The day ended well but boy did it start out rough. So bad, in fact, that we wondered if God really wanted us to zipline today at all with the obstacles we faced. I never give up, not now and not ever, and so when the cars stopped ahead of us and then started turning around on the two lane highway as we approached the Hilo side of the island for our big adventure, we groaned and followed the guy driving away who told us that there was an accident and the road would be closed for hours. Damn.
As we beat a hasty retreat north back through Waimea where we had just come from, Hannah got on with spotty cell coverage and, never giving up, talked persistently and politely with our tour group manager several times before they magically found a spot for us in a later outing, which we had to madly drive another two hours on the only other road to get to them. This road being one lane in spots with dead wild pigs lying by the side of the road-okay, only one dead pig but it was BIG! Bleak volcanic fields on either side of the lane, that poor pig didn’t make it out alive but we did, dodging wild drivers in our lane who obviously were new to driving and, with one minute to spare, the rest of our group already on the course, we signed away our lives on the liability release forms that none of us had time to read and, after a bumpy gut-wrenching trip over rutted dirt roads through fields of purple sweet potatoes and apple bananas, , we lined up and got ready to practice.
Our kind guides, Corey and Phillip, instructed us in the proper way to hurl our bodies down through the forest without killing ourselves. Check. Ready. Set. Go. Since this was an “Eco Adventure”, our knowledgeable guides pointed out the local crops of ginger, pineapple, sweet potatoes, taro, and apple bananas, which we thankfully got to eat right off the trees since we didn’t have time to stop for lunch. Who knew that pineapples grew up on little cute bushes???
The rest of our group hailed from the great State of Texas which became very apparent when the guides were discussing how locals liked to capture the wild pigs, more prevalent than people on the Big Island, and somehow gun control came up. Our Texas clan proceeded to excitedly share with the Hawaiian guides how easy it was to get “same day” guns in Texas at their local WalMart with very little background checks. No kidding. So happy that Thom didn’t come with us (bad back and all) because he would have never been able to hold his tongue and would have proceeded to throw the guy down the line for his remarks, which most would consider a tad insensitive (and just wrong on so many levels) given the innocent people recently killed in Charleston. Looking at my caring kids who were visibly biting their lips to hold back the opinions on gun control they longed to share, we took our turns and off we went to fly over the gorgeously green forests and valleys filled with waterfalls and rivers. Needless to say, we didn’t mingle with our Texas group much. Thank goodness.
Each of the seven lines got progressively longer until the final BIG one, almost 2/3 of a mile, where we went soaring by a huge waterfall too quickly for me to take it all in. What a fantastic way to experience the beautiful back country of Hawaii that most people never get to see. We are truly blessed. Aloha!