Thursday, October 20, 2011

Maunawili Falls

I always claim that I'm adventurous and thrill-seeking, but I'm actually very level-headed (almost too much).  I know when things are too dangerous or risky to try.  I'm also very paranoid.  I go through every scenario possible (always worst-case scenario) and plan my next steps accordingly.

And in Illinois that's okay.

There's nothing scary to do in Illinois, except jump off 15-foot bridges into disgusting little rivers so you can dislocate some body part.

Here in Hawaii, it's a whole different ball game.  Beaches with hefty waves to swim, mountains to climb, cliffs to jump off, huge trees to climb in the jungle.  Life in Hawaii is a giant adventure, and if you don't take risks you won't do anything fun worth talking about (or blogging about).  All you'll have is stories about laying out on the beach and visiting Pearl Harbor and the aquarium, which is all fine and dandy, but being in Hawaii is about taking advantage of the nature.

Friday, October 7 was one of those days.

Kelsey's friend Anna had just come the night before to stay with us for a week, so we wanted to start her vacation off in the most badass way possible - Maunawili Falls.

Maunawili Falls is a waterfall with cliffs at different heights to jump from.  All I knew going in was that there were 20-foot, 40-foot, and 60-foot cliffs to jump from.  My adventurous mindset got my all excited and not even a little frightened by these heights.  Like I said, the highest thing I've jumped off of was a 15-foot bridge.

The hike to get to the falls was absoultely gorgeous.  It was also long, and a bit of a workout.  At one point, you get to the top of a mountain and the view is breathtaking.  I posted a picture of it in the PIKCHAAAAAS section.  There's also a point in the journey to the falls where you have to ford through a little stream before you can get back on the path.

When we finally got to the falls, all you could see was a waterfall off a rock about 12 feet high and a giant pool all the water collected in.  Nobody else that was there was jumping from the cliffs.  Then again the people that were there consisted of little families and high school girls taking pictures of themselves with the scenery.

Finally, we figured out that there was a path barely visible enough to  be called a path that winded up the side of the hill.  There, my friends, was the 40 foot cliff, complete with a rope to hold on to so you didn't slip off the mud.

How ingenious.

I looked over the edge of this cliff, and it was a LONNNNG way down.  I wasn't sure if the pool was going to be deep enough for us not to hit the bottom once we landed in it.  Kelsey asked if I wanted to jump first.  I told her she could go first (AKA be the guinea pig, but I wasn't about to tell her that).

Kelsey barely hesitated, screamed "Look out below!" and plunged.  She made it out alive, which was reassuring.  So it was my turn.

I held onto the rope and looked out over the edge once again.  I knew the longer I postponed jumping, the more I was going to freak myself out and be less likely to even jump.  So I pulled myself together, let go of the rope and jumped.  Right after I jumped off the cliff I remember thinking,"What the hell have I just done?  I can't believe I actually jumped."  I was very surprised with myself and proud that I hadn't psyched myself out or prolonged the jump any longer.

Right when I jumped off, I screamed like a little girl.  I admit it.  But hey, I jumped and I jumped early, and that's all that matters.

The trip down to the pool of water lasted foreverrrrrrrr (insert Squints from The Sandlot). I had never fallen that far in my life, and it was scary.  Also thrilling.  But more scary.  I was in the air for so long I had to flail my arms (like a freak) to stay upright and balanced.  Can you be balanced when you're falling?  I felt like I was losing my balance, hence the flailing.

But I will tell you, my first landing did not go so smoothly.  I will say this for the whole world to read: I got the biggest wedgie of my life when I landed in that water.  You know when you're at the water park going on the highest slide the "life guards" (or whatever they are) tell you to keep your legs together and arms crossed?

I think the same rule applied for this 40-foot monster.  And I forgot about it.

I believe a normal body when faced with this particular danger, would clench every muscle in their body and become stiff as a board.

Not I.

I believe this whole wedgie business could have been avoided had I clenched my gluteus maximus (ASS).  I also believe that would have spared me from the unnecessary enema I received.

It was like water skiing on vacation when Grandpa drove the boat too fast all over again.

What a nightmare.

Anywayyyy.  Point is that I survived, and can now proudly say that I, Katherine M. Lenz, have jumped off a 40-foot cliff in Hawaii and lived to blog about it.

I'm allowed to say this because the second time I jumped was a lot more courageous and I did not shriek like a child.

Here's the vid!


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