Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Where did the Lava go?




This building you may recognize from the news accounts on CNN that put shabby little ole Pahoa on the international map. In an effort to make the June 27 lava threatening to set Pahoa on fire seem even more threatening, it showed loop after loop of this building ablaze. What they didn't mention was that the old barn had been abandoned for years, was in a pasture on the outskirts of town and had been stripped of every last thing of value.

But as these pictures show, it was a black beast to be considered when it is plotting and a scheming in your back yard.


burnt the warning sign and all

To recap from other posts:


The Puʻu ʻŌʻō eruption began when fissures split the ground in the remote rainforest of the eastern rift zone of Kilauea volcano, birthplace of Pele, the most active volcano in Hawaii and the centerpiece of Volcano National Park. By June 1983, the activity had strengthened and localized to the Puʻu ʻŌʻō vent. Over the next three years, 44 eruptive episodes with lava fountains as high as 1,510 feet stopped traffic at points across east Hawaiʻi. The fallout of cinder and spatter from the towering lava fountains built a cone 837 feet high.

In July 1986, the conduit feeding magma to PuʻʻŌʻō ruptured, and the eruption abruptly shifted 1.9 mi downrift to form the Kūpaʻianahā vent. With the new vent came a new style of eruption: continuous, quiet effusion from a lava lake replaced the episodic high fountaining. After a few weeks, a roof formed over the main lava outflow channel, which created a lava tube The lava tube allowed the fluid pahoehoe lava to retain heat and flow long distances. In less than a year, overflow from the lake created a broad and low shield about 180 feet above Kūpaʻianahā.
On the evening of January 29, 1997, a series of earthquakes struck Kīlauea's east rift zone. Deep within the rift zone, magma was escaping from the conduit leading to the Puʻu ʻŌʻō vent, cutting off the supply to the ongoing eruption. The lava pond at Puʻu ʻŌʻō drained, and residents 10 miles away heard a low, rumbling roar as the crater floor dropped 500 feet and the west wall of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone collapsed. 
A few hours later, as magma found a new path to the surface, the ground cracked in nearby Nāpau Crater, and lava fountains lit up the night sky. However, activity in this area was short-lived, and the center of activity soon shifted back to Puʻu ʻŌʻō. In 1990, the eruption entered its most destructive phase when flows turned eastward and totally destroyed the villages of Kalapana and Kaimū. Kaimū Bay and Kalapana Black Sand Beach were also completely covered with lava. Over 100 homes were destroyed by the ever-broadening flow field in a nine-month period. New tubes diverted lava away from Kalapana early in 1991, and lava once again entered the ocean within the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The eruption then returned to PuʻʻŌʻō, where flank vents on the west and southwest sides of the cone constructed a new lava shield. Soon lava tubes were feeding lava from the vents to the ocean, with few surface flows in between. The flank vents have held center stage ever since.
On June 27, 2014, new vents opened on the northeast flank of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone that fed a narrow flow to the east-northeast. On August 18, the flow entered a ground crack, traveled underground for several days, then resurfaced to form a small lava pad. The sequence was repeated twice more over the following weeks with lava entering other cracks and reappearing farther downslope. In this way, the flow had advanced approximately 8.2 miles from the vent, or to within 0.8 miles of Highway 11. Advancing to the northeast at intermittent rates, the flow entered the Waste Recycling Center within spitting distance of Pahoa.


As the lava entered the transfer station and was now 40 yards from burning Pahaoa and cutting off the road, the stores were closed and the National Guard was brought in.






and then one day the lava just stopped. Been flowing for 32 years though, maybe she is just taking a break.

One day recently we had a very windy day. My friend Titiana, who had just returned after a year on the mainland, was staying in a tent nearby and the strong wind had ripped the staples out of several of her tent's flaps. Meet Titiana Here
No running water or bathroom, limited off grid electricity, for this rock climber.
Although she denied it and stated that it was mere coincidence, I suspect that she wasn't all that confident in my carpentry skills.
'Cause Terry from Colorado and Gerry from Alaska, both life long carpenters and handy men, and the rockstars of the Kalani maintenance department miraculously manifested themselves exactly as we arrived. Hmmm.....
Alors, all's well that ends well and those pros, with me holding a flap or two, got her up and running again. And it was Corona time. Titiana, professional adventurer and life long climber, has recently made a movie about an all female team in the rock climbing business: Titiana's film "On the Rocks"
Sadly, local iconic figure and musician Robert Pookapu "Uncle Robert" Keliihoomalu passed away peaceably at 75 recently. Far from a somber event, it was a Hawaiian version of the New Orleans send off. The kupuna (an elder that has acquired enough life experience to be a family and community leader) was the patriarch of the musical family that ran the popular Uncle Robert's Awa Bar. Uncle Robert's Life Story
Here Kalani guests and volunteers await the funeral procession.
The remains were brought to Uncle Robert's Awa Club. Awa is the Hawaiian name for Kava, the relaxing island drink.
They kept coming for ~25 minutes. It was a raucous procession. 
It was three days of music and feasting on Hawaiian food and all of Puna was invited and included. Here is the open casket on the stage he and his ohana loved to perform on so much.
Uncle Robert's Awa Club is a staple in these parts. Part community center, part center for the Hawaiian Sovereignty and sustainability movement, closest store to Kalani, farmer's market for all manner of local food and products, part recently dedicated UFO landing pad and star visitor sanctuary that will produce peaceful relations with the expected extraterrestrial visitors and the best party and Hawaiian music in Puna every Wednesday afternoon. Uncle Robert, a devout Christian, was to be buried on the property,
In other random news:
I had dinner with Chef Marc at his fiends Jim and Heather's house recently. Jim was also a serious rock climber and here cleans his jungle compound of storm damage, after a month on the mainland.
Not really a picture worth posting, so you will have to use your imagination. This was a shot of a blizzard that took place recently on Mauna Loa volcano. At more than 13,000 feet, the white part above the clouds in the background is the snow on top of the volcano. Just something I noticed from the parking lot of my dentist's office. Hawaii, the gift that keeps on giving.
There is a problem with wild pigs in Puna. They are very damaging to native plants and although technically harmless, it can be a tad disconcerting running into 6 or 8 of them on dark jungle roads. Kalani has to trap them from time to time. They are taken to a farm and fed our very own Kalani created pig slop from our kitchen waste, until such time as they return looking like this. Here Dion of Colorado prepares to break one down. Doesn't get any more local and farm to table than that.
My neighbor tools around on her bike sporting her Swedish flag.
Stumbled on to electricians Drago and Dave pruning our palm trees in the "hotel cut" style. Palms throw off an amazing amount of debris. The falling coconuts and fronds can be dangerous, especially in high winds, so every so often they are given a buzz cut.

Next time we will discuss my two treatments by a practitioner of Acutonics. I am now more better.


Acutonics, n. 1. System of vibrational sound healing rooted in Oriental Medicine and philosophy that utilizes tuning forks and symphonic gongs tuned to the planets, Tibetan bowls, bells, drums, and rattles. Connecting body, mind, and soul in the journey toward optimal health, harmonic attunement or at-one-ment with all things in the Universe. 2. The integral way, undifferentiated wholeness, the essence of Tao.


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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Roadtrip to Maui


Sometimes, not enough happens in Paradise, existentially speaking, to warrant a post with lofty contemplations. Thus so, maybe it is time to take a couple of months to ponder nothing and just live in the permanent now, because, well, you can. So I present pics, note and comment on these winter months on the Big Island.

Actually, this time, it is not the Big Island at all, but a road trip to Maui.


Specifically, Honolua Bay. Like O'ahu's famed North Shore, Honolua Bay is a surfer's dream, It too, faces northwest and when it catches the winter swells, it has some of the gnarliest surfing anywhere in the world.


The land fronting Honolua Bay is owned by Maui Land and Pineapple Company and quite a bit of sugarcane is still grown, as in the background to the beach.


Which leads to the various claims on the Hawaii Islands as to who owns exactly what. Surfing and tourism continue on though.


I have really tried to like Hawaiian derivative music. I have been to Uncle Robert's where they have live Hawaiian music every Wednesday and a few music festivals with white people interpreting the music in their own way. Sad to say for me, it never kills it. Maybe it is the limitations of the ukulele. Starting with bluegrass festivals in high school, spoiled on the iconic bands of the early 70's, and continuing to attend jambased music festivals well into my fifties, I require bands to kill it.

So when fellow chefs, Jaime, Brenden and I heard that Read about Leftover Salmon here: was playing 4 nights in a row, we decided to take a 26 minute road/ flight trip to Maui and get our fix of shredding. Drew Emmitt plays an electric mandolin, sometimes like a mandolin, sometimes like a fiddle and sometimes like an electric guitar. Add in the rest of the band and Bill Payne of Little Feat on keyboards and you have a slamgrass shred nonpareil.


 Looking back over the past 25 years of rootsy, string based music, the impact of Leftover Salmon is hard to deny. Formed in Boulder at the end of 1989, these Colorado slamgrass pioneers took their form of aggressive bluegrass to rock and roll bars at a time when it wasn't so common, helping Salmon become a pillar of the jam band scene and unwilling architects of the slamgrass genre.
Today Leftover Salmon is: Vince Herman (vocals acoustic guitar, washboard) Drew Emmitt (vocals, electric and acoustic mandolin, electric guitar, fiddle) Andy Thorn (vocals, acoustic and electric banjo) Greg Garrison (vocals, acoustic and electric bass) Alwyn Robinson (drums) Bill Payne (vocals, keyboards).


Salmon played 4 nights in a row, two at a small bar in Pa'ia and two at the tropical plantation/destination venue, the Mill Room in Waikapu. The bar, Charley's is owned by Willie Nelson and his son Lukas, a talented musician in his own right Read about Lukas Nelson Here I was talking to a friend of Lukas' who related how Lukas dealt with growing up with "OMG, Willie Nelson is your dad?" He went on to say that when you have a famous parent, one can either reject it, as if it were not so, or embrace it. "All's I know, that when I was young, people like Waylon Jennings were stopping by the house to jam". He embraced it and went on to uncannily channel his dad doing "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain", then in the final set, a few of his own songs and then more than holding his own rocking out with a final Salmon jam covering Neil Young.

So we checked into the North Shore Hostel in Kahului. Here I snapped a picture of them on the balcony while I was waiting for them in the parking lot.



Unbeknownst to me they snapped one of me from their vantage point. We later deemed it a photo of the loneliest man in the world. Maybe even the loneliest HOMELESS man in the world


We met this Trouble with a capital T duo at Charley's. They had flown in from Nebraska specifically for the shows and were a source of constant amusement. I am not sure they slept the whole time until they got back on the plane to return to fly-over country.

This was the Old Mill Room, a venue more accustomed to swanky destination weddings, where we went to the Sunday afternoon show. Strategically placed photo-ops were everywhere. Yes, I know that I wore the same shirt to all three of the shows.



Back in Puna we refer to 10:00 PM as Puna midnight. Because it is such an active lifestyle and the weather and all, sometimes we go to bed at 8:00 PM. So, as these shows started at 10:00 PM we had to make a few adjustments to our late night schedule. Above I am making one of those adjustments on Malu'aka Beach after a bedtime the night before at 3:30 AM. A tough adjustment for sure, but tough it out we did.

Even while taking that little breather at Malu'aka Beach, I managed to snap this photo of the island of Kaho'olawe, the sacred but uninhabited island that has been central to the Hawaiian-rights movement. Many consider the island a living spiritual entity, a pu'uhonua (refuge) and wahi pana (sacred place).

For nearly 50 years, from WW11 to 1990, the U.S. military used Kaho'olawe as a bombing range. After Pearl Harbor, the military used it to practice invasions for the Pacific theatre; in addition to ship to shore and aerial bombing, it tested submarine torpedos by firing them at shoreline cliffs. It is estimated that of all the fighting that took place in the Pacific, Kaho'olawe was the most bombed island in the Pacific.

Beginning in the 70's, liberating the island from the military became a rallying point for a larger resurgence of Native Hawaiian pride and an expression of Native Hawaiian sovereignty. The navy is gone but left a lot of unexploded ordinance.

The island of Lana'i is also visible at a beach near here.



So after two nights of Salmon we decided to take a break, have some real dinner, make the drive to the road to Hana and camp in the Haleakala National Park near Kipahulu. Check out that brand new Mustang that we sported around in. The road to Hana is to experience the most ravishingly beautiful drive in Hawaii. The serpentine Hana Highway delivers one jaw dropping view after the other as it winds between jungly valleys and towering cliffs. Along the way 54 one lane bridges mark nearly as many waterfalls.








The Pipiwai Trail runs up this way to a whole series of waterfalls. Suffering from 90 proof flu, we decided to make the seven mile hike another time.

While waiting for the shows to start...~7:00 PM-10:00 PM we ate at the Pa'ia Fish Market Restaurant, which is all about the fish: fresh, local and affordable served on several picnic tables. On our night off we splurged and ate at Mama's Fish House. The island caught fish is so fresh that your server tells you WHO caught it! Above is poke with three types of local tuna. The front bowl is poi, prepared taro root, which is ho-hum even if you do like serious carbs.




For more than a century, the Ko'olau Ditch has been carrying 450 million gallons of water a day through 75 miles of flumes and tunnels from Maui's rainy interior to the dry central planes. A short hike up this stream you will see water flowing through a hand hewn stone block section of the ditch. Bet the sugarcane or pineapple industry had something to do with this way back in the day.




A coffee shop near Kaupo that we stopped in to take a break from taking a break.
An anonymous beach where we stopped following the untamed Pi'ilani Highway that follows 25 miles of ruggedly scenic miles skirting the southern flank of Haleakala.

There are arguments to where to see the best sunrise. Most swear by the summit of Haleakala volcano, others by Big Beach. Our campsite was somewhere in there. Pretty sweet either way.


So we bid adieu to our new showfriends and said we would see them on the road somewhere soon: and as they prepared for flights as long as 17 hours back to various points on the mainland, we were grateful and considered ourselves blessed and lucky that we were taking a 26 minute flight to, of all places, Hawai'i.

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