I’ve hijacked #tbt and turned it into #ttbt so I can tell stories about old photos of my past adventures. This time: Kalaupapa, Molokai.
So, my Aunt lives in Hawaii, and the summer after 10th grade (which would make us 16 and 15 I think), my friend Kelsey and I went out to visit. Which was a PRETTY SWEET DEAL for some high-schoolers from the east coast. We did all the usual Hawaii stuff – hanging out on the beach, snorkeling, going to the Pearl Harbour museum, checking out the North Shore, eating pineapple soft-serve after navigating the maze at Dole. I had been before with my family and done a lot of that stuff, but it didn’t exactly lose it’s shine or anything. I mean. In Hawaii as a teenager! We basically had run of the place when we weren’t doing specific planned activities. It was fantastic.
The one thing we did do that I hadn’t done with my family was take a very small plane over to Molokai to hike down into Kalaupapa National Park. This is where King Kamehameha V banished Hawaiian people with Hansen’s disease (leprosy). It’s a small peninsula on the north side of the already tiny island that is pretty isolated (you either have to fly in on an even tinier plane, or hike in down a crazy-steep trail), so it was basically the equivalent of sweeping people under a rug. A rug with amazing views, but a rug nonetheless. A bit shit really.
I’ve just looked this up because I couldn’t remember, but apparently that trail is 3.5 miles long. For a super-steep trail, that’s a fair distance (ALL THE SWITCHBACKS) but to my current mind, it doesn’t seem all that long. It’s NOT, really. However, to our lazy-ass, opposite-of-sporty, high school selves, it was soooooooo farrrrrrrrr. I know it’s normal for you to remember things seeming so much bigger as a kid, but you tend to think that way of seeing the world fades out before you’re a teenager. This is one of those memories that proves that your sense of your own relative smallness sticks around a lot longer than you recall.
My Aunt and Uncle put up with our whinging like champs. We certainly appreciated it and it was an amazing day, but you’re talking about girls who were constantly yelled at in gym class for walking when we were meant to be running the mile. So. That gives you an idea.
Anyway, we DID opt for the walk over the donkeys (donkeys!) or the tiny plane, and we were duly rewarded with a history lesson I definitely never would have learned had I not gone there. And a stunning place in general.