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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 April 5, 2003 1:56 PM