I am afraid I have been remiss in writing. Being in Kauai will do that to you. I am starting this post on the last leg of my journey home, after a week spent in one of my favorite places on earth– the north shore of Kauai, in the towns of Hanalei, Princeville and Kilauea. Did I mention it also lays claim to being the rainiest place on earth? And this week was no exception.
My first clue was when I reserved my rental car and discovered that a convertible was the same price as the smallest and cheapest economy car. Sound too good to be true? At least I am glad I didn’t pay extra for the convertible because I never had the top down once! Actually, having been to the north shore many times before, I know of its rainy tendencies and I knew full well that I was headed there in the absolute rainiest time of the year. But I did not care—I love the rain. Living in the high mountain dessert, the warm gentle rains of Hawaii seems like a luxury.
I arrived last Wednesday night, in time for a late dinner with some of my dear friends there. Thursday was a lazy recover-from-jet-lag day spent visiting, a bike ride to the beach and lolling about. With a full day of clinics and lessons on Saturday, I spent Friday checking out the arena, confirming plans, and managed to get a walk on the beach. By Friday afternoon, it was raining hard but we still went out to a party and then had a lovely dinner with friends. Friday night the deluge began—I have never heard it rain so hard for so long.
I awakened early Saturday morning so I could get to the barn early for my clinics and the rain was still coming down hard. Right away we discovered the bridge that connected us to the rest of the island was closed due to flooding of the river—there was no getting out and the rain was still coming down hard. In short order the clinics had been cancelled and our plans were to do it all the same on Sunday. That left us free to relax, talk story (as they say in Hawaii) and just have some relaxing down-time with friends.
By Sunday, the rains had stopped and the river level was down and the roads opened so the clinic went on as scheduled. I did a half-day clinic for the new 4H club there and we had 10 riders. They were all very enthusiastic and engrossed in learning. The 4H used to be very active on Kauai—my first timer there I did a 4H clinic with 28 riders. But as is common in 4H, the leaders are the glue that holds it together and when a strong leader moves on, the clubs tend to fall apart. With new enthusiastic leaders, the 4H club on Kauai is coming to new life and I was pleased to do my part. It’s the least I can do when the leaders and Silverfall Stables, where the clinic was held, are donating their time, horses and facility. I have a lot of admiration for the people that donate their time and energy to youth riders.
The rest of the day was spent in private lessons. It’s been a long time since I’ve taught in the one-hour lesson format. I enjoyed it but it would take some getting used to since I am used to teaching one group of students all day. And although I went over-schedule with each lesson, I enjoyed it and worked with a variety of horses and riders. But I think I’ll stick with the clinic format—I like teaching big groups all day.
The rest of my time in Kauai was spent visiting friends and walking on the beach between rain storms. No swimming or sunbathing on this trip—my legs are just as white now as they were when I left. But that hardly matters because with the extreme winter conditions I came home to, it’ll be a long time before my legs see the light of day! I finally got home 24 hours later than expected due to a cancelled flight and my luggage still has not surfaced, but as always, it was good to sleep in my own bed last night.
All the best,