Lord Vulcan | Teen Ink

Lord Vulcan

May 6, 2013
By Loldawg BRONZE, Coronado, California
Loldawg BRONZE, Coronado, California
2 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." -Albert Einstein

“You will like this,” our tour guide told us. We begged him to tell us, but no, he would show us, he said. We had been on the bus for hours, awaiting the arrival at the mystery location. Finally we arrived and got off the bus and started hiking through the selected part of the forest that Manny, the tour guide, had chosen. Before long it was clear that we were not going to a spot in the forest, but above it. We were hiking up a mountain. I looked through the trees and caught a glimpse of how big this mountain truly was, the top covered in clouds. Just before the clouds started, there was a ring of stone, the tree line. Every so often I would stop and marvel at the immense natural world through which I was traveling; the huge ivy leaves clinging to the massive trees
In fact, Manny stopped us to point out a particularly large tree. “This one,” he said, “was planted over 200 years ago! But now it is dying.” It was a beast of a tree, too big for me to wrap both arms around. “Why is it dying,” I asked. Manny pointed to the ivy growing on its twisted trunk. “The ivy is draining the tree of its nutrients. The tree will still live for many more years, but without the ivy it could have lived for another 200 years.” I felt deep remorse that such a majestic thing was dying, but took heart that it would still live for some years to come.
We set off again, hiking up the trail through the forest. We stopped once more to marvel at a toucan. This bird’s colorful beak and sleek body were marvelous. It stood atop a branch high up in a younger tree, completely oblivious to our presence, that is, until a younger girl in the group squealed in delight as she spotted a colorful parrot nearby. Both birds took to the skies, startled and wondering what manner of creature could have made such a noise. With our entertainment gone, we continued to climb, hiking up and up.
About 30 minutes later we could see where the trees were ending and there was a glow through the clouds around the top of the mountains. As we passed the last of the trees Manny stopped and looked at us. “Remember, it is not active. Remember that,” he said. I stood bewildered at what he could have meant. Then we hiked the last little bit until we came to a stop right at the foot of a set of stairs. The glow was getting brighter. We cautiously walked up. When we reached the top of the stairs, we looked down and where the peak of the mountain should have been there was a massive crater. In the center was a huge, steaming, blue lake. I stood there for a second, awestruck by what I was seeing. Manny started to explain what we were looking at, a massive lake of water highly saturated with H2SO4. For those of you who don’t speak chemistry, much like I didn’t, that means sulfuric acid. Manny said that it was made about five hundred years ago when the volcano erupted, destroying both itself and the surrounding area. The steam that was coming out of the lake was what was making the clouds I had seen earlier. It was the water boiling away. I asked Manny why the water was boiling, because the acid wouldn’t cause water to boil, would it? Manny explained that it was the magma close to the surface, just underneath the crater, that was causing the water to boil.
I looked towards the edges of the crater and saw two people working on something. I asked Manny who they were and he said that they were scientists doing experiments and readings on the volcano. I wondered how they could do their work without stopping every five minutes to gape in awe at the wondrous natural beauty around them. The sight of the acid lake with steam pouring out, the heat of the volcano, and the mist from the steam will be forever seared into my memory. The majestic beauty of nature and the terrible power that it possesses awes me. We should all respect and admire nature’s ability to create and destroy. The ancients got it right, Lord Vulcan, God of Fire.

The author's comments:
This is an experience that I will remember forever.

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