Getting to Pakala Beach was an adventure in itself. Our directions how to get there were, “Go to mile marker 21.” That’s it! We arrived and parked at the marker along the highway, with no other parked cars in sight. Pakala is a popular with surfers, so we expected to find a bit more evidence of a beach. We crossed the road, looking for a path and found one along a wire fence. Just when I thought we’d have to climb it, we found an old turnstile in a partially opened position, with a trail beyond. It was a short and inviting, shady walk to the beach. We found a mostly desolate stretch with only a few feet of beach between trees and surf. Wherever the beach widened, large amounts of the sea treasures I love exploring: driftwood, coral, palm fronds, coconuts, oranges, guavas, candlenuts, and body parts of various sea creatures. Chris relaxed with his book, taking an occasional dip, as I walked the beach and explored every inch of this place. The surf churned up the sand here and created murky water right in the surf. I didn’t ruin Chris’s fun by telling him that to avoid shark attacks in Hawaii, you avoid murky water.
My feet sank into the sand halfway up to my knees at times, quite a workout. A mountain-cold freshwater stream entered the ocean here, and on the edge of the beach there were tangles of thorny gray vines without leaves, which assaulted my bare feet. Exploring Kauai, I find many things both spiritual and forbidden. There was a place where a large bone was hanging in the tangle of thorns, where someone piled sticks like a fence all around it. It felt like a no trespass sign.