The Hawaiian Hobo Gazette: Pig Jeans Edition

 **This commercial from your regularly scheduled Super Serious Stuff for People Being Serious is brought to you by a true story of being a Hawaiian hobo story chaser.

"Ugh! I'm too fat for my pig jeans. I need to get down to my ideal pig jean weight before we leave this island!", I said as I pulled on said "pig jeans" in the classic "I'm laying down to try to wrestle myself into pants that do not fit" pose that EVERY girl knows. I'm just doing at at 2:30 am in a Shell gas station parking lot in Hawaii in the reclined front seat of a minivan. 

Dear reader, I sense that you have many questions about this paragraph. Never fear. All will come to harsh light soon enough.

Let's start with "pig jeans". I know you're thinking that since you haven't heard of them they must be something on the cutting edge of fashion that can only be acquired on an island 3,000 miles at sea and OHMYGOD WHERE CAN I GET THESE?!?! Calm down. They're not as glamorous as they sound. I landscape with a local man I call Uncle Ben (Auntie and Uncle are the Hawaiian version of ma'am and sir in the South. Non negotiable terms of address for your elders.) Uncle Ben often goes on romps through the jungle to hunt wild boar. My hobo co-pilot Deanna thinks pig hunting sounds like great fun. I think it sounds like, "Ew! Kill an animal?! Hard pass. I can't look at blood. I will scream." The flip side of the coin is that I DO want to run around the jungle in parts of Kauai so rural that only hunters know the way. Needless to say, I'm persuaded and plans are made. But what shall we wear? Something we can burn afterward, we both agree. So we go to Goodwill in search of what we refer to forever after as "pig jeans".

The day of the blessed event arrives and we are instructed to meet Uncle Ben at 2:50 am (which is shockingly specific considering the general "laissez-faire" attitude towards time on the island.) We arrive on time and half asleep. Uncle Ben arrives 34 minutes later. It's all for the best though, because getting in our pig jeans takes more effort that we had anticipated. A cup of coffee and a corn dog later (let's call it a traditional Hawaiian hunting breakfast and not get caught up in the accuracy of that) we get to the trailhead. We climb, or maybe I should say SPILL out of Uncle Ben's jacked up, four wheel drive, monster truck. While we wait for the rest of the hunting party we watch Uncle Ben chain smoke and drink Rock Star energy drinks. We decide not to participate in this portion of the well rounded hunting breakfast. 

Deanna and I recognize the trail immediately. 

"Oh no, the Power Line trail!", I hissed.

We had slogged through a full day hike on this very trail that will probably be fun to talk about later. MUCH later. Maybe.

Deanna turns to me and says, "You know, when I said I never wanted to see the Power Line trail again, what I MEANT to say was that I really wanted to do it in the dark. And the rain. At 3 am."

Here comes the rest of the hunting party bouncing down the road in an equally impressive rig and more bass coming from the speakers than I'm prepared to process. Our joiners are two local boys who appear to be in their early 30s and 13 HUNTING DOGS! Now when I say hunting dogs, you may be picturing a group of well trained canines that fall somewhere in the hound family tree. I understand your confusion. However, this baker's dozen of motley mutts looked like they had all just escaped from the pound. Not animal shelter. Pound. Half of them were puppies who were just getting in the game and they were all over the place. "What were their names?", is what you're probably wondering. Killer? Boar Beast? Nope. Pickles and Lucky were the leaders of the pack. When the hunters told us their names it was with a sheepish grin and a feeble "my daughter named them." I'm onto to you sir. I know you named that dog Pickles while feeding him a McDonald's cheeseburger on your way home from the pound. I can sense these things. 

And speaking of spidey senses, the hippies here have informed me that I'm a "very good manifester". So I'll just be up front with you guys. I was definitely manifesting NOT having to watch a pig get shot. My force field held, and though there was a near miss, I choose to believe that I sheltered all the pigs in the jungle that day from becoming a Hawaiian pizza topping. Which is a feat considering that the invasive feral pigs outnumber humans seven to one.

Our hike down was less of what I think of when I say "hike" and more of a mudslide through Jurassic Park sized ferns. Ferns big enough to have branches. We came to a river crossing, and in spite of my pig jeans I plunged in to walk across rather than be that idiot that who falls in rock hopping. I apparently prefer to be that idiot who falls in just walking. I fell in. And I landed on my bum swan knee. Which isn't code for anything. It was just the same knee that I fell on while being chased by a swan through a resort spa the previous week. But there was no time to stop and whine for a while like I wanted to. Pickles and Lucky were charging ahead. And since we took the slip 'n slide down, the way up involved a lot of hoisting our body weight (ill fitting muddy pig jeans and all) straight back up the mountain via previously mentioned monster ferns. We sacrificed a lot of our hair to those ferns. Well, our hair was replaced BY ferns, I guess it was an even trade.

When we arrived back at the truck, we flopped down on the bed of it and began daydreaming of a time in the near future when we would be less muddy and wet. Uncle Ben offered us a freshly opened can of peaches as a post hunting snack. We were too tired to talk about what a weird food product that was to keep in one's truck. We just silently fished in the can to pull out a syrupy preservation of what had once been an actual piece of fruit.

Deanna has taught me that in the high adventure world there is such a thing as Type 1 and Type 2 fun. Type 1 fun is your run of the mill having a good time in the moment you're living. Type 2 fun is anywhere from uncomfortable to train wreck miserable. Pig hunting in the jungle? Type 2. We have a lot of Type 2 fun here. But Type 2 fun is where all the good stories are. Go have some Type 2 fun.

Amber Gruber