When we were in Hawaii, we attended a wedding, played in the waves, ate great food, and attempted to hike to a waterfall. We even made morning smoothies to fuel our day. On the day of our (attempted) hike, we made a delicious green smoothie- my favorite of the vacation. The house we stayed at had a Vitamix, so we added some spinach, peaches, a splash of OJ, a banana, and some kale. We added it all in and blended it until it was smooth. It was absolutely delicious.
Now, back to our hike. I say we attempted to hike, because by far the biggest, most scariest and challenging thing we did was our hike on the Hanakapiai trail. The trail was 4 miles in and 4 miles back. We had the afternoon to make it to the waterfall and back. The sun was shining. Our friend was going to propose to his lady and we were carrying the ring. We had snacks, water, and a camera. We were also wearing flip-flops. Big oops. Usually the trail is do-able when it is dry and sunny, even if you are barefoot or wearing sandals. For us though, it started to rain halfway through the trail and it turned into muddy, slippery rocks and slopes.
Everything started off great. We had a quick pace and soon left our soon-to-be –engaged friends behind us on the trail. There were a few rocks to step over and “climb”, and the views were amazing. The sun reflected off the beautiful, blue Pacific and the green vegetation of the mountain. We walked through a small river and reached the halfway point. It was a little tougher than we thought, and we wished we had our hiking shoes on, but we were heading into the woods, where we hoped there would be less rocks.
After the halfway mark, the rain began. Apparently it had been raining there off and on for a few days, because the trail was S-L-I-C-K. After about a quarter mile, we began to slip and slide and our pace slowed to a crawl. My mind however, started to race. I would see the mud, feel the instability of my feet, and see the ledge beside me. In my mind, I was going to trip, fall, and head down the side of the mountain (which fortunately we did not, but our camera bag did, yikes!). I tried to breathe, I tried to reason with myself, and I tried to keep going. After all, our friends were going to be engaged and we had the rings in our camera bag.
Our pace was so slow, that our friends caught up to us (they had shoes on). We decided to keep going. I did not remain calm. I let my fear and my temper flare. Not my finest moment. A few yards further, the trail narrowed a great deal and came to a river. I saw a nice, big, flat rock on the side of the river, high up on the bank. I decided to stay here. Yes, my anxiety was getting best of me, but truthfully, my gut was telling me it was unsafe. The river was waist high and led straight down the mountain to the shore. I admit – I gave up. I vowed to stay on the rock, in the rain, while they charged on ahead to the falls. Luckily, the hubsters discreetly passed the ring to our friend, and we headed back.
The way back was rough. It took us nearly 2 hours. But after we made it back to the halfway point (barefoot at this point), we took a break at the beach to wash off the mud and refuel. We took a few more pictures of the view and made it back to the start just in time to watch the sunset.
Our friends made it to the falls in the rain, she said “yes”, and they made it back safely. We learned to prepare better for hikes, especially if you aren’t sure of the weather patterns. And of course, keep your cool but listen to your gut.
Tomorrow – the last of the vacation posts: An organic restaurant review and a LEED Gold certified Hotel review from Las Vegas.
Peace and love to you all,