2009oct31-nov7 Kalalau Trail, along the Na Pali Coast State Park, island of Kauai, Hawaii
Saturday
travel to Kauai, MCO to Pheonix to Lihue (1); get rental car; find YMCA Camp Naui, my first night's accomodations; pass it; go to the end of the road (2); look around (3); go back and find it and check it out (4); leave to get remaining supplies at Peddle and Paddle in Hanalei (gas, lighter, TP, coffee); back to camp; pack; meet woman from Southern CA, moved to Hawaii because she wanted, been here for 9yr, Kauai only for ~2; works at local restaurant; gives tips for the trail; shower; sleep
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Sunday
woke up before alarm clock; slowly prepare, don't want to be on road before light; on the road at 6:15 for the 2mi road walk to the trailhead; start trail; 1.5hr of light rain; beautiful ocean views after the rain; ~40lb pack, underestimated the heavy pack and only around half way; scary centipede (5); follow the trail on the edge of a shear cliff (6); meet Bill at the helipad around 8mi mark, unofficial trail keeper, ex-military, tall, lean, shorts and high military type boots, heard that he caught and butchered a goat the next day; says about 1.5hr at a good pace to Kalalau Beach; more beautiful views; finally drop down into the valley (7), around 2, for hike time of 7:45, pretty dang long; walk the length of the beach and decide the end near the waterfall is as good as any, mainly because I don't want to carry the pack anymore; collapse (not really); set up tent; eat; nap; walk to other end of campground; back to sleep
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Monday
looks like weather will be good; oatmeal; use crappy coffee filter thing, slow and the coffee's not strong enough; my neighbor Don invites me over for coffee, he's been staying at Kalalau every October for 25 years; civil engineer; learn about cowboy coffee; Don prepares coffee for anyone that wants it so lots of people over there; meet other "residents"; young guy that spent a couple years in Alaska, says money is good during the summer even for unskilled work; another guy from Pennsylvania, spent a lot of time working with horses in PA and CO, was working a little at organic lettuce farm on Kauai; also a guy that lived in the Kalalau Valley since 1984 and his girlfriend (who's completely naked); finding out that even with my State maximum permit of five days, I'll be in the area far shorter than anyone else; explore; lone beach east of Kalalau, about a mile of jumping across rocks; return to camp; get amazed everytime I walk out to the beach and look back at camp (8) (low light, pic not good); eat; bath in Kalalau Stream by the ocean; poop; lounge around; trouble sleeping
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Tuesday
oatmeal; coffee at Don's; meet Dennis from Oregon at breakfast; explore valley for first time with him; look around aimlessly, get lost a few times, found a few semipermanent campsites; found a trail that you had to use a tied-off roap to climb a rock wall; lead to a big falls; found the big pool; raining during our entire exploration; came back to camp; everything inside my tent still dry (happy with the Kelty); rains the rest of day; bed

Wednesday
poop; oatmeal; Don left; make cowboy coffee; weather looks clear early, but looks like some crappy stuff out of the east; the bad weather in this area always comes from the east; rainbows are a dime a dozen around here (9), even saw two at once, one in the north and another in the east; waiting around for the weather to clear up, see a tiny boat near the beach, bobbing up and down, visible and not visible; next thing, the boat is on the beach; drop off; took big skill to break the surf line in that boat; guy is proud of his ability, native hawaiian, big hair and gut, brought some beer and tequila too; decided weather was decent, so went to my lone beach again (10); laying down looking up, just a deep blue sky bordered by a cliff behind me with a few rays of sun escaping over the cliff, beautiful; weather coming in from the east again, back to camp; looks decent again, decide to go to valley again; cancel that, valley is covered in clouds, can't even see beyond the closer wall; just waiting; clear to the west, nasty to the east, where I want to go; fuck; toward sundown, starting to see cracks in the solid grey sky, good; bath; bed
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Thursday
beautiful sky, a good day; poop (the combination of halving my calorie count but remaining pretty active is doing wonders for my poop schedule, awesome, wish my sleeping was doing as good, that's been shitty); oatmeal; cowboy coffee; weather looking good; look back over camp (11); left right after coffee to explore the valley in case the awesome weather took a shit (12); these birds all over, look like good eating (13); went to the big pool again; went to the trail with the rope again, but went beyond the big falls we saw before because Don said there's an even bigger one, called Davis falls, found it (14); a very rough hike, mostly no trail, just following a stream bed, dodging trees and rocks; birds all over the entire area; couple hours hiking; OJ from an orange I found in valley, then lemonade, also from found lemon; fruits litter the forest floor, java plum; made a camp fire on the beach; attracted a German guy visiting from Canada; had some good stories of hitchhiking, too bad it's frowned upon in the mainland USA; he misses most from Germany is the normal freeway speed of ~130mph; a couple also showed up, her from NC, and him from Ohio; sky completely filled with stars and a visible Milky Way; bed
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Friday
oatmeal, two cups of coffee, cowboy, delicious; Elyse stops by and talks, from New Zealand; soak with soapy salt water and clean a cut I got on my finger, self-inflicted by my thumb while opening an orange, idiot; long talk with Martin, an Austrian, an engineer also; now into yoga and spiritual healing; going soon to India to learn more; also talked about travel and Hawaii, Europe, Japan; went to explore the valley a last time, but felt weird, so decided to get hydrated for the hike out tomorrow and relax and read; my spot on the island for reading, watching the surf break, watch the air escape from the water in a six foot long jet after the wave breaks in a tube,watching the white foam get swept westward in the current, and watch yoga, both clothed and unclothed (15); originally deciding to haul ass in the morning to get on the trail, but think I will take the time for a last cup of coffee, really enjoy it here; a couple moved into the spot next to mine, from Sacremento, nice boobies; I walked up on a crab half buried on the beach, first one eye ball popped up, then the other, then he jumped and hauled ass, haha; lots more people showing up, may have to be more discreet in my peeing habits; cruise ship passed by, then just turned around...sad; bath, with the best bathtime view in the world (16); the ocean and breaking surf is less than 50ft behind; someone on a jetski did a drop, at night; nut; looks like some junk food, the guy gave us some chips because Martin helped him out; heaven; we talked more about different stuff; Europeans usually get a month of vacation every year; bed
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Saturday
ran out of oatmeal yesterday, so two Clif bars instead, likely more calories anyway; woke up around 530, probably my best sleep of the trip; start packing in the dark, packing my pack, rolling sleeping pad, pulling down tent and rolling; coffee, extra strong, excellent; dropped off the last of my stove gas and two lighters to a long timer; trail; 7:20; feeling real good; return starts with long climb; lousy weather; goat path on shear cliff from other direction (17); hit the approximate half way point in under two hours, feeling good with light pack; like I said, rainbows a dime a dozen, maybe even 12 for ten cents, depending on where you shop (18); next section isn't as much fun, muddy, more rain, humid; brush grows over trail, so constantly brushing your legs, outer half more arid; no breaks; two half liter water bottles, then asked another hiker if he could hand me the one liter bottle at the back of my pack so I wouldn't have to take it off; felt good; bunch of day hikers for 2mi out to first beach and stream, they'll probably never see or experience the best part of that land; awesome feeling to hit the trail head again; threw out all my trash from the trail, in one big ziploc; hit the road for two miles to YMCA; thought I passed the camp; Camp Naue (19); 1:00p, about 2hr less, and still feel good enough to do more; late lunch, Kalypso, fish tacos, good; drove around to west coast; road to Waimea Canyon is good, if I had a motorcycle and lived on Kauai, that's where I'd be (22); Waimea Canyon, 3500ft (23); I'd stab someone for another seafood burrito from Monico's Taqueria, huge hunks of wahoo, shrimp, scallions maybe, sauteed onions, peppers; airport; air
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