Dual Unusual EVA’s

It’s been awhile since I’ve put a post up here on our outdoor activities (or anything, was extremely busy with schoolwork!) so I thought I’d combine two of my most recent trips into a single adventure, since in one we saw a lot of cool stuff, and in the one after that we only did one thing, but it was very cool by itself. Why not make two good trips into a single great adventure right? Onwards!

For the first unusual EVA, I went on a long adventure stroll with Carmel and Christiane looking for skylights, which is the term for when the roof of a lava tube caves in and leaves a giant hole in the ground. These can look like craters, which is the most boring variety, or they can be Gaudi-esque windows into subterranean tunnels brimming with odd lava formations and the most tenacious shrubs you’ve ever seen. We quickly checked on some experiments out there, then it was time to head off into the wild East! Which is the real direction we wandered off in, but it sounds better when you’re dramatic.

The obligatory photo of the hab, we'd had a few days of cloudier weather so it was nice to see the sky again. It made the suits hot, of course, but you can't make honey without being viciously attacked by winged insect demons right? Just gotta take the good with the bad.
The obligatory photo of the hab, we’d had a few days of cloudier weather so it was nice to see the sky again. It made the suits hot, of course, but you can’t make honey without being viciously attacked by winged insect demons right? Just gotta take the good with the bad.

We came across our first hole pretty fast, as we knew where this one was and it’s one of the slightly more normal variety. A giant hole with edges that absolutely look like they’ll collapse the second you put a toe on them but never do. If I weren’t wearing a giant crinkly suit, and I had some rope, I’d be down there so fast! I’m sure there’s nothing down there but more rocks, but you know…it’s a challenge! I’m sure you’d do the same thing, look how cool that is!

This is a good shot showing not only the size of this giant hole, but look...it's like five times bigger than Mauna Kea! And yeah yeah go on about forced perspective and such all you want, you KNOW the moon is only the size of a quarter, go hold one up against it tonight, you'll see!
This is a good shot showing not only the size of this giant hole, but look…it’s like five times bigger than Mauna Kea! And yeah yeah go on about forced perspective and such all you want, you KNOW the moon is only the size of a quarter, go hold one up against it tonight, you’ll see!
Ok so I'm either lying about how big that hole is or Christiane is WAY bigger than we all thought.
Ok so I’m either lying about how big that hole is or Christiane is WAY bigger than we all thought.

It was now that we began heading into relatively unexplored territory. You basically just have a GPS on your wrist, and if something interesting pops up, you mark it so you have a mild chance of finding it ever again. We crossed some Pahoehoe lava, using its smoothness like a little road to move quickly, and had to very carefully cross some A’a lava fields as well. If you can imagine a bowl of zombie piranhas and broken glass, that’s basically what a field of A’a lava is like. You do not want to fall when walking through one. And it tries very hard to ensure you do. The stuff crumbles like a saltine cracker fort I swear. But…there was a little treasure hidden in the middle of all that razor edged geology!

In the middle of all the sharp rocks it looks like a hole just burped up some laffy taffy, must have been a lava tube under here! Of course we have to check this out.
In the middle of all the sharp rocks it looks like a hole just burped up some laffy taffy, must have been a lava tube under here! Of course we have to check this out.
It's just darkness down there! And as you can see, quite large enough to swallow a wayward explorer. We took several photos from all angles, but you can't always capture everything on film. About 25ft down is a cave or tunnel or just...something! I want to come back with ropes after the mission ends. I bet there's a whole biome of dinosaurs roaming around in there!
It’s just darkness down there! And as you can see, quite large enough to swallow a wayward explorer. We took several photos from all angles, but you can’t always capture everything on film. About 25ft down is a cave or tunnel or just…something! I want to come back with ropes after the mission ends. I bet there’s a whole biome of dinosaurs roaming around in there!

After checking out the crazy hole in the middle of the field of knives, we turned north! We knew from looking at satellite maps we’d run into more Pahoehoe lava in that direction, which meant far easier going an an increased chance of skylights, which was the whole purpose of our wanderings. We knew we were heading in the right direction not only because that’s roughly the direction of the giant mountain you can’t help seeing, but we passed the geology station that monitors our area for earthquake activity. Neat.

If you look closely, it's on the right! I was all for Christiane using a rock to type out dirty words in morse code (just hit it on the ground next to it and they'll pick it up) but time constraints and lack of frivolity meant we had to carry on. Shucks. I maintain they would have thought that was funny.
If you look closely, it’s on the right! I was all for Christiane using a rock to type out dirty words in morse code (just hit it on the ground next to it and they’ll pick it up) but time constraints and lack of frivolity meant we had to carry on. Shucks. I maintain they would have thought that was funny.

Looking for Pahoehoe paid off too! What did we find? Why, another gigantic hole. While the walls seem to have collapsed a bit, it does appear that there were tunnel moving through there at one point, maybe even accessible if we could ever get down there, which we can’t. I imagine somehow finding a path down into one of these holes, and then gaining access to an insane tunnel system beneath the mountain, checking out skylights and finding crazy shrubs growing in the rocks. Maybe arm wrestle a dwarf-king for the Heart of the Mountain or something equally epic. But alas, we could not get down, those walls were not meant for people.

Even though you never would...you know you've got that voice telling you to jump in there. You'll be fine, it'll be fun. It's not that far...don't listen to that voice!
Even though you never would…you know you’ve got that voice telling you to jump in there. You’ll be fine, it’ll be fun. It’s not that far…don’t listen to that voice!

At this point we’d moved North of the old quarry road that lets supply-bots give us tasty treats, and were running around mostly in easy-going, not at all full of land piranhas, Pahoehoe lava. It was making some very fun shapes for us as well! For example, we found a very small lava tube that you could actually fit yourself in, and take a look around. There were a few holes along its length, so as people walked, their suits would reflect the sun and the tube would glow yellow and green for a moment, very cool. Makes you wish you were six inches tall so you could really explore in there!

Great way to both get out of the sun, and see what's going on in there. We got some very cool photos that were on the other camera, which I tried to find, but was unable to. It's pretty trippy inside those tubes!
Great way to both get out of the sun, and see what’s going on in there. We got some very cool photos that were on the other camera, which I tried to find, but was unable to. It’s pretty trippy inside those tubes!
We also found a bridge! When the lava tube collapses enough, instead of skylights you get little skybridges! You can totally see plants and such on the other side. Super fun to walk across.
We also found a bridge! When the lava tube collapses enough, instead of skylights you get little skybridges! You can totally see plants and such on the other side. Super fun to walk across.

Then this particular EVA had to come to an end, and we made for the old road to get home. Thing is, there’s the one that supply bots use or even we used when we first came here, but there’s an older road right nearby that we found as well. While it’s a piece of cake to walk, can you imagine trying to drive your truck down this? Don’t, you don’t get very far.

This would put a dent in a tank even, but at least you don't have to worry about speeders in your neighborhood.
This would put a dent in a tank even, but at least you don’t have to worry about speeders in your neighborhood.

But as I said, this is the dual EVA of unusual events! So here we begin with the second smaller, but very cool, adventure! First things first…it’s Halloween now! Or was when I wrote this, it’s probably November for you right now, but hey just go with it. That means we had to put a sign on the door of course, on the off chance that extraordinarily intrepid kids somehow found out where this place was and managed to get all the way up here for candy. It’s still only evening as I type, for all I know a horde of tiny witches and wookies is five minutes from my door right now, better get the candy ready…

Even if we're not allowed to actually open the door for people, we didn't want to leave the trick-or-treaters with nothing. So, holiday sign, engage!
Even if we’re not allowed to actually open the door for people, we didn’t want to leave the trick-or-treaters with nothing. So, holiday sign, engage!

At this point half the group wandered up to check on the experiments on the ridgeline, while Andrzej and I went to fly Igor the amazing quadcopter. We’ve got a cool little camera on the bottom that can take videos of whatever we fly over, so of course we need to use it to take pictures of the landscape and see what we can do with it. It sounds like a hurricane of bees when it’s running, but it can really fly!

Andrzej getting ready to fly Igor. I'm really only out here to help carry gear and be the obligatory 2nd person for safety. But I got to take pictures and get out of the hab, so it's a win either way.
Andrzej getting ready to fly Igor. I’m really only out here to help carry gear and be the obligatory 2nd person for safety. But I got to take pictures and get out of the hab, so it’s a win either way.
Hello human! Bring me all your batteries or I shall lacerate you with my flighty fans! Obey Igor! That actually happened and Andrzej ran away, only thing you can do. Who knew our quadcopter was a killer robot? We have to tell John Conner!
Hello human! Bring me all your batteries or I shall lacerate you with my flighty fans! Obey Igor! That actually happened and Andrzej ran away, only thing you can do. Who knew our quadcopter was a killer robot? We have to tell John Conner!
Igor just chilling out and trying to come to grips with the fact that he won't get recharged if he keeps trying to kill all humans. Worked through his emotional trial by taking a stroll in the sky.
Igor just chilling out and trying to come to grips with the fact that he won’t get recharged if he keeps trying to kill all humans. Worked through his emotional trial by taking a stroll in the sky.
Look at that he can fly higher than Mauna Kea! How crazy is that? I bet he just photobombed all the telescope imagry up there, haha! Classic Igor. And I know I know, you don't have to tell me about perspective...
Look at that he can fly higher than Mauna Kea! How crazy is that? I bet he just photobombed all the telescope imagry up there, haha! Classic Igor. And I know I know, you don’t have to tell me about perspective…

And then it was back to the habitat, for a nice lunch and some sketching! Yes I’ve got another shirt design nearly done, you’ll just have to put up with it, hehe. The best part of this EVA wasn’t just flying maniacle drones around the lava fields, but because we were flying robots, and not hiking across lava for hours, I didn’t get hot at all! Took off my suit and wasn’t sweaty or anything, score!
So we end the dual unusual EVA adventure. I hope you learned some fun stuff about what to do, and not do, around giant holes surrounded by razor rock, and flying robots. Or were at the very least vaguely entertained. See ya around next time!

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Dual Unusual EVA’s

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s