I'm back and (mostly) finally recovered from my Grand Adventure in Kauai! It was a 14 day trip, the 2nd-5th days being spent hiking the Napali Coast trail into the Kalalau Valley.
My brother and I were carrying ~45lbs of mostly useless, but fun to have, stuff on our backs, so we weren't really in the mood to day hike the trail like most of the other folks . 2 days in, 2 days out (would've liked to have spent more time at the finish point, but there weren't many folks out there this time of year). We hung up for the first night at a campground just shy of the Hanakoa Valley at the halfway point.
Towards the end of the second day, we began descending the (in)famous Red Hill that marks the final leg of the trail. We arrived about an hour after sunset, and were very relieved to be at the end (for now) of a very long day. After a restful sleep lulled by the nearby crashing waves, we woke up, refilled the water, chatted with the locals for a while, and were on our way. This photo was taken on the way out near the top of Red Hill
We both felt tons better the third day; psyched up from the wonderful folks at the trails' end, and finally getting our "trail legs," we were able to power our way back to the first nights' campsite past the halfway point just before dusk. I had a way cooler campsite set up, involving two trees jutting off opposite sides of a narrow "rib" of land in the valley about 50ft up; but alas, wind of all things picked up and forced us to move the shelters back to our original locations. At 9:30 after a long day's hike, I was all out of creativity . No photo
Fourth day was all business. I've found the last day usually is on an in-and-out multiday trek . We had been fortunate enough to not experience a single drop of rain up to this point. Extremely strange for the time of year on the wet side of the island. But the weather began to turn slightly on the last day, and intermittent sprinkles gradually began to make the trip slipperier and more treacherous. Our pace slowed down greatly, and we ended up back at the trailhead around 9pm, an hour or so after dark. Exhausted and elated, we dined at the extremely delicious Mediterranean Cafe; a completely unexpected Greek Restaurant, the quality of which I have never experienced.
Days later in the trip, when we were tooling around Waimea Canyon on the opposite side of the Island, we got the chance to look back down on where we had been, what we had accomplished:
From this distance, the trail is indiscernable. The last leg of the trail is down the shallower portion of the red dirt hill at the base of the ridge on the right. Kalalau Beach proper is another mile or so beyond. The entire trail smelled of guavas.
Given the difficulty of the terrain, the weight on our backs, and the incomprehensible beauty of the place bearing down on us, this was by far the most trying hike we've ever undertaken. I'm still incredulous we pulled this trip off; like coming back from the moon, or something. Truly a trip of a lifetime (so far...)
My brother ^^ and Me ^^
Sporting our Adventure Beards