Island Bed and Breakfast Inn. I'm in the main house, which also houses the owners, the owners' cat, and the breakfast area. This is key. I've never stayed at a bed and breakfast before, but staying with the Morses was like automatically adopting a cheery set of grandparents. They were there to welcome me home, they were there to see me off in the morning with a great breakfast, they were there to give me (and Tom, one of the volunteers) a ride to 'work' when the car which Tom had driven in to pick me up wouldn't start. They were great. Plus, they publish their own book series about the Hawaiian islands, written by Gordon Morse. I got the one on how Captain Cook was killed. ("The Disaster: Who Really Killed Captain Cook?")

On Thursday, I gave a talk at the Observatory. But not before first going back out the the field to replace an antenna on one of the GPS sites I'd visited the day before. The site was down on the caldera floor, accessible via a lovely path through cinder and spotted by patches of pink puff-ball flowers. The site still doesn't work, but the walk was nice.

The remainder of the afternoon was taken up with the preparation for and giving of the talk, which was on the work we'd just completed at Erebus. Luckily, I didn't have access to many plots, and just showed a bunch of pretty pictures instead. So, the talk went fine.

Fine enough to go out afterwards with the volunteers. It was a big night--two car-loads of folks heading into the big city to see a movie. The big city being Hilo, which isn't very big. The movie being "View from the Top" or some such, which isn't very good. I wanted to see "The Core" (I mean--come on! How could I not?) (Don't bother to answer that) but the show time just wasn't right. The beers afterwards helped to make up for the disappointment in the movie. (Adopted grandfather Gordon Morse asked me this morning, How late did you come in last night?)

Today, my last day here on the Big Island. I've gotten out a bit, but the main benefit has been meeting the volunteers--who have a pretty good gig here--and talking geology. Or at least getting an idea of what other people are up to. I've spent much of today looking around on the internet, trying to find out what's out there. How can you ever know? What to do next, and where to head?

Feel free to answer that. My short-term answer is: Maui. I've got a spot on a flight there tomorrow, arriving about 2:30 PM.

Posted by beth at 1:56 PM

April 4, 2003


Me on the rim of Kilauea's crater. I really am happier than I look.

Extreme what?

HVO employee Fran gazes into a crevasse on the field trip lead by HVO Scientist-in-Charge Don Swanson.

I even did some work while I was there. Here's the GPS site on the floor of Kilauea. We swapped out the antenna, but unfortunately the site is still sending no data. Hey, I was on vacation, anyway...

You just can't get enough of the lava flows. Lava is way cool.

Posted by beth at 11:59 AM | Comments (1)

April 2, 2003

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

I was lucky enough to have HVO put me up for a few nights in a lovely bed and breakfast in the nice little town of Volcano, in return for the simple task of giving a talk. Some of you may remember my plans to spend a few months here. Well, at least I've had the week...

I came up Monday evening, and was informed that my timing was such that I'd be able to catch an internal field trip on Tuesday. A day cruising around the less-travelled parts of Kilauea with one of the experts, and HVO's Scientist-in-Charge, Don Swanson. The field trip was for new HVO volunteers and US National Park Service interpreters, but I got to tag along. One of the perks of being in 'the business.'

The field trip was damp, but nice. The weather since I've been here has been mostly drizzly and cool, which is pleasant but not what one would anticipate when coming to Hawaii. Because of this, most the impressive views were made less impressive by cloud cover. Still, we toured some older lava flows and learned about explosive eruptions at Kilauea. They don't happen nearly as often as lava flows here, but they do happen.

Wednesday probably should have been a down day in front of the computer, but turned into a field day instead. In the morning, I had the pleasure of going with one of the volunteers back down to the lava. We traipsed around and found some active flows, not as close or as bright as the flows I saw on Sunday--so quickly these things change--but incredible just the same. Shortly upon arriving back, I received a few e-mail messages from folks at UNAVCO, GPS capital of the US: Hey, Beth, while you're there, want to do some work?

What? I'm on vacation! I guess, though, I'm travelling. It's different. So I headed out into the field to check on four GPS sites with another one of the volunteers. The trip was, as I suspected it would be, somewhat unfruitful. Each site was working, just not as well as it should have been, and there were no obvious problems.

After work, I headed out for Mai Tais with the volunteers. (My first Mai Tais in Hawaii!) It was a good thing to do after a day of unfruitful field work.

Posted by beth at 1:35 PM