Journey to the Center of a Volcano

May 30, 2009
Hi, my name is Megan, I’m an earth scientist. Last week the United States Geographical Society called me to study a volcano. How could I resist? They flew us (by “us” I mean my trusty side-kick dog Tinker Belle) to the volcano we’d be studying. It was a shield volcano in Hawaii.

“Welcome to Hawaii,” our guide greeted us. “My name is Bob. What kind of dog do you have there?”

“She’s a husky mix. Her name’s Tinker Belle,” I told him.

“Woof!” Tink added.

“So what are we going to do?” I asked Bob.

“Well, first we have to get in the Volcano Mobile, it has air conditioning so it won’t be to warm once we get in the volcano.”
“Wait a minuet, you mean we’re going into the volcano?” I was shocked.

“Yup. Is that a problem?” Bob looked like it was something everyone did everyday.

“No, it’s just not what I was expecting,” I said, but Tinker Belle made a noise like it was a problem.

Bob lead us to a round vehicle, that was obviously the Volcano Mobile. I got in and called for Tinker Belle to come in, but she put her tail between her legs and whimpered. “Come on,” I called. “If you don’t come you’ll be out hear with no one you know around and you don’t know where you are.” That got her to get in the Volcano Mobile.

Once we were all in, Bob turned the key and we rose off the ground. As we got closer to the volcano I began to wonder if the vehicle would fit through the vent. Bob lowered us into the opening and we got stuck.

“Great,” I muttered. “Now what?”

“That’s easy,” Bob replied. “We turn it upside down and turn on the turbo jets.” He did just that. I put on my harness that had about a million straps and grabbed Tinker Belle. She was whimpering loudly.

“Shush, it’s okay Bob knows what he’s doing.”

“Yeah not really, this is the first time I’ve done this,” Bob told us.

“Then why are you our guide?” I shouted.

He shrugged. “I’ve gotta learn sometime.”

My eyes almost bugged out. Eventually we got in safely. “See, no problem,” Bob said lightly.

After awhile we found a huge cave with walls covered in crystal.

“Wow,” I gasped. “See Tink, it was worth it after all. Maybe we could sell some of these and get you a new toy or something. Would it be legal to take some of these?”

“As far as I know there is no law saying anything about taking crystals from a cave in a volcano,” Bob said.


Suddenly, we heard a bubbling noise.

“What is that?” I asked in a panicked voice. My question was answered a few seconds latter when magma started to fill the cave. “Step on it!”

“I don’t know how to turn it around!” Bob yelled.

I unbuckled myself as fast as humanly possible and ran to the front of the Volcano Mobile. “Get out of my way!” I half pushed him off the drivers seat. I grabbed the wheel and turned it as far as it would go. The Volcano Mobile almost did a flip, but turned around. My foot found the gas pedal and floored it. The little vehicle went shooting through the volcanic tunnels to the vent. I was afraid that it would get stuck again, but the speed we were going at pushed it through well enough.

As soon as we were out of the volcano, the lava bubbled out, too.

“This is why they shouldn’t let someone whose never done this before take people into a volcano,” I snapped.

“Hey don’t yell at me, you’ve never driven one before either,” Bob defended himself.

“No, but I’m not the one who was in charge,” I snarled at him. “You could have gotten us killed!”

“But, I didn’t,” he smiled.

I rolled my eyes. “That’s not the point.”

“Then what is the point?” he obviously didn’t think I would have an answere.

“The point is, that the United States Geographical Society should only let expert volcano explorer people drive the Volcano Mobile!”

“Your not an expert,” he pointed out.

“I realize that, but at least I got us out safely,” I shot back. “I’m leaving. And the U.S.G.S. will be hearing from me,”

Tinker Belle came up to me and gave me a look that said, “So not worth it.” How could I argue that?

I went to meet the guy who flew us to the island and asked to fly us home. Several hours later I was back home and writing the story of my volcano experience, witch you are just finishing reading.





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