Before we get into the little adventure story, I just wanted to share this nice picture of the mule we were driving behind when we left Waimea Canyon:
But our real adventure centers on the only plan we had our whole trip: to get our rental car back to the lot by 5:00 on Monday. If we didn’t do that, we would be charged for an extra day and that just wouldn’t be cool. Our flight didn’t leave until 8:30, so we thought we would drop off the car, check our luggage in early and then grab a bite to eat nearby. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans . . . .
We gave ourselves plenty of time to get to the airport, but by 4:40 we were stuck in a traffic jam. Now, on Oahu if there is a traffic jam on the highway you can drive around the island the other way. Yeah, it might take a few hours, but if the road is going to be closed for a long time, it is probably worth the time. But Kauai does not have an alternate route. The road does not go all the way around the island. So if there is an accident, you may as well turn around and go back to where you came from and wait it out. In our case, though, we didn’t have anywhere to go back to. A tour bus had hit a rental car and the road was going to be closed for hours. So we watched as the time passed and our car was not back to the lot. And then we sat and waited. And waited. And waited. After a few hours they opened up a Cane Haul road (a dirt farm road they used to haul sugar cane on) in our direction and were letting 50 cars through at a time.
We thought we were home free when we by-passed the accident, but the traffic was nearly as bad on the other side. It was 8:00 by the time we dropped off our car and we were afraid we were going to miss our flight. But we certainly weren’t the only ones stuck in the traffic and we ended up sitting in a nearly empty plane for twenty minutes while we waited for the rest of the passengers to make it through the traffic.
So, we didn’t get our car back on time (but we didn’t get charged for an extra day, either). We didn’t get to have a leisurely dinner. Our only plan for the trip failed. But, at least we had chips and dip to eat as we watched the grass grow.