Top 100 Things I’ve Done – #31

Top 100 Things I've Done Add comments

Walk on a lava field.

From what I’d read, Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii was sure to be an impressive place. It was. The lava field my girlfriend Melissa and I walked on was only a few weeks old. The volcano had spued tons of hot magma over the access road to the old lava field and into the ocean. Hawaii is obviously still growing rapidly. There was actually hot magma floating beneath the black rock as we walked on it for hours. The heat was intense. Between the beat of the summer sun from above and the magma below, it had to be hottest heat I’ve ever experienced. Except for spotted evidence of human life, like protruding street signs, it felt like we were walking on another planet. Eventually we found a place where the magma, still red hot, was actually bubbling out of the ground. It moved slow and deliberately. As the magma grew from the ground, we watched it turn from a hot yellow to orange to red and finally to black lava. We couldn’t get much closer than twenty feet without the heat threatening to blister our faces, so we stayed and watched the island of Hawaii grow before our eyes.

Most geological processes take thousands, millions, billions of years, but standing on that lava field we got to witness the earth’s surface change in a matter of minutes. It was also amazing to see how the volcano had very simply reclaimed the land people had previously driven cars on. We do what we can to contend with nature, but the earth is definitely in charge.

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