Update from Suffer-Zone Kauai

Endured another couple days here on Kauai.

Went up to the North Shore today and hiked up to Hanakapi’ai Falls. It’s sort of like you’re going on the big Na Pali hike, except that after two miles you chicken out and turn left (instead of doing the 11-in, 11-out of the full two-dayer). One of the best hikes I’ve ever been on, though and an 8-mile round-trip.

Na Pali Coast

Above is a view of the Na Pali shoreline. It’s neat. The trail is sort of like the Rubicon Trail at Lake Tahoe, except with the Pacific Ocean instead of Lake Tahoe and with a whole lot of tropical vegetation instead of a bunch of scrubby, dried-out pines. (I liked Tahoe.)


The ground here is mostly red clay and pretty slick. The part that isn’t clay is generally rock and pretty slick. When hiking, you get to make a lot of small decisions and contingency plans, e.g., “if it turns out that rock’s slicker’n a four-term senator, which direction should I lean in order to ensure that I don’t fall 300 feet to my death?” Stuff like that.

I don’t have any interesting pictures of the trail being slick.

Here are the falls (*is* the falls?):

hanakapiai falls

Hard thing to get a good photo of. Especially when you forget to bring your waterproof case. There’s a cold, large pool of water at the base of the falls, though, that we swam across to get underneath the falling water. Floating on your back and looking up at the curve of the canyon wall with the icy waterfall dropping onto your face is a recommendable sensation. Seriously.

If you’re in the area, this one’s highly recommended. Only issue with the hike was the number of other tourists who were also on it. There were 8-10 other people up at the base of the falls the entire time we were there and the trail was crowded with folks all the way up and down it. What I want is an 8-mile hike to a 400-foot waterfall made exclusively for me. With good traction on the entire trail and warm water at the base of it.

Maybe next year, but with my vacation luck, probably not then either.


PS, here were some dolphins we saw (lower-left is one jumping, upper right is a nearly-invisible-at-this-photo-size pod of them). Do they get offended if you call them “dolphins” rather than “porpoises”?