While I always prefer to take smaller, winding roads, such roads taken are not without pitfalls.
The last mile of the journey to Mo’okini Heiau in North Kohala is an uneven dirt road studded with rocks. When the road is dry it can be navigated by almost all vehicles (I saw a smart car there once!). However, care is needed, particularly regarding clearance. Almost every time I walk the road, I see fresh scrapes on the rocks. With rainy weather, the road becomes the territory of 4-wheel drives and jacked-up suspensions.
On this day, the puddles that often form on the road had become lakes. This truck had passed me earlier and when I saw it returning I ducked behind a bank to do a little whale watching and avoid the wave of spray that would surely accompany anything driving through the lake. A few minutes passed. I realized I hadn’t registered the truck passing. It had gone very quiet. So I wandered out to the road again and saw the truck marooned. They’d made it through on the way out, but weren’t so lucky on the way back.
The truck was a 4×4 but not with extra clearance. I think their problem was that the lake was deeper at the far end (in the photo). On the way out, they’d no doubt barreled into the water and their momentum had carried them to shallower waters and out. On the way back, the same approach would have propelled them toward the deep end. I suspect a bow wave built up, slowed them, and allowed water to penetrate parts of the truck that responded unfavorably.
The two young local men seemed quite cheerful. They waded through the muddy water, tried to coax life into the truck. One was on the phone (a miracle to have service there). After they insisted they had everything under control, I walked past on the high bank alongside the road, then turned and took this photo. When I returned a half hour or more later, the truck and its occupants were gone.