Damage Report!

12 07 2008

I have returned safely from my `Ainapo Trail survey, and it is not an exaggeration to say that I am beat. Literally. It looks like I was in a fight. You think I’m kidding, but I’m not. The bottoms of both of my feet are covered in blisters. Each heel is covered by a blister. All of the available bottom surface of both big toes is consumed by blister. Several smaller toes are in on the action, and I have a few random blisters on the balls of both feet as well as sporadic, small blisters elsewhere. It is thoroughly disgusting and incredibly painful.

In addition to the blister invasion, I can’t really move my lower body. My pack weighed 43lbs, and when I was carrying the kGPS the weight totalled 61lbs. For reference, I weigh 130lbs with clothes on. If you are not a fan of math, that translates to about 47% of my body weight. As a result, I slipped and fell on a few occasions. Yesterday morning I managed a stunning kneeplant into some a`a lava, which as you hopefully recall is the pointy, unforgiving kind. Half of my left knee is swollen, all of it is bruised, and there are a few bloody spots to be found. My wounded knee (haha) decided to rebel early this morning and consequently made the rest of our epic journey fairly unpleasant. Walking on a normal surface would’ve been a challenge, and the windward side of Mauna Loa is anything but normal.

I am also the proud owner of eleven new bruises (that I can find without assistance), assorted scratches, and a plethora of achey body parts.

I love my life. Seriously.

Since I’m too pathetically sore to stand up and procure my camera from the foot of my bed, pictures and a description of the survey will have to wait. Also, there’s a small piece of basalt in my eye. This ought to annoy me, but how many people complain about lava chips from Mauna Loa invading personal eye space? I am going to appreciate this chip! Ok, I’m going to appreciate it for about 30 seconds and then get it out.

Here’s a video of the brand new eruption near Pu`u O`o to tide all of you over until I can write more.

The helicopter they were using to shoot the video? That’s the one I’ve ridden in twice now. I do the same sort of thing, except minus the video camera and over Mauna Loa instead. I’m hoping to get out to the active eruption site in the helo next week. Time to go nurse my battle wounds!

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8 responses

12 07 2008
kris

I’m glad you’re back safely, it sounds like you have been battling with Pele! I’m on my sidekick, but when I get home I can’t wait to check out the video!

12 07 2008
melissa

i hope your wounds heal quickly so you can get right back into the game swinging 120%!

12 07 2008
Amehana

Oh my, take care of yourself. Sounds painful, but you earned every injury you have. Those be battle scars! Well, hopefully they don’t make actual scars, but you probably get my meaning (I hope).

Thanks again for sharing your summer with housebound little me and the entire world. This is really cool.

12 07 2008
Cassandra

Wow… even more proof you need your own action figure! Jess, you’re one of the toughest women I know, so for you to say that a hike kicked your butt means something. Nurse those wounds, work won’t stop for owwies. Good thing you love what you do! =)
And that video is absolutely surreal! I think I’ve maybe watch an erruption once or twice on t.v., never realized how crazy it looks. To know that is liquid rock… geez…

12 07 2008
Dad

GI Jessie. Are you sure you’re not out on a secret CIA mission looking for OBL in the mountains of NW Pakistan? Rest up honey – next week brings a new assignment!!

13 07 2008
Dean

Jessie: I finally got around to going through your adventures in detail. Needless to say, that even with my many adventures during my life, I am still very jealous of your current assignment. Volcanology has always been a favorite of mine. So, as you continue your fantasic summer, I can live it too through your eyes, words and photos. Also, keep checking for the entrance to the center of the earth, mark it and later you can take me there.

14 07 2008
Mom

I know Dad called you GI Jessie, I prefer to think of you as Indiana Jess. You’re awesome. Be safe. Love you,
Mom

19 07 2008
Amy aka fishgreenlittle

I finally had time to read your entries, and I’m so jealous. It looks amazing there. I hope the knee is feeling better!

~Amy, aka fishgreenlittle of LJ

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