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  • Peggy Simonsen


Updated: Sep 1, 2021

"If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it’s lethal." – Paulo Coelho

Watching the Fagradalsfjall volcano erupt in Iceland on the news last week reminded me of the live volcanoes I have seen and the hardened lava I have walked on. Sadly, I have not yet been to Iceland; that was a trip planned for 2020 that didn’t happen because of the pandemic. Maybe next year. In the meantime, I am remembering the Arenal volcano we watched erupt at night in Cost Rica. We were far enough away to be safe of course, but close enough to be awed by it. In Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island in Hawaii, standing on the railing on the edge of the crater I watched the Kilauea volcano spew gases. Always an amazing site.

I can't even imagine living on the cone of a volcano like Mt Etna in Sicily, crowded in towns around the base, assuming it won't erupt in the near future! On the other hand, Mt Bachelor in Oregon is a volcanic cone and we skied on it, but it too has long been dormant. Much of the Galapagos Islands are volcanic, having been created eons ago from eruptions. We walked on lava rock that made tunnels and weird shapes when it hit the ocean and cooled rapidly. All these millennia later nothing grows on some of the lava, but some has mixed with soil to support the unique plants and indigenous animals that thrive there. And of course Pompeii was buried because of the eruption of Vesuvius 2000 years ago. See previous blog about Pompeii under People and Culture. (I also wrote more about the whole Galapagos experience and Pompeii in Wandering the World.)

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