Biggest Ball of String

Our road trip adventures, quirky roadside attractions, generally in the United States or Canada (and with occasional travel off the mainland into Hawaii, Alaska, Caribbean and Europe – so far)

Big Island’s June27 Lava Flow and Hurricane Iselle

Hi!  It’s been a long time since I wrote!

When I was writing my Biggest Ball of String “adventures” more regularly, I was just finishing up my segment on the Big Island of Hawaii – all I had left was the Village of Kailua-Kona.  (I’ll come back to that.)Summertime

And, although I’ve thought of my blog often, and the unfinished Hawaii segment, and all the places we’ve been that I didn’t discuss, I was side tracked with “real-life” things.  Last time I wrote, I talked about one of the “real life” things, which was a Cottage we purchased on Lake Michigan! THAT has taken up so much of my time! and I love it! I am inspired to do thing for it – it’s like I have tunnel vision! Everything has to do with that one particular event/thing!

Because The Cottage is part of my new adventure, I’ve started a new blog for it.  It’s going to be very specific to that one place – the cottage, the area, the renovations & updates, local business – chocolaterias, wineries, pie & pastry shops, breweries, places to rent boats, etc.   Really, I hope there are people who “browse” and find it,  or maybe it’ll be people who come visit the Cottage and want to know what updates we’ve done, or maybe it will be random people… but, I also just want to remind myself of the journey, and this is a good way!  Come check it out!

Last time I wrote a blog about travel, and before we bought the Cottage, I was writing about Hawaii…

A lot is happening right now on the Big Island – including the relentless approaching lava toward the little village of Pahoa!

June 27 Lava Flow 1Kilauea’s newest lava flow is named for the date the lava began erupting from it’s new vent, June 27.   I don’t know much about it but the pictures on-line seem crazy and amazing!!   The National Park’s website says that, as of September 15, “The actual length of the flow, measured along the lava tube axis (so that bends in the flow are considered) is 17.7 km (11.0 miles).”

I did wonder (since the lava is advancing kind of slowly, I mean, compared to movies like Dante’s Peak) if there were plans to divert the lava… when I asked, the answer was basically “no”.  I had my own guesses as to the reason, but Huffingpost had this to say:

“But diversion methods can be risky, according to officials. Not only could they make the problem worse, there are also considerable cultural sensitivities at June 27 Lava Flowplay.”

Diverting the lava flow — whether by obstructing it, rerouting it or attempting to alter the terrain in its path — is seen as blasphemous to Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes who is believed to live in the Halemaumau crater of Kilauea Volcano.

“This is a very sacred place,” Hawaii County Civil Defense administrator Darryl Oliveira said in response to one Puna resident’s question about diversion, per footage of the community meeting posted online Sept. 3 by Big Island Video News. “It is important to recognize and respect the culture that was and is still here.”

Oliveira also explained that any kind of diversion could worsen the situation and unintentionally send the lava flow toward another community.”

Culture and uncertainty were my guesses.

Maybe something amazing will happen, and there will be a rift that doesn’t affect anyone, and the lava will just drop straight back into the earth and take an underground route to the ocean!

Methusaleh 1 So, speaking of Hawaii, and that side of the Island – did I mention that we have land there…?  The reason I bring it up now is because on that acreage was “Methuselah”.  Methuselah was an O’hia tree , estimated to be around 970 years old (hence, the namesake), and right beside the top of our driveway.

When we first put in our driveway, we took special care of the larger trees and made the road go around them.  Especially Methuselah.

O’hia trees grow up to be about 20–25 meters (66–82 feet), but Methuselah was probably around 50 feet tall, and had been broken in half by either wind or lightning at some point. Two people could not reach around his trunk.  There was an entire ecosystem growing in and on his trunk! He was covered in roots from other trees.  In his leaves near the top, you could see flowers and leaves from orchids living and growing in his bark.   He was magnificent.

This year, during Hurricane Iselle, he blew down.  Even now, writing it, it makes my eyes water.  I love that tree.Methusaleh 2

The people who told us that he’d fallen (and currently is blocking complete access to our driveway) know that I love the tree, and everyone has wonderful ideas: Maybe we can make it into a beam in our house. Maybe we can make it into a bench. Maybe we can lift it with a crane to the edge of the property, and let the branches grow into new trees (this happens in Hawaii…)

It’s hard to find someone with a crane who also appreciates how much I love that tree… also, when O’hias die, they turn to such hard wood, it’s almost like petrified and then …so… I need to decide soon…

Hurricane Iselle (a tropical storm?) did a lot of damage to the Island –  trees and power lines were down everywhere, and tens of thousands were without power for weeks, some communities were without running water, and some people were isolated because of giant trees down blocking the roads.  There are really great stories, though, about communities coming together to help others – which, despite these two major catastrophes, is a really nice part of the story!  It’s worth the Google.

I was going to talk about Kona this time, but I think I’ll save it for next time…which will be sooner than later! (It’s mostly written anyway – just need to add pictures!

Stay tuned!

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