Sometimes it amazes me that my friends are still willing to go along with my stupid ideas…

I just returned to Irvine from Carlsbad where I had the chance to visit one of my favorite friends Nicole.  Nicole and I have known each other for most of our lives and have always had the same, um, interesting sense of humor.  I can always count on Nicole for a good adventure, and a little while back we had an epic one, which we spent a fair bit of time laughing about this morning.  Just because it is funny, here is her rendition of the events that took place that night…

From Nicole Huszcz Douglas…

Fueled by a ridiculous amount of coffee, a bag of marshmallows, and a dream, two of my friends and I set off to hike across Kilauea, the worlds most active volcano located on the Big Island of Hawaii (I know, I thought it sounded like a good idea too…).  We took our fist steps onto the hardened lava at the base of Chain of craters road expecting to hike around 5 miles to the fresh surface flow and back.  What we ended up with was getting back at 4 in the morning after a 16 mile trek that took us about 12 hours to finish.  Yes, we hiked the better part of a marathon over solidified lava fields.  GREAT idea, especially since we’re all swimmer girls and are worthless on land.  Despite the fact that the 12 hour hike ha us contemplating jumping into the liquid hot magma, the lava toasted marshmallows at the end made the trip well worth it (actually they didn’t because Morgan stole mine).  Still, simple pleasures for simple minds.  Here’s what happened…

Little did we know, When the adventure began,
That lava toasted marshmallows, Were a disastrous plan.

With flashlights ready, Our cameras in tow,
It was four o’clock, We were ready to go.

We asked the ranger Which way to go,
She told us then, Five miles to the flow.

“5 miles,” we thought, “That’s no big deal”
We had plenty of water, And brought a good meal.

Should have been the end of of our ridiculous hike too... But now, we kept on going, we were being 'beaconed'

We stepped off the road, And onto the rock
And so we began, Our 12 hour walk.

Marker to marker, We followed the trail,
Easy as pie, No way to fail.

Two miles gone by, Six beacons had passed,
What lay ahead, Seemed ever so vast


High Five at beacon 5. Weather not so sweet

We were all alone now, To find our own way,
Before we knew it, It was the end of the day.

The sun had gone down, The moon had come out,
It was the only thing guiding, On our lonely route.

It was four hours later, We should have been near,
But a stanger came by Giving us fear.

“You’re not even close, Another 5 miles”
But we didn’t believe him, And continued with smiles.

We were headed left, But the stranger said right,
So we veered our path Off into the night.

The moon was bright, Clearly leading our way,
So we kept on walking, As if it were day.

The Southern Cross appeared, So did the Big Dipper,
Making Nicole, Ever so chipper.

But not long after, The mood began to fade,
Not quite as many Stupid jokes were made.

As we continued walking, Over all the lava rocks,
Painful glass like shards, Lodged into our socks.

This didn’t feel good, No it didn’t feel nice.
Far from sunshine and flowers, Far from sugar and spice.

So long ago had passed, That final flashing beacon,
Morgan’s ankles wobbled And Nicole’s knees began to weaken

Each passing step Was ever more precarious
We tried to keep the humor light, And stay a bit gregarious.
Like when Jen fell down, and Nicole played doctor,
Morgan made jokes, and nobody socked her

Don't worry, i've got a headlamp

But we were getting tired, Even a bit groggy,
So we stopped to eat our sandwiches, Which had turned awful soggy.

Not quite delicious But we ate half our meal
And soon slightly better, We started to feel.

Our bodies were tired, Legs, neck and back
Suddenly we felt heat, Rise from a jagged crack.

Birght orange and red, From underneath did glow,
We were standing right over, A living lava flow.

Couldn’t have been more, Than just three feet under
Into the molten lava We didn’t want to plunder.

Startled by, The unexpected sight,
Nicole yelped out loud, Getting quite a fright.

Racing to get out, Of the sketchy danger zone,
We quickly scurried over, To a cooler patch of stone.

Stopping a bit to rest, And finally looking up,
The glass suddenly filled, In our proverbial cup.

We saw a plume of smoke, That had the desired red,
Quickly were dispelled, Our feelings of utter dread.

We knew our trek wasn’t, Completely made in vain,
Which saved us all the torment, Of all going insane.

We were running out of time, For Morgan needed java,
Her cravings only tamed, By the sight of flowing lava.

We only had to conquer, One more final rise,
Before we ultimately reached, Our coveted final prize.

Alas there is was, In all it’s glory and wonder,
Crashing in the ocean, Like glowing liquid thunder

We stood in total shock, The journey had unfurled
There we were standing, At the gates to the underworld.

Down the hill it slowly oozed, Holding our tired eyes,
Leaving us dumbfounded And completely mesmerized.

The wind uncomfortably hot, Breathing sulfur not so wise
But there we stood staring  Completely hypnotized

We couldn’t look away, Though our eyes getting blurry,
As the magma hit the waves Exploding in violent fury.

The lava shot up high, Like a live fireworks display,
Just as if it were, An independence day.

We were stoked to reach the lava, But the mission not quite done,
Because just seeing it, Wasn’t the goal we had begun.


Somehow faking smiles after walking over hardened lava fields for 8 miles. Only took six hours. Problem was we had to get back...

Our bodies were exhausted, Legs turned to jello,
But there was still the issue Of the untoasted marshmallow.

Moving to higher ground, Well out of harms way
It was now time to accomplish, Our mission of the day.

Millions at least, Our photos must be worth
Toasting our marshmallows, Over heat from center Earth.

Morgan was a sneaky one, She really got her fill,
Stealing someone’s marshmallow, While Nicole was left with nil.


Lava toasted marshmallow anyone?? Only tastes a little like sulfuric acid...

All that work for nothing, Not even a little taste
Turning Nicole’s hike, Into a complete and total waste.

Deep within Nicole Grew feelings of intense hate,
All because of a marshmallow That mean old Morgan ate.

Ok fine, Maybe that’s a stretch
Nicole didn’t really think That Morgan was a wretch.


Like any normal people we brought along marshmallows to toast over the liquid hot magma...

The jokes continued on, Stupid as can be
Meanwhile poor Jen wondered “Dear God, why me?!”

With annoying Morgan, And obnoxious Nicole,
Jen wished she had jumped, Into the molten hole.

The journey back, Seemed ever so daunting
A helicopter or boat, Is what they all were wanting.

The three miserable hikers, Couldn’t even talk,
Just thinking of that horrid, And awful heinus walk.

They couldn’t bare the thought,  Of all the awful pain,
That came with every step, Over that devilish terrain.

Jen shed more blood, Morgan began to pout,
Nicole believed death, Would be the easiest way out.

Still they kept on going, Somehow they pushed through,
Even though their bodies, Smelled like stinky pooh.

Twelve hours later, Sixteen miles done,
They realized this hike, Wasn’t really fun.

Marshmallows or not,This stupid volcano,
Caused these three girls, Way too much pain-o


The after math. I told you my feet hurt

So if you ever get, The intense burning desire,
To toast some marshmallows, Over liquid magma fire

Remember this poem, Remember our sad story,
Remember all our pain, And how it was so gory.

So even if lava, Seems deceptively near,
Think of our journey, And just go have a beer.


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