Monday, March 30, 2009

asleep on top of a volcanoe

As we lingered on the top of the volcano we heard another rumbling, this time mistaking it for the volcano. But it was an actual plane this time. And it flew so close overhead that some of the taller hikers might have been able to reach up and touch it.
Good thing it was just a dinky four seater.

I didn't time well the lapse between button pushing and picture taking on the camera i was using. Just a before and after.

As the sunrise waned from spectacularity so too did our interest. Will suggested we move down to a lower part of the volcano to watch the vent erupt.

And, of course, along the way more beautiful sights.

We found a nice spot on the lower side of the volcano to overlook the vent. And despite the end of sunrise the shadows on the other side of the volcano were no less amazing then they were 30 minutes prior.

While we waited for the vent to blow I glanced around and spotted some distant neighbors who looked as if they might just float off into the clouds. It was unreal how high up we were, what felt most unreal about it was that we could see everything. There were no trees or buildings to obstruct our view. There weren't even any mountains or volcanoes to get in the way- we were the tallest thing for miles. Part of what was so amazing about it was that we could see the horizon in 360 degrees, and from our vantage point you could easily spin around and see the horizon curving. I've never seen the roundness of the earth more clearly.

Pretty exhausted we all promptly fell asleep while waiting for plumes of ash and smoke. Minutes passed and, again, Will called us all to attention.

After the satisfying of our need for geological glory we all passed out for real. Even Will.

Three hours later, sunburned and exhausted, but deeply satisfied and excited we began to collect ourselves and move (slowly) toward leaving.
When i awoke on the top of the summit there was a pair of lacy hot pink underwear just chillin next to me. It was definitely not there when i fell asleep. My comrades claim innocence.
I'm just sorry i didn't have the presence of mind to photo document it. I think disgust clouded my snap-happy instincts.

It was interesting to head back down during the day and see our path illuminated. We could see now just exaclty how far it was that we had to go, whereas in the night it was always unclear, even during the last hour.

Ther were all kinds of people on the path, several times groups of rowdy teenage boys would whir past us whooping and calling names at each other. Being caught in their clouds of dust (from the incredibly worn down and bone dry dirt path) was less than fun. We all ended up feeling like we should have brought dust masks along. Seriously. Seriously Dusty. SD.

Even though it took significantly less time to get down than up- it was easier going with gravity, and easier heading toward more oxygen- it felt just as long. Maybe because we were ready to be done. Ready to be in bed.

On the way down we saw this funny little hut made out of trash. Perhaps it was a message in response to the nearby trashcan debacle- there was one trashcan on the entire trail, without a single piece of trash inside, but surrounded by 25 square feet of trash.

Several truck bed rides later we arrived at Will's apartment, sweaty, tired, and dropping in our tracks. Sleep never sounded so good.

And so concludes the most epic weekend of my life.

*I would like to note that my scavenger hunt for batteries proved futile and, therefore, my camera useless. As a result, all of the awesome pictures from the climb are the gracious gift of Erin K. Parsons. Given with her specific permission to be used here on this blog, not available for reprint or distribution without the express consent of said party. Fees may be paid in choco-bananas. All rights reserved.