When last we left Nolemana and Mokihana, they were at a 7-way stop. Which way to turn? The Google map indicated that the road went through in the general direction they wanted to go, which was North. But it was the wrong road name. They sat at the intersection for a few minutes trying to figure out what to do.
K’den. The map said that even with a different road name, turning left would head us in the general direction we wanted to go. We drove slowly on the gravel road, having no idea where we’d end up. That problem was solved pretty quickly.
We hadn’t printed a Google map that showed all of the roads in the area. We were so far into daboonies that none of the roads showed on any of the larger maps that we had. I was getting small kine nervous. We turned around and drove back to the 7-way intersection.
Nolemana appraises houses in rural areas a lot. He’s not afraid to ask perfect strangers for directions. I am too timid to do that, especially in daboonies like this. I guess my “Deliverance” mentality was showing! He told me, “We’ll just drive till we find a house and then ask how the heck we can get to Carlton from here.”
The first house we came to was a ramshackle, unkempt place. There were a couple of jukalakas (old cars) in the driveway. To make matters worse, the house was surrounded by tall firs which made it look dark and uninviting. “You want me to just drive in there?” I squeaked. “‘Way up here in daboonies?”
I peered through the windshield. A man with stringy blond hair who’d been near one of the jukalakas silently slithered back into the house. “Dueling Banjos” was playing inside my head.
Nolemana assured me, “Moki, I’ve found that people are wonderfully helpful and friendly when I’ve been out in daboonies (actually, Nolemana doesn’t say ‘daboonies’… he prefers “rural areas”) doing an appraisal. I’ve never run into a problem with rural people; it’s city people who usually give me a hard time. I’m sure it’ll be fine. Just drive in!”
So I did. Slowly. Carefully. A yellow poi dog came out and started barking at us. Another man began walking towards us. He was dressed in loose overalls and a semi-buttoned plaid flannel shirt. Nolemana got out of the car with our maps and said, “Hi there! I wonder if you could help us. We need to get to Carlton, and our Google map says we can get there over this road, but we just hit a dead end back there.”
Nolemana laid the maps out on the hood of my car, and the man took a look at them. The blond man slowly came out of hiding and sidled up near the car. The dog walked around, trying to spot Kukui.
The overalls man told us that yes, we could in fact get to Carlton from there, but it’d be along logging roads which were pretty rough to travel on. Knowing about all the people who have gotten lost and/or died on logging roads, we knew we didn’t want to do that. The man gave us directions as to how to get back down to the highway; we just needed to turn right instead of left at the intersection.
I can’t say enough nice things about how helpful he was. His verbal directions were clear, and he was so friendly that all my fears were dispelled on the spot.
After thanking the man profusely, we backed out of the driveway, drove back to the intersection, and started down the hill.
The road was all gravel, but we were heading in the right direction. Down.
We drove through more forest and nani scenery.
We kept going down, down, down…and begin to see more signs of civilization.
We spotted this very young colt, who was so niele [curious] and posed for us when we stopped to take his picture.
And finally, just as the man had said, we were back on paved road again (Gopher Valley Road). I prayed a special blessing on him from ke Akua for being so helpful to us.
Pau Part Seven. Stay tuned for Part Eight, where you will see Nolemana and Mokihana finally make it to Carlton, and then embark on another adventure ‘way up in the Coast Range.