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Exploring the Emperor Cone lava

where are we today?

Summer seems to have arrived on Mt. Morning. The air outside my tent today was cool, and if it wasn’t entirely springlike, temperatures were certainly above freezing. Margins of a few icy ponds had melted, and little sprigs of algae unfurled green fronds under the surface.

We spent the day traversing the 25,000-year-old lava flows below Emperor Cone. Traveling with geologists, you don’t have to worry too much about forgetting your water bottle – our camp was almost always in sight. In about nine hours, we got no farther away from camp than 1 kilometer. But in that short space we found plenty to look at: wind-eaten rocks, two very different forms of lava, and a fence of hexagonal stone pillars, among other sights you’ll hear about another day.

Read on about our adventure in the slideshow below. Can't see the slideshow? Get the Flash plug in »

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