Things couldn’t have been worse. At least, that’s what I thought. I
hadn’t gone very far before I managed to take a wrong turn. I didn’t
notice I was on the wrong highway until I had peddled half way up a
mountain. I guess when the traffic let up that’s all that mattered to
me. On top of the mountain there was a town, or so the sign read, so
I kept on going. I didn’t find a town. I found another military base,
the Wahiawa Air Force Base. I pulled off in a field and crashed behind abandoned Delmonte storage bins. I was tired and it was getting too dark to bicycle anyway.
When I went to sleep everything was fine. Halfway through the evening, though, the rains came. I did not have adequate shelter, and I didn’t want to put up my tent in the dark and in the rain, so I pulled my sleeping bag over my head and pretended it wasn’t raining. That worked for a while, and then, in the morning twilight, my despicable condition was revealed. My head lay in three inches of water. My sleeping bag was soaked. I was freezing, and it was still raining. I backtracked down the mountain. I didn’t stop shivering until I found a café and drank five cups of hot coffee.
It was early afternoon before I finally reached Keaau. I set up my
tent and laid my stuff out to dry. It was amazing how fast the warm
sunshine could bring a person back “from the dead.” Feeling better, I went into town and bought food and quart of beer. I also bought a
transistor radio. Outside the store, after I put the batteries in the
radio, there was no sound. I took the radio back, and the lady behind the counter exchanged it for another one. She made the mistake of giving me a radio that cost $20 instead of replacing the $8.50 one that I had bought. I didn’t say anything. I was just happy to see a little luck come my way for a change.
Sitting at the picnic table next to my tent with my new radio playing really good progressive rock music (Spirit, Quicksilver, Doors, Beatles etc.), I was feeling happy, and it felt good. I stuffed myself with baloney sandwiches and swilled down the beer. After a desert of cookies, topped off with two cigarettes and the rest of the beer, I was overflowing in happiness.