Who's Driving?

April 24, 2010

If you are doing your homework and are the stalker that I know you can be, you know that I'm in Hawaii right now (gasp). I know! In Hawaii in the sun and sand and the sea. Okay, well in the rain and the lava and the ocean, but that's pretty close.

Yesterday I went up to see the big ol' volcano responsible for making this island and to tell it thanks for making this island so I could come here to see this island that it made. It didn't say anything back, but that's probably a good thing. I'm not sure I like volcanoes talking to me very much.

Before the story continues, you must know that a real good friend, almost like family, who came with me on this vacation recently purchased some land here on the big island, on which to build a house someday. i could go anywhere with youWe decided to venture out into the wild rain forest side of the island in search of said property (and us with no address or map or any idea what we were doing). Now when said friend visited said property, there was a jeep and specific navigational coordinates involved. Not this time. Not with me. Not on my vacation.

What we did have some pretty good directions and a few GPS enabled cell phones. Oh hey! That reminds me... when traveling the back country rain forest part of the big island... there are a few things you will want to take with you.
1. rain gear. check
2. GPS. check
3. Jeep.
Well... Jeep, Charger... whatever

(Yes, I rented a charger in Hawaii. And it's shiny and red. And nowhere near as fast as the red racer in my garage)

So we turned off our lovely 4 lane road onto the 2 lane side road, and then wound our way around to the turn onto the almost 1 lane road, which led us to that left turn down the... path. At least it was a solid-pack path and not a big long mud bog (did I mention the Charger?)

About 27 miles (okay, maybe 1) down the dirt path, I started to get a little concerned and had the urge to get out and lock the front hubs in (that's 4digger manly-type talk). The road was fairly straight, but plagued with potholes and puddle monsters and heavily lined with vegetation. (Fortunately for those of us who didn't buy the extra insurance, there was no scrapage of the vegetation on the shiny red Charger.) With some careful navigation around the big puddles, a little bit of clenching (ahem) now and then and a whole lotta "it looks a lot closer on the GPS", we made it to the point where said friend pointed out that the property was somewhere along here. (somewhere along here? well, that's precise)

So we all bailed out and stood in the mud and the rain and were... actually quite impressed. Very remote and quiet and so, so green. (and there was power and internet lines nearby.. woot!) It didn't really matter that we couldn't tell exactly which lot it was, we were close enough and it was very beautiful.

As we were parked and standing there in the middle of the road, cars came from either direction. Normally you just yell "car", stop the game and move off the road. Well, the Charger is not small. No worries... 500 feet down the road was a wide spot, so it's hathaway driving the car to the wide spot to puzzle the other 2 cars past, then backing 500 feet back to get the rest of the troops (who had, by this time, been offered a ride by both passing cars, like I was abandoning them in the wilderness).

When it was time to leave, it was suggested that I just back the 27 miles (okay, so it was 1) out the dirt road, but I opted for the 23 point turn at 'the wide spot'. No worries. Not a scratch. (my arms are little sore from all the turning, though. Got any icy-hot?)

Once I got turned around, I found that the drive back out was fairly easy, went by fairly fast, and was not nearly as exciting as the drive in. So that got me thinking (finally we get to the point of the post)

I'm sure you're familiar with the song 'life is a highway'... Well sometimes life is a highway. It's a big 4 lane paved rubberized coated highway and we just sail along in our big comfy quiet lives, not even hearing the tires on the road. And our biggest frustrations are other cars on the road. And all we see is highway signs.

But sometimes life is a bumpy, watery, river running through it, each bump makes you jump, hard-packed trail. And every turn makes you wonder if there is a car coming in the opposite direction where there won't even be room to get by, or if there is road there at all. And every puddle of water contains the possibility of puddle monsters (or at least scraping bottom). And your eyes are constantly searching to look for the high spots and a safe way through, and the beauty of it all distracts you. The bumps and scrapes are all worth it, because it is an adventure.

I say let's make that left turn down the dirt road. Let's go look for the adventure and follow that path that few have. Let's be out of breath a little more, and see more beauty and feel lucky that we are not stuck on the same highway as everybody else.

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