Late Night Cockroach Surprise, Kalalau Trail Day 2

This is the continuation of 22 miles in 2 days on the Kalalau Trail, Day 1

4:30 AM, Kalalau Campsite

Austin awoke at 4:30 AM to use the restroom. He grabbed the head lamp and exited the tent. Upon his return, I decided to go use the bathroom as well. I sat up, put on the head lamp, and unzipped the door to the tent. The second I turned on the head lamp to see outside, I saw numerous cockroaches crawling around just outside the tent. They were crawling all over our hiking shoes that we left outside. I swiftly jumped back in the tent and zipped the door shut. As I did this with the head lamp still on, I caught a glimpse of the inside of our tent as well. I witnessed several (about a centimeter in length, not the big mamas) crawling on the bottom of the tent near my sleeping pad. I could not bear the sight and immediately screamed. I through myself under Austin’s sleep bag and began to sob.

“What is it?!” Austin asked in a haste.

“They’re all over! In our tent!” I replied as I threw off the head lamp.

Austin picked up the head lamp and took a look for himself. While I continued to panic, he decided it was time for us to get out of this situation. In my shock, he helped me exit the tent and we took a short two-minute walk in the dark to the beach. All I had was a blanket and flip flops, while he was barefoot. We got to the sand and did not see any roaches in the moonlight. However, we did notice how beautiful the stars looked. Being so far from major lights, we were able to see them vividly.

4:40 AM, Kalalau Beach

We sat on the beach telling each other stories and listening to the crashing waves while we waited for the first light of day. What began as a terrifying scene that I have had nightmares about, turned into a calm and memorable moment.

Once first light struck, before the sun even came up, we had a plan. Austin would empty the tent, item by item, and bring all of our things to the beach. Every object, down to each sock, was shaken out both inside out and right side out by Austin. When my pack was empty, he turned it upside down, shook it, and eight to ten roaches came falling out onto the sand which then scurried away. I will never forget that moment. Below is a picture of Austin after the sun came up, very proud of himself to be the hero of the night.

Looking back, I am happy to have gotten a decent night of sleep unaware of cockroaches in our tent rather than not sleeping at all.

7:30 AM, Kalalau beach

With our gear purged from roaches (we hoped, we were very thorough), and bags packed up, we set out on our way to do the 11 mile trek all over again. Surprisingly, we were not sore like we expected to be. In fact, we started off at a pretty quick pace and zoomed through the first four miles. We then arrived back at Crawler’s ledge. After conquering it the day before, and surviving the buggy business, I was confident. I whipped around the cliff without a sweat!

11:30 AM, Hanakoa

When we arrived back at Hanakoa (6 miles from the trailhead) around 11:30 AM, we decided to take a detour to see Hanakoa Falls, half a mile off the trail. About 5 minutes into walking off the trail, we changed our minds. We still had 6 miles to get through to get back, we had a hot tub and mai tais waiting for us! After filtering a fresh batch of water, we carried on.

This is when fatigue began to set in. We had 5 miles to go and focused on the rewards of nourishment and relaxation to come. At one point with each step I took I said to myself “Mai tai, big mac, mai tai, big mac,” to which Austin laughed. At a slower pace than before, we continued.

???? PM, Hanakapi’ai

I am unsure what time we arrived back at Hanakapi’ai. If I am being honest, we were too exhausted to keep track. We were gassed. We stopped to rehydrate. We did not bother to fill up our bottles and bladders, we lazily drank straight from the filter. Besides, we only had two miles left until salvation.

The final two-mile stretch felt so much harder than it had been the day before. We seemed to climb up and up and up forever. Accompanied by day hikers, we trudged through until the end.

4:30 PM, Haena State Park


Following the hike, we spent two days in Poipu where we relaxed pool side (see photos below). We also drove through Waimea Canyon, visited the Koke’e Museum, and spent time in Hanapepe. Thank you for reading! If you’d like to keep up with my hiking Journey, follow summitsuckers on Instagram.

Feature photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

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