Sunday, April 20, 2008
The southwest corner of Kauai consists of a broad foreland built out in front of the eroding flank of the 5 million year old shield volcano. Seacliffs formed during the last high stand of sea level (4-6 meters higher, 125,000 years ago) have been long stranded. However, at the northwestern end of the beach, the wide plain squeezes away to nothing and gives rise to the active seacliffs of the Na Pali coast (we're only about 15 miles from Ke'e Beach at the northeast end, where we were yesterday). The contrast between the broad sand beach and dunes and the high basalt cliffs is spectacular (more comments and pictures at hshipman). It is no wonder that this is an area with high religious significance - it was the jumping off point for the spirits when it was time to move on. Nice choice.
The base of the Na Pali cliffs is marked by a natural riprap revetment of basaltic boulders.