Day #42, February 27, 2013-
Yesterday was pretty much everything that makes Hawaii awesome bundled into a nutshell.
The day originally started out quite boring. I did three hours of work and, sick of all this damned, endless cleaning, texted my host (who is in LA right now and left me both the bed and breakfast and the house I live in to myself) that I’d be spending that night camping out at the beach. It wasn’t the first thing I would have liked to do out here but I figured it was out of the norm enough to satisfy my need for something new. At around 3 in the afternoon I walked a few minutes into town just to get something from the store. On my way back I saw a group of people walking my way from down the road. They looked like hippies and were dancing and acting slightly foolish and I jokingly thought to myself “Who are these loons?”. Well, the loons actually turned out to be Rayne (a hippie girl who had worked at the bed and breakfast with me for a few days before leaving because she was made uncomfortable by another roommate) and her friends from the farm she was currently staying at. She stopped by, gave me a hug and said hello and everything and then asked me if I wanted to head to Taco Tuesday with her and her friends at this community called Cinderland. I of course agreed and was really excited for all the social interaction I was about to get. We sat around my place for an hour talking and just generally goofing around. I spent this time meeting the people Rayne had brought with her and getting to know them all. Rayne always seems to have alcohol on her person and this time was no different, with her brandishing a bottle of Jack Daniels within minutes of being in my place. I didn’t really drink any beyond a sip or two (as anyone who knows me will tell you, I’m not a drinker at all), but by the time we left the house an hour later Rayne and her boyfriend Jackson (who is pretty much a slightly hippie version of Adam from Workaholics) were quite inebriated (aka: pretty wasted).
We left the house and all started walking up the road to the intersection where we needed to hitch a ride from. There were six of us, which meant getting a ride was going to be especially tough since we’d pretty much be limited to sitting in the beds of pickup trucks, and I was honestly unsure if we would get picked up, but within five minutes of standing at the intersection this combination station-wagon/truck thing pulls up and offers to take us a little more than half the way we needed to go. We gratefully accept and hop in. The drivers are a redneck looking couple (about 45-50 yrs old, the man was driving while the wife was in the passenger’s seat), and they are very friendly and kind to us on the way and are very talkative. Rayne was getting especially friendly with them in her less-than-sober state, and within minutes the wife turns around and asks us in the back “Y’all wanna smoke dope?!” which was met with cheers from everyone else in the vehicle. After a couple seconds though, Jackson asks “Wait…do you mean dope as in weed, or dope as in ice (which is what the people on the island call meth)”? The lady responds “Well, I have both”, but everyone makes it very clear that none of us wanted any ice. She begins to agree and starts to tell us “Oh yeah definitely that stuff is bad don’t touch that…” but then she continues, saying “but, it’s okay to smoke it every once in a while.” At this point I realize this is the craziest hitch I’ve had in my time on the island and, while I wasn’t freaking out and while I didn’t feel in any danger what-so-ever, I just kept thinking how crazy the ride was. It was honestly hard to keep from laughing like an idiot. Within thirty seconds after this conversation, I look up to the passenger’s seat to see the woman brandish a meth crystal bigger than a golf ball. Before this, I had never seen meth in my life. Now, I’m looking at what is probably a couple hundred dollar crystal meth sphere. It was crazy. This island never ceases to surprise. A few moments we finally arrive where they had to turn off. I wasn’t scared really, but I was still glad to be out of the vehicle.
The couple pulls off and Rayne and Jackson start stumbling to some national park that was called “Lava Tree Park” across the road. We try to keep them from going and try to tell them to stay with us (partly because we wanted to stick together, partly because they were pretty fricken drunk) but they just began getting a bit belligerent. Frustrated, the other guy in the group started heading off to the intersection we needed to reach, telling the rest of us to just forget them and that they’ll meet up with us somehow at some point. We all follow, and I am now spending a day walking around the middle of Hawaii with people I had met about an hour beforehand—it’s one of the crazy things that seems to happen here that doesn’t really happen elsewhere. We reach the intersection within two or three minutes and begin hitching, and only end up having to wait five minutes or so before we are picked up by a man who takes us all the way to the entrance of the place we need to be. This ride was, thankfully, much less interesting than the last and was completely uneventful.
We arrived and still had to walk a half mile or so to the entrance of Cinderland. Cinderland is, by the way, a place that has been described to me as a ‘sustainable-living community’ or an ‘eco-village’. Basically, a man created the place because he had a vision of creating a community that is completely self-sustaining and something that can run completely on it’s own, without assistance from energy companies or the government or, really, the outside world. The facility still hasn’t reached that point—runs to town are still made and there is a basic level of connectedness they have to maintain—but they’ve made a pretty good start. The facility is built on extremely new lava flows (as in thirty years ago new, which is extremely small on a geological scale), and while the land all leading up to Cinderland looks like the moon—very rocky, covered in lava rocks, very alien—the efforts of the crew at Cinderland has led to Cinderland being a lush oasis. They have their own private tropical forest. It’s crazy. There are countless fruit trees, tons of herbs (and tons of ‘herbs’), and apparently pretty much everything growing on the property is edible or can be eaten in some form. All the trees create a canopy over Cinderland, and the entire place is like a giant hippie camp (because, well, it really is a giant hippy camp). It’s quite a cool place. Anyway, we walk for a bit and arrive at Cinderland. We were actually worried we had missed the tacos when we arrived since we saw no one sitting in the main meeting area where it is usually held. A hippie guy came out of nowhere and started talking to us and told us we were really early, but he offered to give us a tour of the place and we agreed. He spent like thirty minutes showing us the place, all the dorms, all the artwork and the yoga studio and things of that nature. After that we headed to the main meeting area and sat down and began to smoke. There were a few people there now and someone was starting a fire. We all chilled and talked and began to get sociable. I met a cool kid who spent most of the night with me just smoking and talking. I also saw this kid Forest who I had met at the hot ponds a few days beforehand, and it was cool to see him again. At one point during the night he asked if I wanted to meet up today during the morning, but I said I couldn’t because of work. But, I feel like I might finally be starting to make some somewhat longer term friends, which is cool. But yeah, Taco Tuesday was insanely fun—we met up with Rayne and Jackson again, talked to lots of people, smoked a lot (nothing illegal, of course), ate delicious food, and had a really great drum circle with some really great people. The night itself is another entire paragraph and I’m not sure I want to write about all that here, so I will just skip to the ride home.
By the time we were ready to head home it was 10pm. I was convinced we were just going to end up staying the night at Cinderland since hitchhiking at night is notoriously difficult, but one of the guys was sure we’d be able to find a ride home (it wasn’t too far away from home, though it still would have been a walk of a few hours most likely). We set off stumbling into the dark without flashlights, something that normally would have been impossible because of how dark it gets out here, but thankfully the moon was out and that provided more than enough light for us to see everything quite easily. We surprisingly only had to wait about three minutes before someone picked us up. He had a small four person car, and our group had six people. Somehow, we all managed to cram into the car and we headed off. We all laughed about how crammed in we were and our driver made lots of jokes about it. He was extremely friendly and we were really lucky to run into him. If not for him who knows how long we would have waited for a ride. We get to where he has to turn off and we all get out. He starts driving down this gravel road into a subdivision and we all notice that his back door is open—Sarah forgot to close it, but the guy just didn’t notice and kept on going. We all laughed a lot about this, and we laughed even harder when a lady drove from the same subdivision a minute later and told us “Man, did you guys see that crazy guy that was driving with one of his doors open?”. We all laughed hysterically and then the lady offered to take us into town. We had to cram into this car too, and I spent the next ten minutes sitting in the lap of someone I had just met that day. That’s the perfect description of Hawaii, really. She dropped us up at the top of town and we were all amazed—we had hitched all the way home in less than probably 15 minutes. That’s faster than it normally takes during the day. We were all extremely lucky. We walked the remaining five minutes home and stopped to get some candy on the way. We got home, hung out and munched for a little bit, then we all proceeded to enter into the best sleep of our lives.
So yeah, in the span of an hour I went from being about to camp on the beach to spending my day with a bunch of people I vaguely knew and going to a drum circle, meeting everyone from meth-heads to hippies along the way. It was quite a day