Stromboli Part 1

Boom! crackle, crackle. Boom!

The center of the Earth spewed out just 500 yards in front of me. The crust cracked beneath my feet leaving a roar that filled me to my core.

I stood staring at the orange, red, and yellow colors swirling through the air. A tear fell down my emotionless face. I wasn’t sad–just in awe.

My grandpa grabbed my arm. My camera fell to my waist. And the world stood still as it’s core reached past the surface pulling me in.

With every boom, my breath paused.

Most people don’t get to experience an erupting volcano before their own two eyes. Little did I think that that’s what I would get to do when my family went on a trip to Italy this past summer.

We left on June 10, 2019 to embark on our 10 day boat excursion through the Amalfi Coast and Aeolian Islands (but that’s another story).

5 days into our trip, we anchored in front of a little Italian Island called Stromboli. It was named after the giant volcano that protruded from its center. When you looked at it, it seemed as if the town had grown around this massive landform; the houses were built in one cluster on the front side of the volcano, while the back lay bare because of the lava that occasionally runs down it.

Being a curious and quite adventurous family, we researched the volcano. We read that you could climb its 3031 foot face to see the best view of the Mediterranean and it’s town inhabited by just about 600 residents. We also read that its last major eruption was in 2009, but it is constantly spewing lava.

In 2009, no one was injured or killed during the eruption. 2 weeks after we had climbed the volcano, however, 1 died, 1 was injured, and many lost their home.

Had we been there 2 weeks later, I wouldn’t have been here to tell our story.

On June 15, my sister, mom, dad, cousin, and grandpa hopped on a dinghy to get transported to Stromboli. We had filled our backpacks with waters, sandwiches, and granola bars, and we had on only our weary tennis shoes and athletic clothes from the plane ride over to Italy.

On shore, we walked a long strip searching for the hut that was supposed to house us before our hike. I followed my dad inside. “OUT!” the man screamed, “too many people!”

We all waited outside. For 20 minutes. Which was probably better than standing in the cramped confinement of the hut.

As we waited for the guide to return, I overheard a woman next to me. She spoke english. “I notice you speak english,” I said, “where are you from?” She replied, “Colorado”–her and her husband had just gotten married and had planned to hike this volcano 2 years in advance.

Boy, did we feel intimidated…

Then she mentioned that the others in our group had climbed Mount Everest.

Oh boy…

to be continued….

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