Dominica looms huge from the 10th deck. The island seems to have no end and the mountains peak high into the clouds. 70 Percent of the island is rain forest. A quick morning walk brings me through town. Doors and churches stand with their paint peeling. They have the same allure to me as the old barns back in Connecticut. I like this island. It looks lush, much like Saba. Early on, we had decided to go the non-typical route and skip any organized excursions. We would meet a man named Erasmus. We would pile into his car and venture up into the mountains. He loves his Island and it is clear from his enthusiasm. We pass by endless fruit trees along the route…elephant fruit, passion fruit, bananas, mangos, papaya and oranges. The islands main export was once bananas until just a few years ago when the big fruit companies took their business to from Dominica to Columbia. The small island just couldn’t compete with the massive groves of the South American country. The road would twist and turn and Peter’s face would begin to turn green. Finally we would make it to a trailhead. In the excursion guide, it was marked as difficult…so off we went. Shades of green and brown defined the place and a heavy humidity enveloped the top of the mountain. It became darker and cooler as we walked deeper into the trail. Banyan trees stood everywhere with their long vines. Like an Indiana Jones movie, we walked over rickety bridges and through dense forest. The smell of the earth was impermeable. We traveled three miles up the mountain with Peter leading the way. His excitement was obvious as he took in his first rainforest. I was thankful that taking the kids out of school for the week was showing its educational benefits. As we reached what looked like the crater, we were met by rain….crazy rainforest rain. It became blinding as we covered our last mile, but the kids giggled as their feet slapped though puddles of deep water. Each step was a climb or a drop of another 12 inches. Through the shroud of rain we saw a towering waterfall and the kids squealed with excitement. We would climb down into the pool at the bottom and feel vertigo as we looked high up to the lip of the falls. The noise was deafening and we laughed drenched to the bone like drowned rats. Chris would call to the kids like Dr Jones saying, "Throw me idol, I'll throw you the whip!" The rained lightened if only for a minute and we realized that we had found our treasure. The memory was priceless.We knew this would be the highlight of the trip as we sang the theme to Indiana Jones all the way back to the taxi. Erasmus laughed when he saw us, looking like characters from “Lost” emerging from the jungle. Coming back to town, we would get a glimpse into the locals’ everyday lives. Little market tents dotted the way and in each house we saw simple island living. Shorts stops gave us a glimpse of water boiling up from the earth, proof of the islands volcanic activity. From the road, massive poinsettia plants grew wild. For some reason, the cabbie would call a goat, a sheep…who knew? We left Dominica barely scratching the surface of this large island. We had just wetted our appetite, enough for us to want to return and take in more someday.