The Hawaiian Archipelago - Six Months Among The Palm Groves, Coral Reefs, And Volcanoes Of The Sandwich Islands By Isabella L. Bird


We rode on hour after hour in intense cold, till we reached a height
where the last stain of lichen - Page 340
The Hawaiian Archipelago - Six Months Among The Palm Groves, Coral Reefs, And Volcanoes Of The Sandwich Islands By Isabella L. Bird - Page 340 of 466 - First - Home

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We Rode On Hour After Hour In Intense Cold, Till We Reached A Height Where The Last Stain Of Lichen Disappeared, And The Desolation Was Complete And Oppressive.

This area of tufa cones, dark and grey basalt, clinkers, scoriae, fine ash, and ferruginous basalt, is something gigantic.

We were three hours in ascending through it, and the eye could at no time take in its limit, for the mountain which from any point of view below appears as a well defined dome with a ragged top, has at the summit the aspect of a ridge, or rather a number of ridges, with between 20 and 30 definite peaks, varying in height from 900 to 1400 feet. Among these cones are large plains of clinkers and fine gravel, but no lava-streams, and at a height of 12,000 feet the sides of some of the valleys are filled up with snow, of a purity so immaculate and a brilliancy so intense as the fierce light of the tropical sun beat upon it, that I feared snow-blindness. We ascended one of the smaller cones which was about 900 feet high, and found it contained a crater of nearly the same depth, with a very even slope, and lined entirely with red ash, which at the bottom became so bright and fiery-looking that it looked as if the fires, which have not burned for ages, had only died out that morning.

After riding steadily for six hours, our horses, snorting and panting, and plunging up to their knees in fine volcanic ash, and halting, trembling and exhausted, every few feet, carried us up the great tufa cone which crowns the summit of this vast fire-flushed, fire-created mountain, and we dismounted in deep snow on the crest of the highest peak in the Pacific, 13,953 feet above the sea.

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