Last week my two sons, their two friends and I decided to hike the Kalalau trail. The trail is located in the controlled conservation Na Pali Coast State Park on the garden island of Hawaii.
The trail starts on the north shore of Kauai, goes up and down the side of the mountain many times, crosses the Hamnakapiai stream and beach, goes on to the spectacular Hanakoa Falls, crosses more streams (Hanakoa and Kalalau), reaches the hanging Hanakoa Valley, crosses the flat-bottomed valley and goes down Red Hill before reaching the end of the trial at Kalalau Beach.
The walk was breathtaking and the scenery absolutely gorgeous. The natural beauty of Na Pail coastline never ceases to electrify me, affirming Kauai as one of my most favorites places in the world.
The hike is up and down narrow, slippery, mud-covered inclines with loose rocks on the edge of eroding cliffs. It can be particularly hazardous when wet and we had flash flooding the night before. The complete trial is 22 miles and, according to Backpacker, it’s one of America’s 10 Most Dangerous Hikes.
Now we didn’t do the whole trial, and neither is it comparable to the 1,000 mile wildebeest migration I used as the backdrop for “Surviving Your Serengeti,” but it made me think of it. A dangerous journey over an arduous terrain filled with danger, exhaustion, thirst, hunger, predators… OK, there were no predators. Instead of lions, crocodiles or cheetahs the extent of Kauai’s dangerous wild life are wild pigs and feral chickens.
In elementary terms it was the wisdom of the Serengeti that I found germane. To flourish at anything in life, even something as small as a hike, you can see how many of the insights shared in “Surviving Your Serengeti” also apply: tenacity, good planning, being efficient, taking a risk, etc..
Whether on the Serengeti savannahs, the Kauai coastline or the concrete jungles of New York, life is a delicate, awesome thread that ties us all together.
Thanks for joining me every week for my Weekly Wisdom. Mahalo. Asante sana.