Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net


Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Back on April 21 I wrote a blog post about my intention to spend a lot less time and worry on social media, and focus instead on writing. Pretty radical agenda, huh? The tactic I used was to avoid Twitter, Facebook, SFWA forum, Book View Cafe forum, etc., as well as answering most emails, until after noon my time (6pm on the east coast). Mornings were devoted to writing. I get up pretty early, so this gave me a lot of time. I also managed some work most afternoons, and several evenings. In short, this strategy proved amazingly successful and I’ve made a lot of progress.

But I’ve begun to slip. I’m overly involved in Twitter again, in part because of the book club gig…and involvement with Twitter has led to squandering too much time online. Being immersed in a writing project does not mix well with promotional activities, at least for me! Which is fairly awkward when you’re trying to make a living as a writer.

Anyway, the writing really slowed down this week, and then yesterday I took the entire day off to hike in Haleakala Crater. The hike had the positive effect of getting me away from social media, though that wasn’t the reason we went. Ron is leading a volunteer group into the crater in a couple of days, and we were dropping supplies off at the cabin where they’ll be staying. So we enjoyed a twelve-mile roundtrip hike, with a 2600′ elevation change. The day was misty when we started. The mist was soon joined by a light rain that fell for most of the day, creating spectacular scenes on the crater floor. Here’s a shot Ron took of the ground steaming even as a light rain is falling. Click the image to see a stitched panorama:
(The panorama’s not great, but it’s the best I could manage…)
crater fog 2-500x209 - 2016.5.11 1316
When we climbed out of the crater, we were surprised to find the summit gloriously clear:
(click the image to see a larger version)


Anyway, I’m resolved to get back to my write-until-noon schedule and get this book done. Onward!

Haleakala Crater Service Trip

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
photo by Ronald J. Nagata, Sr.

I’m modeling my usual crater attire. The elevation of the crater floor is around 7400′, so solar radiation is intense and sunburn happens fast, so I learned to hide from the sun long ago. (Photo by Ronald J. Nagata, Sr.)

A few years ago my husband, Ron Nagata, retired from his position as Chief of Resources Management at Haleakala National Park here on Maui, but he still works at the park as a volunteer. One of his ongoing projects is invasive weed control from Haleakala’s summit to Kapalaoa Cabin. Over the weekend he and I participated in a periodic service trip, aimed at knocking back the population of two target weeds. It was a fantastic weekend, with unusual weather–colder than expected for this time of year.

On the six-mile hike in, we enjoyed a constantly changing panorama of mist rolling just above the slopes and between the cinder cones. Over the last couple of miles we were spattered by a very light rain. We reached the cabin, rested a bit, and went out again into a cold afternoon to start working. Before long a dribbling rain started to fall, but slowly enough that we stayed out until evening.

The next day started off clear, but the mist and fog soon returned. We worked until mid-afternoon and then returned to the cabin for a late lunch–just before the rain arrived in earnest. It rained hard until after nightfall, so that ended our working day…I’ll admit I wasn’t complaining, because I was tired.

On Monday morning we worked for a couple of hours and then set off through the spectacular central crater scenery on our hike out.

This is me, in the field. There was very little of our target weed in this area, but at the next patch of vegetation seen in the distance above my head, we discovered plenty--and pulled as many as we could. We'll be back for the remainder before too long.

This is me, in the field. There was very little of our target weed in this area, but at the next patch of vegetation seen in the distance above my head, we discovered plenty–and pulled as many as we could. We’ll be back for the remainder before too long. (Photo by Ronald J. Nagata, Sr.)

The peak in the distance is Hanakauhi, aka "Hana Mountain" as seen from Halemau`u Trail in the central crater, on our hike out.

The peak in the distance is Hanakauhi, aka “Hana Mountain” as seen from Halemau`u Trail in the central crater. (Photo by Ronald J. Nagata, Sr.)

Maui Geological Feature #1

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

On Maui there is a 10,000-foot high volcano called Haleakala. At the top of the volcano is this geological feature:

Haleakala Crater - photo by Ronald J. Nagata

Haleakala Crater - photo by Ronald J. Nagata

This feature is part of Haleakala National Park, and is known as “Haleakala Crater”—or it was until recently.

The rest of this post is about semantics, culture, and strange bureaucracy.

The National Park Service is apparently in the process of unilaterally changing the name of “Haleakala Crater” to “Haleakala Valley,” which strikes many of us as a heavy-handed and poorly thought-out decision.

First, the disclaimer: I love the National Park Service. I used to work as a seasonal employee at Haleakala National Park, and my husband, now retired, made his career there, which is the reason we live on Maui. The National Park Service is one of the finest, most worthy government organizations out there, staffed with dedicated, hard-working people.

But re-naming the Crater is a mistake. It disrespects the history of a name that’s been in use for nearly 200 years, and it disrespects the culture of this island, which has used the name for all those generations.

Why does the park service want to change the name? According to Mary Evanson in her Maui News opinion piece,

“the National Park Service and the Hawaii Natural History Association (which runs the park shops) were implementing a program […] to educate the public that Haleakala Crater is not a true volcanic crater.”

I’m going to assume that a “true volcanic crater” really refers to a caldera which, according to is

“A large crater formed by volcanic explosion or by collapse of a volcanic cone.”

But Haleakala Crater is not a caldera and no one’s calling it “Haleakala Caldera” so this is a non-issue.

The Crater was formed by the erosion of two large amphitheater-headed valleys whose headwalls eventually coalesced at the summit of the aging volcano. A period of extensive volcanism followed and the depression was filled in with lava flows and spotted with cinder cones.

Back to

1. A bowl-shaped depression at the mouth of a volcano or geyser.
a. A bowl-shaped depression in a surface made by an explosion or the impact of a body, such as a meteoroid.
b. A pit; a hollow.

Hmm, definition 2b seems right on. Colloquial? Maybe, but so what? It’s accurate, traditional, and lyric.

As Mary cites in her viewpoint piece, at one time the term “erosional depression” was considered as the new name for Haleakala Crater, presumably because it was recognized that “valley” just didn’t do the job. Of course “erosional depression” doesn’t take into account the following volcanism, so that term doesn’t work either.

Just for fun, let’s say we agree that “crater” and “valley” and “erosional depression” are all inaccurate and therefore can’t be used. By the same logic, we can no longer call the mountain “Haleakala,” a word usually translated into English as “House of the Sun.” I’ve spent a lot of time in the Crater and I can tell you for a fact that the sun doesn’t actually live there. So just to be sure we don’t mislead anyone with an inaccurate name, maybe we should drop the “Haleakala” and instead call the feature “Maui Geological Feature #1” and leave it at that.

Or maybe we should just stick with the traditional and reasonably accurate name of “Haleakala Crater,” and encourage the National Park Service to spend its very limited money and personnel on more important issues.

Central crater, Haleakala National Park

Central crater, Haleakala National Park