We went to our favorite beach. The last time we went there I tried to write about it in a creative way, from the perspective of someone we met along the horrible dirt road, who told us how terrible the beach was and that we should turn back because, in his opinion, it wasn’t worth it. “There are better beaches,” he said. Well, I had been to that beach before and I knew that I wanted to go back. The road to get there was muddy and full of rocks and potholes and we were driving a rental car. Already, we were breaking all sorts of rules just being on that road, and it was going to take us forever to get to the beach. This was our third attempt to get there and it wasn’t looking good. And that guy somehow got to the beach and he didn’t even appreciate it! But my attempt at humor and sarcasm instead was at best a good, “you had to be there” story. So, upon visiting my favorite beach again, I am inspired to tell about this beautiful place more directly.
We were first introduced to this beach when were in Kauai with our friends Sonya and Walter. We had taken a short trip over to Maui overnight and while we were gone they discovered this beach. When we got back Sonya said to me, “Shawn, you are going to love this beach that we found.” So on our last day, before flying out to go back home, Walter skillfully drove us on this horrible dirt road for what seemed like hours until we arrived at this bay that had sand and cliffs and reefs and trees and tide pools, as well as all of the things you find at nearly any Kauai beach, clear warm water, beautiful dancing waves and a sandy beach. As we left to head to the airport, I made a mental note that we had to return to this beach on our next visit to Kauai.
Three years later we found ourselves attempting to keep that promise. The first time was after a bit of rain and so giving up on the dirt road (which seemed even worse than when Walter so skillfully maneuvered it) we decided to wait a day or two when it had some time to dry out. A few days later we attempted it again. This time, though somewhat less muddy, it still seemed impossible. We would be changing rental cars, maybe the new one would handle the trip better. As we prepared for our third attempt, I decided that I would look at the map once again and see if there was another way to go. I found what looked like a trail that could possibly lead us there without having to spend a great deal of time traversing the near impossible dirt road. It was on this third attempt that we met up with the guy in a jeep, coming towards us, motioning for us to turn around. I thought he was going to tell us that the road was impassible or something like that. Instead, he told us that “There are better beaches (!).” We thanked him and went on a bit further and then turned around and went back almost to the beginning of the dirt road.
Our last chance was the trail that I had found on the map. Still on the dirt road, but before it got really bad, we took a turn and parked our car next to a horse stable. We took a path over a rise and through some bushes which took us down to a beach, not “our” beach, but one we hoped would lead us to our beach. We walked along the water’s edge, enjoying the warm, refreshing waves on our feet. Part way there was a monk seal in a dead sleep on the beach. She had been there long enough for the ones who do such things to put caution tape around a 15 foot radius of the sleeping “beauty” so that no one would bother her slumber or attempt to “rescue” her back into the ocean. Not everyone gets to see a monk seal when they come to Hawaii!
After walking a while on the beach we came to a turn, or a point. From there we were able to see into the bay that was the goal of all of our attempts! Just as beautiful as I remembered! We got to the tide pools and watched fish and crabs and other sea creatures. We hiked along the cliffs and looked down at the waves crashing on them, as we felt the accompanying spray of water. We found a hole that would shoot out air as the wave crashed nearby, strong enough to send your hat flying! The shapes that were the result of years of erosion were the making of fantasy stories. As we walked along the cliffs the space opened up like a mesa. The movement of the clouds and sporadic rain showers were such that there were rainbows almost constantly. At one point walking across the mesa there was a full rainbow that made me feel like it was the handle to a basket and I was on top of the contents of that basket. I felt like the Kauai version of the first scene of Sound of Music and I began to run toward what I knew was ahead of me. Another bay, completely deserted, with huge waved dangerously crashing against the cliffs that surrounded it. The colors of blue and green and white changing with the currents, the waves and the movement of the clouds are difficult to describe. And that rainbow, continued to stretch over me as I ran to the scene of the bay. There it expanded even further, adding to the majesty of the sight before me. We stood and took in the beauty of the sight, feeling the wind coming off of the water, so strong at times if felt as if it would knock us over. On our way back we walked along the cliffs, looking for shapes and faces that had been warn into the stone by the wind and waves. At one point we saw a smiley face. And as we walked the beach to find the trail back to our car, we once again passed the sleeping “beauty” who had actually rolled over.
And so we returned to “our beach” the other day... And we we're going back again today! After all, “There are better beaches,” but I don’t know where!
To see the previous blog, "There Are Better Beaches,"