Thursday, June 01, 2006

The "Wandering Gnome" Returns

The "Wandering Gnome" returns.
(Click pictures for larger views)
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"It is in the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, and in creative action, that man finds his supreme joys." ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The "Wandering Gnome" returned on Tuesday after an all night affair with three airplanes, three airports, three layovers and NO MEALS ON THE PLANE. Apparently airlines no longer feed passengers even on the six hour flights. I had to capture her as she came off the plane and here it is! This is what camping and hiking for ten days in Hawaii without bathing for at least four days will do for you. Sorry. I stand corrected. She did wash off and wash her hair (the most important point for her) the night before leaving for the trip back; but it was with a waterhose and cold water. She has what she calls a "farmboy tan" meaning shirt sleeve lines and boot top lines and her jeans are now "holy", no that should be "HOLEY"; the knees open half the way around. I know this is considered style, by some, but....

(The best is yet to come.. click read more below)

As she stepped off the concourse she started with the play by play description of the trip; every fourth word was "awesome". She saw deserts dry with little vegetation from the "real and natural" acid rain (volcano sulfur dioxide gas + water in air = sulfuric acid rain), beautiful waterfalls formed from erosion of the lava based rock, rainforest like areas with fruits and exotic flowers growing wild, and the weather station located above the clouds with snow on the ground and constant wind. She was awakened to flocks of wild turkey sounding like a chorus echoing "Happy Birthday" over and over to each other. The days are much shorter there, the sun really rising in the east and setting in the west and although it was warm in temperature, the tradewinds kept it pleasant. And absolutely her most favorite experience of all?

Playing with the hot lava. Yes, they were allowed by their guide to walk (carefully) on the mounds of cooling lava. Wearing special heat resistant gloves and covering their faces with a bandanna against the gas, they used a small rock pick to chip off a piece of glowing lava and watch it cool to a shiny black stone. Of course they are all now cursed by the volcano goddess Pele!

You will notice that this behind does belong to Nyssa. You can see her jeans. What is that around the knees? Yes, duct tape. It fell off finally, due to the heat from the lava? I don't know. Only one girl melted her shoes on the lava; I guess you would consider that a success.

So, she made it back in one piece and is now on to the next adventure... Physics in summer session. I have seen some of the pictures and we will try to transfer them to my computer. Mind you, she isn't as much of a flower person or animal picture person as I am; more of the broad sweeping landscapes or more appropriately "lavascapes" type. She learned a lot, she had a great time, she wants to go back and do it again with me, maybe even camp out! That would be really great, Nyssa but my camping will be in a resort hotel by night and some of those really long six mile hikes up two thousand feet may have to be rethought.

Oh, to be young again! (end of post)

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