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Hawaii’s Volcanoes

It took 70 million years of volcanism, migration, and evolution to produce the unique ecosystems and distinct human culture displayed by the volcanoes in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

It was over 1,600 years ago when Polynesians from the Marquesas Islands migrated to Hawaii. They came in great double-hulled canoes guided by the sun and stars, and reading the winds, currents, and the flight of seabirds.

The beautiful park you see today was created to preserve the natural setting of Kilauea and Mauna Loa and as a refuge for the islands native plants and animals.

If you plan on visiting and hiking the wonderful trails, be sure to wear light layers and hiking boots or shoes. The temperature and weather can vary from rainy and chilly to hot, dry and windy depending on the elevation and area you are visiting. Park trails range in difficulty from easy walks (Bird Park/Kipuka Puaulu or Thurston Lava Tube/Nahuku) to longer hikes such as Kilauea Ike or Mauna Iki.

The true character of the park is best discovered on foot. With over 150 miles of trails in the park, exploration by walking and hiking can be a fascinating and enjoyable experience.

Located within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and nestled on the rim of Kilauea caldera is the Volcano House. With its unique charm it has captured the hearts of travelers and islanders alike. The Volcano house has offered spectacular views and warm hospitality for decades as Hawaii’s oldest continually operated hotel with a history dating back to 1846.

Hawaii has always been one of our family’s favorite vacation destinations. Add in the spectacular volcanoes and you’ve made a wonderful choice for the whole family.

Posted by Victor Crew on

Family Summer Vacation Suggestions

One of the greatest parts of our national heritage is diversity: of people, places and cultures. With international travel becoming easier and the popularity of luxury vacations the family road trip has lost popularity.  This is the perfect time to help our young people experience and connect with the beautiful and varied landscapes all over our country.

Travelers might also consider Lonely Planet’s top ten must-see destinations in the United States. As one will see, this list suggests cities and regions that will provide very different experiences for travelers.

Lonely Planet’s Best in the United States for 2016
1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2. Natchez, Mississippi
3. Yellowstone National Park (Montana, Wyoming, Idaho)
4. Birmingham, Alabama
5. Alaska
6. Somerville, Massachusetts
7. Northwest Arkansas
8. San Antonio, Texas
9. Southern New Mexico
10. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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New Neolithic Complex Discovered in Jordan

In Jordan’s southeastern desert a Neolithic complex of 9,000-year-old stone carvings was uncovered by archaeologists.

Jordanian and French archaeologists were responsible for the find and announced it through a press conference held by the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

Experts believe that the site is a ritual installation uniquely dedicated to the hunting of gazelles. It features huge stone traps called “desert kites.” Experts think they may be the world’s oldest large-scale human sculptures.

The desert kite hunting traps are made of long stone walls that led prey to an enclosure where they could be corralled.

Archaeologists also discovered the campsites of the hunters whose whole lives centered on the traps and hunting game. They lived in semi-subterranean circle shaped huts.

Experts say this new discovery will give them new understanding of these ancient people’s spiritual and creative expressions. Two stone carvings, named Ghassan and Abu Ghassan make up most of the discovery. The taller, 112 centimeters, is carved with a desert kite incorporated into a human figure. The smaller, 70 centimeters, is a very detailed human face.

Other finds in the dig revealed a ritual altar stone, a purposefully arranged collection of about 150 marine fossils, a hearth, animal figurines and finely crafted flint objects.


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Cook Islands Readying for First Covid-19 Cases

The small, South Pacific nation Cook Islands who has not yet had an serious issues with Covid-19 is preparing for its first possible infections now that a infected traveler, who was likely contagious while on the islands, visited their Prime Minister Mark Brown recently.

The traveler was from New Zealand. The traveler spent just over a week in the community and tested positive for the Omicron variant after returning to his home country. This according to a video by PM Brown posted on the governments Facebook page.

Brown posited that the visitor was likely contagious while visiting Cook Islands and that he believed the virus was likely in the community. He also stated it was possible that there was “silent transmission” in the Cook Islands due to their high vaccination rate, so the infection is so mild people don’t know they have it.

Only .4% of the nation’s 17,000 citizens are not double vaccinated (for people over 12) and only 30% have not received a booster.

Cook Islands had shut it shelf off from the world early in 2020 when the pandemic hit and just resumed quarantine-free travel with New Zealand a month ago.

The island country reported a single case of Covid this past December when someone arrived on a repatriation flight, however they were not exposed to the community at large.

Brown stated that he thought their high vaccination rate has afforded the country a strong shield against the pandemic.

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Airbus to Test Hydrogen Engine Plane

Airbus has recently come that much closer to creating the world’s first zero-emission aircraft. The French airplane manufacturer announced that it is ready to test hydrogen fuel technology in a modified A380 jetliner. The A380 was discontinued last year.

Airbus partnered with CFM international on this very important hydrogen demonstration program.

The A380 will be fitted with fuel tanks rated to handle liquid hydrogen tanks in the trial of propulsion technology for future hydrogen fueled aircraft.

2.8% of global CO2 emissions is generated by aviation. And aviation accounted for 95 billion gallons of fuel consumption in 2019.

The industry as a whole has promised to reduce their emissions to half of what the level was in 2005 by 2050. Some carriers are switching over to sustainable aviation fuel or SAF to help reduce the carbon footprint of flying. British Airway’s parent company IAG has stated it will power 10% of its flights with SAF by 2030. United Airlines made its first successful flight via 100% sustainable fuel last year.

Airbus is putting all its eggs in the hydrogen basket, however. But, hydrogen fuel could potentially reduce aviation emissions by 50%.