Friday, June 8, 2018

Visited Pahoa Today

My intention wasn't to drive through Pahoa today, or to get close to the eruption site. Actually, I was heading to Hilo with a friend for each of us to get a dozen little tasks done that gave been accumulating for some time now. Trips to Hilo are not taken lightly, considering the cost of the gasoline plus 1) the risk of driving past Kilauea summit, and 2) the exposure to much thicker vog than we are use to. But go, we did. And don't ask me how we came to the decision to sidetrack to Pahoa, but it seemed like a nifty idea at the moment. The excuse was, "Lets check out the Mexican restaurant for lunch." Sounded good, even though it was only 10 am. And no, in case you're curious, we never found the restaurant nor stopped for what would have been a very, very early lunch. 

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. 

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