The Kalalau Trail came and left like a faint glimpse in a dream, but our efforts continued to explore Kauai for an undetermined amount of time leading us to Princeville Hawaii. After a tedious 22 mile hike through sopping, mud puddles, and unstable, jagged terrain, I left the eye-dropping cliffhangers behind for a new adventure, hitchin’ Kauai.
Now my wife never really hitchhiked before. As a kid she once hitched a ride with a milk man when her mother’s car broke down, but all this came new to her. And with every new experience came its own fears, but it started off quite smoothly.
With mud dripping from our legs down into our boots, dribbling down our toes and under our feet, we flung off our damp, crusty clothes, and changed into shower attire. The shower at the bottom of the Kalalau Trailhead felt luxurious sprinkling down my greasy curls, dripping down my back, my hairs standing straight on their ends. We lived in the mud for three days, avoiding ponding mud puddles like land mines for fear of getting drenched. But we did not avoid it. We got soaked. If not our sweaty shirts, our moist shorts, and under garments from brushing up against the moist jungle flora all chanted our need for a shower. I stood there shaking as I scrubbed the grime off every limb and out of every orifice. The shameful feeling of rubbing soap on my balls and shaft while quickly dousing him in water felt less than pleasing, but I whimpered with joy once I was clean.
We plopped along the picnic benches in the parking lot waiting for Senator Morra to complete the trail. I bumped into him yet again after etching my moniker into a rock while trekking off the trail. He offered us a ride around 3 to 4 PM, giving us 2 hours to relax, and eat any crumbs that remained in our packs.
But the spirit of adventure flowed through our gypsy blood and we found ourselves shortly hitchhiking Kauai with a young couple to Wainiaha, leaving Senator Morra behind. The state closed the Hanalei Bridge leaving us stranded from the rest of the island so we walked down the road with no expectations. Kelly threw a thumb out gingerly as we moseyed along the winding, narrow, jungle roads, with not much room to comfortably walk.
We hoped to land in Princeville, Hawaii as we heard about the Tahitian, blue, lagoons scattered along Anini Beach, a wonderland for snorkeling, but anywhere away from the rain encumbered bliss. A pickup truck pulled off, and we hopped in the bed, getting as far as Hanalei before hitting the bridge closure traffic. We waited, idling behind a frenzy of perturbed drivers’ all land locked from their homes, which resided on the other side of the bridge. The clouds taunted us above with grueling colors of gray and shortly after, misty pellets speckled our faces, fogging my spectacles and causing us to flee for cover.
We fled to the super market, indulging in sweet gummy bears to boost our spirits, while we walked closer to the bridge. The imminent flash flood warnings that closed the Kalalau Trail also kept the Hanalei Bridge closed. So we waited as it neared closer to dawn with little hope for Princeville in our future.
Patrol vehicles cleared the road block within the hour and we tested our luck thumbin’ it once again. A construction worker picked us up within minutes. We sped along through the roads ransacked in crater-like puddles as we looked out at the picturesque kola fields shimmering beauty. Their bright green leaves illuminated the misty skies clouding the mountains and we smiled big and bright. We finally got over the bridge. We finally made it to Princeville. But where would we sleep in this ritzy town of private golf courses, expensive resort towns and condominiums, with the night sky falling? The beach. The Jungle. We did not know.