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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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…
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!
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!