Pacaya Volcano blows a smoke-ring in farewell Guatemala 2005
I have always been a volcano freak. Ever since my dinosaur phase, which every kid goes through, I have been fascinated by volcanoes, because in my dinosaur books, from the late 60′s , when the dinosaur tracks were still pretty fresh, the books all showed volcanoes going off in the background, as the dinosaurs cruised around the freshly made earth. I have a lot of good volcano stories, some really good ones, but in 2005, outside of Antigua, Guatemala, I took a “tour” to climb the active volcano Pacaya. It had spewed out a lot of stuff a couple of years earlier, and our guy pointed out where the most recent stuff had happened. Big cinder cone at the top, lots of sulfer in the air, standard volcano stuff. When we got to the top, we looked right into the smallish crater, which was diligently shooting out globs of 2000 degree (F) globs, which were landing not super far from us, maybe 100-150 meters from where we were. BUT, on the way down, almost back to the remnants of the forest, I looked back up, in the last traces of twilight (“Crepusculo, one of my favorite words in Spanish, Twilight, as Don Juan from the Castenada books said, “The Crack Between the Two Worlds.”) , Volcan Pacaya gave me a nice farewell, a perfect smoke ring. Nobody else in the group even noticed it, it was that fleeting, but it was one of those amazing moments in life, when you feel actually connected with the deepest part of things, and it was seemingly just for me. Gracias, Volcan Pacaya.