On Friday the 28th of July in the year 2017 I left my house to stay at my friend’s house to leave for Waimanu Valley on Saturday the 29th of July in the year 2017. The night prior to our outsetting was filled with repetitive trips to the car to first grab phone chargers and then to grab the tarp our tent would rest on the valley’s (surprisingly level and soft) floor and then to put away our packs filled with goodies that we would return to on Monday the 31st of July in the year 2017 at a time unknown, at the time. Before I left my own house to spend the night at my friend’s house I made sure to shower and mentally prepared for it to be my last shower for the next couple of days, which, surprisingly, did not take a lot of mental preparation. I had dinner with my parents at a local restaurant called Noodle Club. There I ate the Club Saimin. Following my delicious and fulfilling experience at Noodle Club I proceeded to the nearest Foodland, which was anywhere as far away as the length of a football field and half of a football field, from Noodle Club.
I got bug spray and a headlamp at Foodland. I also saw my friends, Harmony and Ari, and now friend Reed. From there we said a farewell with our time apart measuring to be roughly 8 minutes because we were all staying at the same friend’s house. Said friend was not home.
At the house we distributed group gear evenly, and battled for tent poles and bread: Ari won the bout.
And then we left the next morning!
The trail to Waimanu Valley begins at the lookout point of Waipio Valley. I honestly do not know how many miles separate the two valleys at this point because our saving grace, Lawson’s dad (Lawson was also joining us on our adventure), had the audacity to take us down to the mouth of the river that divides Waipio Valley into 1 and 2 thirds, respectively, in regards to the entrance and exiting parts of the valley. With our packs on we trudged across the gaping river with almost malintent to get to the other side. nearly halfway through a set began to form out in the salty sea. One wave in particular gave me a gentle slap on my ass. The slap served as a reminder that I completely forgot to waterproof everything in my backpack.
Here is a comprehensive list of the things in my backpack that would be potentially damaged by my imprudence: my phone, camera, book, wallet,
the very sleeping bag that I was planning on sleeping in that very night, my cliff bars, and my other set of clothes.
With that mental check complete, I finished my crossing and began walking along the final two-thirds of the beach in my Jesus Slippers (pictured to the right in a completely unrelated setting (+ a sneak peak of my sexy ass corduroys that sink below my ankles ;)).
Fast-forward the length of maybe another football field to the rain setting in. The good thing about rain in Hawaii is it is warm as hell. Maybe not as warm as hell, with the assumption that hell exists and it is indeed warm, at the very least, but the rain in Hawaii is definitely more warm than the rain I have experienced in Sunny SoCal. However, I spaced on the warmness of the rain and put on my poncho anyways as I dressed with my shoes the maybe length of a football field away from the river in preparation for the Z-Trail, which was probably the length of another football field away from me.
Let’s talk about the Z-trail for one wet hot second: Firstly, the z-trail, though shaped like a z is angled at about 60 or so degrees from the base. With steps just a bit higher than the knees, it’s killer on them (the knees). Similarly, the z-trail goes up on the eastern (?) (I only put the question mark because when we actually woke up in Waimanu, the sun rose in the exact opposite direction that we (the group) had initially assumed) side of the valley. It’s opposing face is the road that we drove down. The z-trail is a mountain in and of itself.
And so there we stood at the base of the z-trail. The downpour was ever-daunting and I already lost sleep over the river crossing to take place in Waimanu itself. I was ready to turn back but I also reasoned with the fact that I had never done this before and with the fact that I really wanted to do it and that my things would eventually dry if it stopped raining.
We started on the z-trail and I was immediately out of breath because DAMN that incline had me praying that my brother never walked in on my parents the fateful night that I was conceived (but that’s for another time).
One reason that I was regretting the day of my conception was the painful rise and fall of my chest cavity. Another was the awful displacement of my knee cap that surged with pain with every rise in altitude.
The pain didn’t stop for the whole 9 miles (divided by football fields).
But eventually we got to Waimanu. The only subsidy of pain received over the course of the next two days was the ability to sit down and stand up with little issue. However, we only spent two days in the valley, one of which I rested and read my book, rather than exploring the valley.
A day gone we set off again. I neglected to mention the z-trail that flanks the entering/exiting side of Waimanu Valley. Firstly, it is exponentially harder to go down/go up than Waipio’s. It is littered with fallen leaves from hala trees (lauhala – leaves from hala trees). This wouldn’t really be a problem, but I had the buss (Pidgin: all buss – 1) broken, or 2) belligerently drunk) knee. It was my left knee. The right one acted as my saving grace and trudged up the valley’s wall with admirable strength and vigor, filled with the ichor of the gods.
In reality, I limped up and out of that damn valley with the end goal of taking a nice poop in the port-a-potties in Waipio (not that I hadn’t pooped in Waimanu. I actually had a great poop in one the high-up-hole-in-the-ground-toilets available to me in the valley. I just forgot to relieve myself before we left on the morning of Monday the 31st of July in the year 2017).
Eventually we got back to Waipio and all was good. The end of our journey was sat at the mouth of the river that separates the 1/3 portion from the 2/3 portion. We were on the 2/3 portion, lounging and accumulating. Everyone in our group finished within two hours from the first to arrive to the last to arrive.
As I sat there, eating my Cool Mint Chocolate cliff bar I had a revelation; “I still have to poop.” And so I exclaimed the fact that I had to poop to the rest of my comrades and they nodded in both respect and recognition (I’m assuming respect also) and I began crossing the river.
*Note: when I descended the z-trail on both sides, in Waimanu and Waipio valley, Ari was gracious enough to allow me to use her hiking poles to assist with the knee injury.
**Note: I did not use the hiking poles as I crossed the river.
I made my way across, feeling in front of me with both my left (the one with the knee) and right feet. I began having the surges of pain in my left knee as an equals to being careless with my use of it as an equals to being done, finally, with the trail. This was a mistake. Nearing the other end of the river, I felt a notorious, first, surge of pain, then, pop of my knee. The pain following was great. But I knew my mission. I needed to poop before I could attend to this.
When I got to the port-a-potties, however, I noticed something: there was no toilet paper. There were four potties in total, and not a single one had tp. On TOP of that, there was literal human feces on the third one from the left, the second from the right.
But, I’m not one to give up that easily.