After hiding from the rain for the night, I awoke to stormy clouds but it wasn’t raining! I looked at some NOAA weather models for the day, and it looked like I was going to get wet. Most likely really wet. So I bought some zip lock bags as extra insurance that all my gear would stay dry and after a couple quick stops got back on the road.
My planned route is essentially a figure-eight of the island and it’s two volcanic masses with connecting isthmus, and this leg passed through Kahului before connecting with highway 340 going counterclockwise around the west side of the island.
It’s a funny feeling looking at the weather you are pedaling into and knowing you are willingly heading head first into a cataclysmic rain event. The first wall of rain hit me by surprise when I was shooting a photo during a “it’s only sprinkling” sucker hole, and like actually believing anything a political puppet tells you, it was a shame on me moment that left me scrambling to put away my camera and batten down the hatches for the elements of what today was going to entail.
Luckily it wasn’t all torrential rain, and I had a few breaks in the weather around picturesque Kahakuloa, with it’s dramatic windward landscape and the few stands selling banana bread on the side of the road.
This was a great road and felt light years away from the wizzing traffic and stoplights of Kahului. In between rain I enjoyed the view, and the narrow winding road cut into the rocky bluff hillside which wove its way through the numerous drainages that have been created via the combination of time and the perseverance of water. The area is absolutely stunning, and the unstable weather added to the dramatic views that stretched out in front of me.
I started looking for camp about 10 or so miles before Honolua Bay. With dark approaching, being in a steep, exposed, area it wasn’t ideal camping conditions. And the clouds looked like it was going to be a wet night. Taking stock of what I saw, a sense of urgency started to creep into the situations. Then I felt a drop. I knew the clouds were about to unleash. With the exposed landscape, I started looking and considering other options, checking under bridge support beams, looking for some solace from the impeding storm.
With 15 minutes till dark, I saw a sliver of a tin roof up a dirt road. Took the turn to recon, and couldn’t believe what I saw: a hunter check station with an overhang out of the wind, and a platform big enough to lay down the sleeping bag and reflector. Jackpot. I could have set the tarp as a wall from roof to platform, but seeing the conditions felt better laying on it so I could burrito up in it bivy sack style if winds changed. No need. It rained hard and I was dry. I think that’s part of why I like this kind of travel so much. It strips away a lot of the frivolous mumbo jumbo that it’s hard to not get caught up in, and is a great barometer for perspective to appreciate the little things.