We took a quick cruise to Wainapanapa state park and I went for an early morning ocean swim out to a sea stack, which I could climb up the chossy volcanic rock to reach the top before jumping into the ocean below. A great way to start the day, and even better after we went for another swim in the freshwater caves close by.
Back on the road and what a road it was. Winding through some beautiful scenery, my focus was at times directed towards fallen mangos littering the road. There isn’t much in the way of amenities along this route, but are a fair number of fruit stands and a couple eating options.
Thai food sounded great so it didn’t take our arms being twisted to get us to pull over. Ten dollars well spent later, we were back on our way. Hana is one of those small town hamlets that has a time capsule general store that has managed to eschew the modern, homogenized, chain store façade that it sometimes seems tough to get away from. The bulletin board acts as a community hub, and their retail selection runs the gamut from ice cream to machetes.
And what a machete selection. Part of the joy of traveling is the people and perspectives you meet along the way, and in the store I ran into a gentleman wearing a leather apron. When asked what he had the apron on for, his smirked response of “what don’t I have it on for” served as a segue for a great conversation about his life in the area, and was an insight to the product-of-your-environment self-reliance often seen in people living on the outskirts. I don’t know what it is, but the paradox of some small communities seems that even though it seems people gravitate towards these places or stay there after growing up to get away from or avoid the hustle and bustle, and quite frankly all the people of cities. Yet these people often seem the most open to talk, and to listen.
The road straightened out for a stretch, and the sun was starting to get to us. Noah decided to start wearing his jacket hood, with the jacket becoming a de facto cape to protect his body from the sun. Barefoot. Brilliant.
Great views and great weather, with too many sights to make great time. The phrase great time has never made much sense to me. You can’t make time; you can only spend it wisely.
From here I did a pit stop to do a quick run up the Pipiwai trail which is managed by Haleakala National park, and is a very nice trail leading a couple miles through well built stone stairs, past a couple massive Banyon tress, and through board walked stands of bamboo leading towards a waterfall. Obviously doing something like this means leaving your bike for a bit, and I didn’t have a lock with me. Out of sight out of mind, I hid the bike and covered in with brush. Problem solved.
Back on the road, I took a couple scenic detours before arriving at Laulima farms and meeting back up with Noah. It was the type of inviting place that you want to hang out. Noah had made some friends and was playing a guitar. I bought some local produce (real food) and set up for a game of chess to go with my cup of coffee. High-class poverty!
Wrapping past Kipahulu and towards Kaupo, the climate charges from a jungle type climate to drier landscape, without much in the way of amenities. Thinking this was last stop with easy to get water, I filled the cordura water bladder I’d brought and wore it backpack style to have ample fresh water for where we were headed. The road quality quickly changes here as well, and with light fading fast the trip took a figurative turn into adventure cycling mode.
The road surface was alternating between the bone jarring stutter bumps of an un-graded dirt road and stretches of pavement that appeared to have been created solely by haphazardly throwing shovelfuls of asphalt onto the road for the last decade plus. Adding fuel to the experience was the last of the light subsiding and I was the only one with a headlamp. This is where the tire choice on the Weekender really stood out being a solid performer with anything that could be thrown at it.
Needless to say, we were exited when we made it to a great spot to camp. Poking around in the dark, we found an overhang (means not having to set up tarp, and can lay on it instead), a fire pit, and a couple pallets. Talk about winning the lottery.
I set up and used the soda can stove I’d made to cook dinner. It is basically two can bottoms sandwiched together with an inner sleeve cut with fuel port notches allowing the flame to come out of the holes that were poked into the can with an awl. JB weld is the best way to put one together but this being a last minute version (I’d given away the last one I’d made) I used a piece of heat tape to seal the deal. Dinner is served, campfire built and we fell asleep to the sound of waves crashing on rolling boulders.