Today saw more work with the Cl-36 folks. We were in the office in the morning for a talk by one of the visiting scientists, so we didn’t start out for the field until after noon. I drove the 4×4 Chevy Tahoe and we journeyed past Na`alehu to Pu`unahaha Pu`ulou. Our sample site was on the southeastern portion of the island and required four-wheel drive. I was up to the task and had a blast driving over ash, cinder, and lava. Often, the most travelled routes were the worst so I claim responsibility for forging a few new paths. What did I learn today? Running over large objects in a 4WD truck that is lifted and has tires suited for rock crawling is extremely fun.
I know that’s probably obvious to anyone who goes four-wheeling, but since my normal vehicle is a sedan I hope you’ll forgive me. Today was 7 hours in the field, yesterday was 14, and tomorrow will also be a big one. It’s helicopter day! I picked out a flight suit today and I’m set to fly tomorrow. We’re working in groups of two and my group will sample 4 different sites. We’re starting at the 1849 lava flows on the north side of Mauna Loa and working our way down to a fissure on the south side. That means that the helicopter will take off and land multiple times. I’m nervous but very excited.
Ok, here’s a picture of Punalu`u Beach today. As will be made immediately obvious, it’s a black sand beach.
Sleep now, in preparation for tomorrow’s aviation adventure!