I once met a Vietnam veteran who told me a story about his unique experience on Na Pali Coast. This man had heard about Na Pali from an army buddy who proclaimed it to be the most special place on earth. Well, the army buddy didn’t make it out of Vietnam, but this man was determined to visit and pay tribute to his lost friend. This is the story of Na Pali Gump.
So, at the start of the Kalalau Trail, he was surprised to stumble upon a camp of hippies living in tree houses, in clothing-optional lifestyle. They had created gardens of organic fruits and vegetables, and yes, even the marijuana was organic. He did not know, until later, that he had found the now infamous, Taylor Camp.
After nearly a week of being adopted by this new community of friends, who shared countless tales of the Na Pali’s famous Kalalau Valley, this man decided to begin his journey down the treacherous 11-mile trail. Along the trail at Hanakoa, a stampede of goats rushed past him, and nearly knocked him off the cliff. If it weren’t for a conveniently located notch in the earth, he would have certainly met his death as there was a 300-foot drop to the sea below. Completely shaken, he relaxed his nerves with a little bit of kind herb from his Taylor Camp friends, and set forth on the trail.
When he reached Kalalau Valley, it was everything he had been told, and more. He was immediately befriended by another group of hippies, similar to the last set at Taylor Camp. One of the hippies graciously loaned him a surfboard, and advised him to take a paddle over to nearby Honopu Beach, just around the corner from Kalalau. So this man, already naked, jumped on the surfboard with rubber slippers and a sack of granola held in his teeth, and paddled over to Honopu. Just picture it, a naked guy on a surfboard.