For the first time in *months* we actually took the day off and went out for a mini-adventure. Such joy to depart the same-old-same-old of our daily lives and venture out into the world. We had planned on heading to the North Shore to take a hike but it didn’t take long to decide that lounging on the beach seemed the better idea.
One of our favorite beaches to visit is over on the west side, past Waimea, outside the little town of Kekaha. Here begins miles of sandy beaches (12 miles to be exact. The longest stretch of beach in all of Hawaii.) that ends at the Polihale State Park. 7 of these miles stretch in front of the Pacific Missile Range Facility.
The Pacific Missile Range Facility is a U.S. Naval facility and airport located five nautical miles northwest of the central business district of Kekaha, in Kauai County, Hawaii, United States. PMRF is the world’s largest instrumented, multi-dimensional testing and training missile range. US Military and subcontractors favor its relative isolation, ideal year-round tropical climate and encroachment-free environment. It is the only range in the world where submarines, surface ships, aircraft and space vehicles can operate and be tracked simultaneously. There are over 1,100 square miles of instrumented underwater range and over 42,000 square miles of controlled airspace. The base itself covers roughly 2,385 acres. – wiki article
We weren’t headed down that far – we just needed to get to the beginning of that long stretch of sand where we could park our hineys on the beach. Along the way we made a stop at the Kauai Coffee Company. Visiting their shop always makes me wish I was independently wealthy. T-shirts! Hoodies! Posters! Prints! Kauai Coffee branded gifts wall-to-wall! Shelves of delicious, rich coffee. Sigh. Thankfully my darling husband has a bit more control than I do and after a few minutes browsing, we picked out just 2 items and were on our way again. The shopping spree will have to wait until another time. When I visit without him. Ha. Just kidding. Sorta.
There were a few people at the beach once we arrived, but for the most part, as we’ve found at most Kauai beaches, there simply aren’t the crowds you’d expect to find in places like Waikiki, California, Florida. Our beaches are empty a good amount of the time and have scattered crowds at others. This is one of the things that first drew us to Kauai. We aren’t battle-the-crowds kind of people and our one visit to Waikiki many years ago was one time too many. Give us empty beaches with only the roaring of the waves as they crash onto the shore. Heaven.
Once we hit the beach we realized we’d made a big mistake by not bringing along swimming attire. It was gorgeous and would have been an excellent day for playing in the surf. With the sunny, 85’ish degree afternoon and an ocean of bathtub temp water, our regret was swift and bitter. At least we know where we’ll be next Saturday. Yep. On our beach chairs with a picnic lunch in the ice chest and clad in swimming suits with frequent dashes to the water. I. Can. Hardly. Wait. (Is it Saturday yet??)
I would have liked to stay until sunset but by the time 3pm rolled around, I was done. It was HOT sitting on the sand in my black capris w/out a hat or shade of any kind. Even standing in the water and getting my capris soaking wet didn’t help. Lesson learned – don’t head to the beach without the basic essentials. Sunscreen, water, beach chairs, towels, hat, and of course, swimsuits.
In spite of brevity of our beach time, we had a fabulous day. Sometimes it’s enough to just take an hour or two and sit on the beach, watching the waves roll in and out. Even if you didn’t bring your suit and can’t swim.