Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Path to Pele

Written 6 June, 2007

The Path to Pele

There’s now a walking trail which winds from the Pele Gardens along the flanks of Pele to the summit.

The Path to Pele was Sweetie’s idea—most good ideas at Pele, in fact, come from Sweetie. She vouchsafed the notion when she tried to lead a visitor up the mountainside to the caldera and found no easy access.

And I did my best to comply.


Here’s the notecard given by the sign at the trailhead:


The Path to Pele

This is the trailhead of the Path to Pele, a sinuous walking journey up the side of the active volcano Pele.

Beginning at the Pele Gardens, the Path crosses the tracks of the Pele Light Rail line (watch out for the train, which can come upon you suddenly!) and follows the rail grade to Pele Station, which offers a place to rest and cool off.

The next section of the Trail takes you higher up the flanks of Pele, then turns abruptly to the right. The grade steepens, but don’t despair! An observation platform, designed by the renowned Exuberance Lafleur, graces the overlook.

Section three leads to the welcome area for Pele, where hikers will find a map, a notecard dispenser which describes the features of Pele’s 19000 square meters, and yet another place to cool off. Don’t forget to tip Cheyenne Palisades, the avatar responsible for Pele’s beauty.

The last section of the Path is the steepest, leading through a lava tube directly to an ancient temple at the caldera. The temple’s platform offers an astounding view of the caldera, which is filled with molten lava (1200 degrees, C, about 2100 F). Touch the picture of Pele for information about the Goddess of the Volcano. Then sacrifice yourself by jumping into the molten rock. Don’t worry—Pele is more interested in hearing your praises than in drinking your blood. Disregard that bloody altar.

While you’re in the lava, see if you can find the secret entrance and fall under the volcano!


The Path to Pele was constructed in the summer of 2007 by volunteers from the Pele Conservation Corps, using native materials and granite brought to the island by now-extinct indigenous peoples in outrigger canoes. No avatars were harmed in the construction of this path.

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