Kaua'ian Adventure Days 4-6: Devo's Engaged!
April 2, 2022
Saturday Katrina was flying out and we agreed to give her a ride to the airport on our way to the Kalalau Trail.  Turns out that Kaua'i's Northwest Coast, the Na Pali Coast, is absolutely incredible and mostly inaccessible.  They filmed Jurassic Park here.  There's one major road around three quarters of the island that ends at basically the 12 and 9 o'clock spots.  The Waimea Canyon road continues further North and we drove that to the end on Thursday.  On the North side the road ends at the trail head.  We had a lazy morning and made our way toward the airport, checking out a waterfall and a beach on the way.

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After dropping Katrina off we headed north for the trailhead.  It was raining pretty good off and on, standard tropical showers.  I couldn't find little Jackie Paper or Puff, the Magic Dragon in Hanalei Bay, but apparently they filmed South Pacific here.  We continued to the end of the road, parked, and watched sopping wet and muddy people coming off the trail while rain pounded our soft top.  We both considered bringing rain gear and declined.  Neither of us even thought about acquiring pack covers.  We both had a moment of hey we have a bitchen condo on the other side of the island and it isn't raining in bed.  That lasted about thirty seconds at which point we both said screw it, if it sucks we can hike back and head home.  We hit the trail, intent on hiking two miles to a beach and making camp.

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It was raining off and on, coming down pretty hard when it did, but we were able to find shelter in the jungle for the really big downpours.  The trail was incredibly sloppy.  We were several hundred feet above the ocean and sliding all over the place.  We were both wearing Chacos, a strap sandal with Vibram soles, which turned out to be perfect, but it was very difficult to maintain footing.  We took our time and pressed on, eventually making it to Hanakapi'ai Beach.

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Scouted around a bit for a camping spot, ended up here, just off the beach, next to the river, and absolutely beautiful.

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The following morning was gorgeous and our goal was to hike 2 miles up the valley to Hanakapi'ai Falls.

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I had been thinking that somewhere like this would be a sweet place to propose.  Cory and I have been talking about marriage for a while and we both feel great about it.  A friendship for longer than a decade really helps in knowing each other.  I've always been attracted to her and thoroughly enjoy her character.  I mean, going into things we both knew we like and want the same things, think the same way, and view life the same.  We were both a little unsure about romantic chemistry but turns out its the best we've ever experienced.  We've already decided that we're moving in together this summer, she and parents would prefer for there to be a commitment attached to that, and I want that commitment too.

So, I want to ask her, but I don't have a ring, and I can't get a ring because her tastes are unique and we don't even know her finger size.  She wants to have something unique, would love to use the stone from her grandma's ring, and all those things are tough to put together.  I've never understood why the ring needs to come first though.  Why not ask and get a yes first and then go ring shopping?  Makes way more sense to me.  Last night in the tent we were talking about such things and she said that she doesn't need a ring first and it makes more sense to not have it first.  I love the way you think.. don't have to tell me twice.

We're at the waterfalls, I try to go swimming but it was too cold and I give up about knee deep.  I walk back to her, she puts her arms around me, says I love you, and we have a moment.  I love you too; I want to love you forever.  Okay, she says.  This seems like a perfect time.  I hit a knee, still holding her hands, say, I don't have a ring, but will you marry me?  She starts laughing.  Are you serious?  Yes, I'm serious.  Why's she laughing?  She's still laughing.  Oh shit.  "Absolutely!"  She said yes!  She yells out, "I'm getting married!"  Nobody but the birds and trees could hear her.  It was perfect.

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We hiked back down the hill.  The first group we pass asks her, did you go swimming?  No, but I got engaged.  I'm proud, she's excited, we're in paradise, and life is good.  We make it back to our campsite, I get to work boiling water to cook noodles for lunch, and she walks up saying she made a friend who's going to join us for lunch.

We met a dude named Woody the night before who ended up camping with us.  He took a year off from college to travel and live, something that American's do terribly and I was stoked to see him living.  He got here through an organization called WWOOF, World Wide Opportunites on Organic Farms.  Apparently they offer meals and a place to pitch a tent on the farm in exchange for a few hours of labor each day.  The farm that he ended up on was run by an ass though who treated them bad, worked them unnecessarily hard, and fed them poorly, so he bailed and hit the trail.  He told us about the hippie commune that exists on Kalalau Beach on the end of the trail and how they operate on the bartering system.  He had a big supply of Hershey's bars in various flavors because apparently they are high in demand and low in supply out there.  He disappeared before we were up in the morning, apparently the guy who gave him a hitch to the trail ran another organic farm that he was going to check out, so Cory and I ended up with chocolate.  One of which we ate in celebration after she said yes :).

So this friend that Cory made is named Liz, and I had her pegged as a river chick instantly.  From the hair on her head to the hair on her legs she screamed river.  Then she said she loves the river more than anything.  Then when I brought up whitewater guiding I was shocked to discover that this is something she has never done or considered, and she's from Northern California.  She came to Kaua'i to do massage school and was on spring break, enjoying the trail.  She hung out with us until we had packed up and were heading out, a good couple hours, and the three of us had sweet conversations about life.  We discussed much about how important it is to be doing what you want to be doing, to be happy doing it.  If you're not happy, do something different.  You gotta make yourself happy before you can make others happy.  If you don't want to be doing what you're doing, why are you doing it?  If you don't have a good reason for that, do something different, even if you don't know what you want to do because you might find it along the way.  I'm excited for her and her journey, perhaps she'll be guiding on a river in California soon.

We hiked out, looked back often, and felt on top of the world.

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About a mile down the road there's a dude hitchhiking.  Wanna pick him up?  She snap says yes.  I love this woman.  An old hippie, somewhere between 45 and 58 years old, long blonde hair and perfect The Dude attitude, hops in the back of the jeep between our backpacks.  His name is Wayne.  He's lived in this corner of the island since 99.  He couldn't remember the last time he was in Poi'pu, where we were staying.  He talked more about places and people than himself which we didn't mind.  We were both craving a burrito or something along those lines and he knew that the place we were headed was closed at 5:30pm.  He also knew that the lady who ran the store next door was a crazy bitch.  He recommended this Brazilian Mexican place in Hanalei Bay, where "they give you free homemade chips and salsa if you just get a beer!"  Sounds awesome, he makes sure we know where we are going, I invite him in for a taco with us and he declines, then walks in the opposite direction toward the center of town, not to the road to continue hitchhiking to wherever he was going.

Linner was awesome.  We didn't want to get full because we hoped to have a nice dinner and celebrate so we each had a beer, free homemade chips and salsa, and split the 2 fish taco plate.  Best food we've had yet in Kaua'i, but we were trail hungry of course so probably biased, but the place was totally local and off the beaten path.  We walked back to the jeep, Wayne materialized and asked for the ride to continue.  Of course.  Turns out he saw some buddies hanging in the park, joined them for a beer, and waited for us to finish eating.  We dropped him off at a gas station along the way and continued our drive South, holding hands, sun setting, and felt really good.  By the time we got home we were exhausted, barely made it out for dessert, and slept well.

Monday was travel home day.  We woke up early, had breakfast, and I shot a video for a sweet freeroll that UB is doing for the Heartland Poker Tour.  Basically we'll be running 4 freerolls a day starting soon Monday-Saturday where the top 50 win a poker controller, t-shirt, and advance to the semi-finals on Sunday.  The top 100 in each semi-final heat advance to the Grand Final in June, and the winner of that will walk away with a dozen freerolls to upcoming HPT events of their choice in seasons 7 or 8.  Thats a sick package and a stone freeroll, I'm stoked for whoever ends up winning it.

I also enjoyed the contrast between our jeep at the rental car return and the one being returned by another couple behind us.

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We landed in LAX around 10pm, retrieved my car, and drove to her place.  It was fun owning an automobile in two different airport parking lots at one time but I'm back down to just a truck in Denver.  She went to work that morning and I drove across the Mojave headed for my brother's new houseboat.  He named it "Piece of Ship Too" and it is.  Runs like a champ as everything was recently rebuilt but it's very 1976 and awesome cosmetically.  They had been partying since the Chili Cookoff on Saturday and only left the marina for one afternoon.

I made it around 5pm, the lake time warp vortex happened, I have memories of learning how to paddle board which was awesome, Jared and I did a lap of the marina on a neighbor's paddle boat, and I ended up sleeping on the bottom rack in the hallway across from the only bathroom.

I want to get back to Colorado, but I'm going to play some live poker first.  I'd like to play the 2-400 mix at Aria but apparently they're running 3-6 and 4-800 now, too rich for my blood.

Peace and good luck,


Peace and good luck,


3 months ago
jadonCongrats Devo. Nice work.0
gwallscongrats! Can't see the pics for some reason though =( 0