Wow, what a thrill. Perhaps we're just easily entertained, but to see the site from a distance was amazing.
From a distance it looked all the world like a storm with a funnel cloud. But that's no tornado under that dark cloud. It's the fissure 8 eruption. Because it was daytime, you can't see any red. But at night, I'm told by the locals, the sky is brilliant red. Meanwhile over by Kapoho where the ocean entry is, a broad swatch of the skyline is nothing but dark grey cloud, looking like a nasty thunderstorm heading this way.
I had "E" ask me, "How aware are the people in Pahoa of the eruption? Can they see it? Or is it life as usual?" No, life surely isn't normal. The sky makes it quite evident that there's an eruption going on only a mile so from town. Those clouds are never out of sight. Plus the main roads have roadblocks. Plenty of police and National Guard are visible. No, daily life isn't normal.
We drive down to the two roadblocks, waved a friendly hello to the officials, the. Headed on toward Hilo.