Report on last week's camping adventure to Kahana Bay, Windward Coast of Oahu, Hawaii. You must have a camping permit to camp there. Permits may be obtained through DLNR's online registration site. Permits are only opened one month ahead of time.
We had so much fun at Kahana last year that we decided to do it again. Monday morning we packed up the truck with all the essentials and by about 2pm we were ready to roll. Dave had to work so these three kids did the majority of the work with just the direction of their dear old mom. We were a great team.
It took us about an hour to set up our campsite. We put up the EZ corner and then popped the tent up under neath it. There was threat of rain so we left all the clothes and sleeping bags inside the cab of the truck while setting up. Good thing we did too, just as we popped up the tent the rain started coming down. We ferried back and forth between the truck and the tent doing our best to keep everything dry. Wouldn't you know as soon as we were done unloading and setting up the rain stopped. It's all good.
When our main site was set up I let the kids loose to set up their hammocks. Afton and Cora made their own hammocks over the weekend in preparation for the adventure. They enjoyed testing them out and showing them off to friends.
They made me test them out too, "to make sure they were strong enough." Apparently they think I weigh a lot more than them. I was all too happy to oblige and get off my feet for a few.
Back to work on starting a fire. I am not very good at starting fires. It took me about an hour of fiddling until I gave up and used Martha's briquettes. Big thanks to the Hunters for letting us borrow their fire pit! (In Hawaii, despite what you see in movies, it is illegal to have a beach fire. All fires must be in an enclosed container at least 18 inches above the ground.) Day 1 dinner: foil dinners!
Day 2 started off slow. At least for me. I slept outside with the girls; they in their hammocks and me in a cot beneath them. I had a terrible nights sleep. The waves and wind were great but the cot was so uncomfortable and their were cars driving past all night (the campground is tucked between the bay and the Kam Hwy). The noise hadn't bothered me last year.
Dave got up and went in to work--he had arrived the night before just after sunset. The kids goofed around and did some exploring and Kayaking. Kirkham drove back to Laie with his buddies to "get some stuff" and were gone for about 2 hours. Afton had a babysitting job; they dropped the little boy off to play with us at the beach. I read. All day. It was great.
We kept the fire going most of the day. The kids enjoyed boiling water over it for hot cocoa and making s'mores. Little Mosely (Afton's babysitee) was well worn out by 3pm. He had gone Kayaking and swimming and made sand castles. He roasted a marshmallow and was nearly asleep in his camp chair when his mom came to pick him up.
The night before Cora had been bitten by mosquitos and got 10 bites on the left side of her face. By mid afternoon her eye was beginning to swell up. We didn't have any benadryl but I had to run home to take Kirkham to work so I put it on my list to pick up.
Kirkham was only scheduled for a two hour shift so I waited for him and Dave to get off work (only one car at this time). The waves weren't breaking at Kahana and I needed to get my daily surf fix so while waiting I drove up to the Pipe for a quick session.
Kirkham got off work a little late but fortunately we still got back to Kahana before the sun went down. Some of the kids were playing in the water still and others were roasting their hot dog dinners over the fire.
The fun and frolicing soon turned into a sunset game of two-hand touch. I was quarterback for my team and Martha was quarterback for her team.
That evening was filled with more campfire stories, Perry strumming his guitar, and banana boats for dessert. When we all tucked in for the night I had a really hard time falling asleep. A really hard time, like I didn't sleep! I ended up with a killer headache that kept me up and pacing. Just as the first glimmers of sunrise were peeking over the horizon I was finally closing my eyes in a comfy spot on the lawn. I had to give up on the terrible cot. The lawn was also a perfect spot to find roots to roll into the pressure points on my back--yes, that's what put me to sleep.
A few hours later I woke up with the sun in my eyes and, try as I might, I couldn't fall back asleep again. I spotted Dave out fishing along the barren shoreline. It was a beautiful and quiet morning. The waves were ever so gently rolling in and I knew he was in heaven. Dave has been working so hard lately. Between University Admissions, his doctoral program with USC, and serving as Young Men's president he hasn't had much free time. I was glad to see that he had gotten the morning off and all the kids were still sleeping, not intruding on his solitude. I wandered down just in time to witness his 2nd catch of the day. He skillfully unhooked it and sent it swimming merrily on it's way back into the bay.
Meanwhile, back at the camp the kids had slunk from their sleeping bags to the edge of the campfire and started it up again. Cora's eye was swollen shut now so I made arrangements to get into the doctor that afternoon. She wasn't in pain, could still breathe well and didn't have a fever so we carried on with our relaxing nonetheless.
When Afton found out her dad was fishing she ran over to watch. He quickly had another on the line and let her reel it in. She was hooked! She spent the next few hours puppy dogging him. The did some shore fishing and kayak fishing.
Her first "catch": she reeled it in.
Pretty soon Afton wasn't the only one admiring Dave's fishing skills. Afton ran into camp to change into her swim suit and Cora followed her back out. Soon Nathan and Austin were out too. They all took turns fishing and Kayaking. All the kids walked down to the river and the bridge to play down there. I'm really not sure what it was like because I didn't go.
"What did you do?", you ask? I kept my feet in the sand, my butt in a camp chair, and my nose in a book until it was time to go home.
Update on Cora: We took her to the doctor after getting home from camping. He put her on a 5 day course of prednisolone which made a big difference by the next morning. Her bites are all cleared up now. We think she reacted so strongly only because she had so many bites so close together and so near the delicate soft tissue of the eye. Weird thing is the same thing happened to her cousin Maren the weekend before. Maren is in Washington.