Nature is powerful and can be frightening, and I don’t know about you, but in nature I rise to the challenges placed in front of me. Whether I’m having to keep up a strong front/positive face in a huge aftershock (like the one I experienced in LA following Loma Prieta) or stomping through knee deep snake infested mud to get to a house to do an inspection, (read more in my book) I’ve bravely faced things and impressed even myself. But out by Anahola, in Kauai, I faced something I needed a little external motivation to go through with. The Slippery Slides!
Out by #Anahola is a marked trail near the reservoir, but you’ve got to pay attention to see it. You park by the reservoir and walk in to a natural slide that is slicked with water and which is just like a fun park’s slide, only far better because it is entirely the product of nature. There are many small pools and places for you to jump from above. About 100 yards down the trail is the famous pool shown in Jurassic Park—the one that the helicopter descends towards in front of a waterfall. The lowest jump is around 30 feet so it isn’t for the faint of heart.
One of the first times I was out there I was afraid to make the leap. I stood holding the nearest root and thought “Oh man, oh man…” and tried to gauge the depth of the water.
I am not sure if I would have done it if a bunch of teenagers hadn’t come along and bruised my ego. They made a ton of noise as they made their way down the trail, and as I stood there I heard one of them say, “Mister, just get out of the way!” This took me a back a bit, and I waved my arm as if to say, “After you.” These boys didn’t hesitate, and with three abrupt whooshes they were over the edge and out of sight. “Hell,” I said, “If they can do it, I can too.”