After Drinking Beer With Eric
Makaha and Keaau Beach Park were the best. They were not trafficked with people or automobiles. The large costal mountains created a dry pocket of weather that, compared to the rest of the island, cut the rainfall in half. Living at Keaau, and running back and forth to Makaha for food and drink was perfect for me. Everything was great, and that’s when word came down that the Park Service was closing down the park (actually, many parks). No explanation was given, but rumor had it that it was being done to curtail the muggings, which were a continual occurrence on the beach. Another rumor had it that there were so many people living on the beach that the authorities wanted to get everybody in one spot, a kind of forced census count. Yet another rumor had it that the Park Service was going to spray for weeds, which (in hindsight) was just as likely to be true.
I was prepared to leave. I was going back to Kaena Point and camp
along that jungle stretch of beach. That would solve the
closed park problem, but it also would create problems like getting
fresh water, too much sand, and a whole host of other inconveniences. I was packed and ready to go when I met Eric. He was an eighteen-year-old kid from California who had come to Hawaii to ride the “big wave.” He didn’t even know the park was closing. After I helped him drink his beer, he asked if he could come with me. I said, “Sure,” but I really wasn’t sure.