To my own great surprise, my body does not hurt all over, rather only in a few key places. Progress.
Because I am not the outdoorsy type at all, I am grateful to be able to lean on a few friends who are that type and also in much, much better shape than I am. Both Kari and Brent told me that they thought my family and I would be able to easily manage the hike, and that the waterfall at the end would be worth any physical hardship encountered on the way there. Lynnette and Madison agreed to come with – not a guarantee since Mad’s feelings on hiking change like the seasons in other places not Hawaii.
I am proud of my daughter, as she didn’t overtly whine or complain about our trek into gravel-lined wilderness. As we neared the waterfall, we passed another family and the young daughter was openly griping. “She that beautiful girl there who is not complaining?” he said to his daughter, nodding at Madison. I looked up at the man, wiped the sweat from my face, took a deep breath, and said “You caught her on a good day.” The man laughed and Madison shot me a dirty look. In fact, the only thing Madison seemed to be concerned with was the number of mosquito bites on her legs and the process of scratching them. We did shower in bug spray prior to the hike, but I guess Madison was so sweet they were willing to deal with repellent. Hardcore. I have chosen to include this picture of Madison scratching and diagramming the locations of each of her bites.
As the inclines on the hills began to increase in length and slope, we encountered more people headed down the hill. “You’re almost there!” they’d say. “10 more minutes!” they’d say. Well, you know what? People have no f*cking concept of space or time on a mountain. All those comments did was get our hopes up, then let them come crashing down as we turned each corner hoping for waterfall only to find more hill. We would hear the sound of running water, then it would disappear. We’d hear it again, then the sound would lessen again. It was emotionally taxing. But the waterfall was worth it. Madison and I got down to our swimwear and took a few pictures in it. I guess I should have told Madison that the water would be cold because man, she reacted the same way she does when she has to shower at the beach: lots of screaming, lots of kicking. Good times, though.
We passed a rock pond on the way up to the waterfall. We watched a few people jump into it, then continued on our way. I tried to convince myself to jump into the water the rest of the way up the hill. “I’ve never done anything like that in my life,” I told Lynnette. She said to do it. I cannot swim and I am also afraid of heights, so you can see where I might have a little hesitation. I stood on the rock ledge and couldn’t see myself doing it. I settled for the lower rope swing. I think I let go too early because I was afraid of letting go too late. I hit bottom, not hard. The water was cold, but the adrenaline took care of that. Madison said she wanted in, and got her shoes off and everything, but once she put a toe in the water, she decided it wasn’t for her. So I know the picture is blurry, and that’s probably for the best. If you want a better visual, imagined a chubby polar bear clad in blue boardshots swinging from a rope (despite a lack of thumbs). Then imagine that polar bear has no physical coordination whatsoever as gravity goes to work on this mid-section heavy and bottom-heavy bear. Then the splash. And that’s probably less hilarious than what it actually looked like.