As soon as the sun disappeared into the horizon, our entire group just gravitated to the outside of Kapalaoa Cabin. The cold air was nice and crisp. A jacket and my slippers were enough for me. Mike needed even less. While we (Ahnate, Allison, Coty, Janice, and Joel) were busy clicking out shutters, trying to capture the night sky, Mike simply lied flat on his back on the lone picnic table and watched as Mother Nature did her thing. And he did it all in his tighty-whities. We learned a lot about Mike that night.
After what seemed like a very long time outside, we all eventually made our way back inside the cabin. Ahnate, I-Ting, and Bin fiddled with the furnace. After considerable fiddling, they did eventually get the furnace burning and the cabin nice and warm. Only after did they notice that the instructions on how to use the furnace were right next to them, hanging on the wall. We all had a good laugh about that.
Sleep was difficult for me. I thought that I would fall asleep relatively quickly, but I didn’t. With nine other people in the cabin, you can only imagine the combination of sounds that would keep me company while I tossed and turned in my lightly padded bunk bed. In fact, it was almost like a symphony of snoring. It was fun..ny.
That first night, I really struggled with the fact that there would be no shower for me. I love showers. What was I doing here? And then I realized what I accomplished to get here. I descended the summit of Haleakala, passed tourists looking for a cheap thrill, and carried a heavy backpack through unforgiving sandy terrain at an altitude that’s not very fun to deal with. I did that. And then I realized that the shower could wait. Three more days.