Emily Mahr
I’m a business development strategist for female entrepreneurs.

Life: Blog

My colorful journey through this life.

That time I pee’d in Public

It wasn’t the first time, and I am unable to guarantee it will be the last.

August 2016: O'ahu We woke up at 3am Monday morning, got ready, and we crawled into a taxi. We were headed to the airport, with visions of flowing lava in our heads.

We landed in Hilo just before 6am, and it was beautiful!! I love Hilo (read about my first visit here), and knew the moment I stepped off the airplane the feeling of humidity would hit me and I SMILED! Hilo Airport is TINY, so it took us 5 minutes from airplane, to rental car office, with a bathroom break in between.

We jumped into the JEEP Wrangler, I was the driver, and were on our way to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.  Two days prior, there was an earthquake in the park which means an eruption was in the making! No one predicted if/when it would happen, but the anticipation of one happening drove up our adrenaline to get in this hike.

I drove us to the end of Craters Road, parked, and we headed on our 8 mile round-trip walk to see how much lava would could see!

I dressed for cooler temps, which the top of the volcano has. So I started disrobing after the first mile, as it was 10 degrees warmer where we were versus the top of the volcano. I also did not factor in the amount of heat we would encounter as we walked closer to the lava flow, another 10 degrees added each mile we walked. It was a beautiful walk, and there was a small breeze that gave relief.

The warning sign before you began the walk warned that each person needed to bring at least 3 liters of water to safely make it back. We definitely had that covered.

The thing about walking, heat, and staying hydrated: you have to pee! Mile 2 was my first stop (I did you the facilities at the beginning of the trail!), and made sure to factor in the wind. Mile 4, though, the place where the lava was flowing, was a little trickier tending to Mother Nature. We were out IN NATURE. So, I picked out a spot, made sure no one was coming, and let her go. THEN, a tourist helicopter went by, and I was definitely in their line of sight. If they were using binoculars, they had the head-on view. I laughed. I had to pee, there were signs making sure I brought along water, so it really was inevitable peeing-in-public was going to happen to someone at some point.

We did see some lava, and then realized we had even accidentally walked on some (when your feet get warmer randomly, it’s probably the ground). It wasn’t fresh molten lava that burned you instantly, it was silver and moving slow. It cracked as it moved, or as we stepped on it, and was giving off a LOT of heat. It was so awesome!

On the walk back, at about mile 7, a truck hauling a porta-pottie was headed toward the mile 4 spot. 

I'm still laughing about this.