Kauai’s Spectacular North Coast

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Field Notes From Fatherhood

It’s no wonder that Hollywood goes to Kauai  when it needs to evoke an exotic, otherwordly landscape. Raiders of the Lost Ark,  Jurassic Park, Avatar, King Kong, Pirates of the Caribbean, the list goes on and on. You want landscape that screams unearthly beauty – Kauai is where you go.

The island could be circumnavigated by car, except for the fact that the Nā Pali Coast stands in the way, making the Kuhio Highway a horseshoe that ends on the north coast in a muddy parking lot, blocked by the 3,000-foot knife-edge ridges of peaks sculpted into sluices and spires and tortuous valleys by almost 100 inches of rain a year.

In 1960 National Geographic Magazine published a photo of Nā Pali, with the caption: “Napali’s towering cliffs wall a Shangri-la valley accessible only by sea.… Junglelike glens tucked amid the ridges offer an unspoiled world for the adventurous.” Fifty…

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