Saturday, May 25, 2013

Into the Clouds - Goodbye Hawaii

I read recently that Hawaii was again voted the 'least stressed' state in the U.S. It's not surprising; things move slower here and you either get with the program and get on Hawaiian time or you get frustrated.

For our final day here, the Mestman family decided to go hike Waihee Ridge trail while the Moyers opted to stay behind and get in a final snorkeling trip. We had a really hard time finding a consistent set of directions to the trailhead and were already kind of nervous to return to the area where we'd been foiled by a locked gate earlier in the week. Inevitably we got lost and had to pull over to ask directions twice. The second time we drove down a narrow dirt road toward a sign pointing toward a farmer's market. The "farmer's market" turned out to just be a guy at a card table in the middle of a road surrounded by maybe ten houses. Jacob parked the car and walked up around a bend to get directions while Vaughn and I stayed with the car.

After maybe fifteen minutes I was hot, antsy and maybe a little worried. Where the heck was Jacob? There were a bunch of trees blocking my view so I couldn't seen where he had gone off to. Was he being axe-murdered at that very moment (faithful readers of my blog will remember that axe-murdering is a logical conclusion in my mind)? He finally came back with directions and a small bag of groceries. Apparently the farmer had to go into his house to retrieve the laptop to hunt down directions. Then there was the pouring over various reviews of the trail we were going to hike. When Jacob bought papayas, he had to stop him from leaving the stand to go chop down new ripe ones for him. Jacob mentioned that we had been a little confused and frustrated by the lack of signs to which he just smiled and shrugged saying, "This is Hawaii dude."

The trail was 2.5 miles up 1,500 feet to the top of the ridge and it was every bit as thrilling and idyllic as we hoped. Though he started off apprehensive, Vaughn really got into it and carried his own pack the entire way. The top was packed in fog and so our valley views were obscured but the damp breeze felt heavenly after the steep climb. When we got to the top there was a family with several young Hawaiian children picnicking. We had already decided we wouldn't linger at the summit and would instead eat on the way down. As we turned to go I heard one of the little girls say, "That was quick. They must be on their way to a party." Ahhh, Hawaiian life.

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