Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Kipu Falls

Eleven years ago, almost to the day, I was enjoying my honeymoon on the island of Kauai. If you ever get the chance to go to Hawaii, take it. I was entrenched in the mindset "put it on the credit card and we'll deal with it later." The trip was awesome.

We were directed to a swimming hole by a guide book. I believe it was "The Insider's Guide to Kauai." The place sounded great. A freshwater waterfall and swimming hole. You have to find it and do a little bit of trespassing to find it. With the help of a man that barely spoke English, we found the gate we had to hop. You could pretty much walk around it. There was no actually attempt to secure the field on the other side of the gate. We followed a path and heard some voices and the waterfall. We followed the sound to a stream and a spot I would call paradise. It was beautiful. (the video in the yahoo report doesn't do it justice)

The water fall looked 25 to 30 feet high. People were jumping off and having the time of their lives. There was a rope that would take you off a cliff into the water below. Usually, I am not that adventurous. I had to jump. For some reason, I felt like not jumping would be something I regretted the rest of my life. I took the leap off of the rock making sure I pushed off to put some distance between me an the falls. The amount of time in free fall was long enough for you to think, "Hey, I've been falling awhile. I should probably be hitting the water soon. Where's the" SPLAAAASH. And then you go deep into the water. I never touched the bottom. I kicked my way up and swam to a rope hanging aver the water so you could hold it and catch your breath. It was exhilarating. My wife jumped too. We talked about it the rest of the trip. In 20/20 hindsight, we were glad it happened toward the end of the trip because everything else would have had to live up to Kipu Falls. The next day we bought a water color painting of the falls and had it framed in local koa wood. The picture is in our front hall. It was fantastic. A memory to last a lifetime.

I did a double take when I saw the headline "Popular Kauai Swimming Hole Gets Deadly Reputation" on Yahoo today. Could it be? Yes, it can.  Turns out that people get injured there regularly and 5 have died in the last 5 years. I guess I'll stop telling people planning a Hawaiian vacation to go there.

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