Thursday, January 29, 2009

Valley of the Lost People

At times the trail to the Valley of the Lost People, a.k.a. Honopu Valley, is swallowed up by tangles of tropical flora. Some of last Mehehunes (ancient Hawaiians from the Marquesas rather than Tahiti) lived in this lush cove reachable only by sea on the Napali Coast; hence the mysterious name. But, since this is an unmarked trail maintained only by the graces of Kauai's outdoor types, the name can also refer to hikers who stray from the path even a little. Ferns large and small tickle your sides as you penetrate a green tunnel of native ohia and koa. You contour on steep edges diguised by greenery before punching out to big time Napali vistas. But don't forget to think micro and take opportunities to stop and appreciate the botanical details of our ferny friends. Coordinates for you GPSers: N22 0.8.814 W159 39.263, elev 3950. Driving directions are on page 168 of the Kauai Trailblazer.