We bring you the story of Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess, about
whom many legends have been handed down. Pele is identified with
Mauna Loa, the biggest volcano in the world and one of the most
According to tradition, Pele is accompanied by a white dog, which
she sends out to warn people that Mauna Loa is about to erupt.
Supposedly, rangers spotted such a dog before the eruption of 1959,
but were unable to locate it afterward. (No word on anyone seeing
the canine before the volcano's most recent eruption in 1984.)
It's been said that anyone removing volcanic rock from Mauna Loa (a
violation of law) will be cursed with bad luck. This is one reason
we thought the tale of Pele would be suitable for Earth Day
, an event
designed to remind us that we all must respect nature or bring
misfortune upon ourselves.
The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, and was the result of
years of effort, spearheaded by Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin,
who first proposed the idea in 1962, getting a favorable response
from President Kennedy. While the first year's event was observed
by 20 million people, it is now observed each year by about 500
million worldwide. The date, April 22, may have been chosen in part
because it is the birthday of Julius Sterling Morton, founder of
The legend about lava theft from Mauna Loa, rather than being an
ancient tradition, is actually of modern origin: it appears to have
been invented by a park ranger. Which is appropriate, since we're
also commemorating National Park Week
Accordingly, we discuss some of our favorite national parks and
some of the memorable experiences we've had exploring them.
Dennis "Namakao", Kimberly "Pele" and Zephyr "Kamohoali'i"