Friday, March 25, 2011

Kalalau Valley

One of the most secluded and magical places in the USA is the Kalalau Valley on the island of Kaua'i, It's the basin visible at the base of the sheer cliffs in this 8x10 inch plein-air painting from 2000.


No roads lead to the valley. You reach it by getting a permit and and hiking in along the narrow Na Pali trail, which follows the coast.

The mountain walls rise up almost vertically from the valley. It’s inhabited by wild goats and chickens, and a few campers. At times in its history it’s been the home of a small society of people living entirely off the grid, beyond the reach of law and custom.
----
Wikipedia on Kalalau Valley 
See a photo from the same spot

7 comments:

Jeremy Elder said...

I'll be there in May. Your image captures that place so well and makes me excited to get there!

David Glenn said...

Very cool.

Marc Is My Hero! said...

Me and my fiancee booked our permits last week. We are hiking the Na Pali to Kalalau in early September, for our honeymoon. I plan on bringing lots of drawing supplies. I'm curious how long you spent on the trail? We are planning on doing 3 days heading into Kalalau and then (hopefully) arranging to have someone pick us up by boat from there. That way we will be able to spend some time hiking around other parts of the island as well. In your experience do you think that will work out well enough?

Also, I received my books in the mail this week. I can't even begin to describe the huge smile that has been permanently affixed to my face since opening the package. First off, the way you personalized my books had me so flattered and flabbergasted I really wasn't sure what to do with myself. My partner in crime has not yet seen his copy yet (its going to be a surprise). And then when I actually started reading beyond the title page--- all I can say is thank you so much. Thank you for writing such an informative tome. This is the book I have been wishing for since my days studying at Parsons. And even though we have yet to meet, thank you for being a wonderful teacher and mentor. From the first page to the last, your book inspires me to CREATE! Once again, I thank you.

Marc Evan
www.maniacpumpkincarvers.com

Michael King said...

That would be a great place to go off the grid!!

Christian said...

My brother took a photo of the same viewpoint two years ago:

http://christianschlierkamp.de/hawaii_sf_09_auswahl_kl_49.jpg

What a beautiful place that is!

James Gurney said...

Christian, that photo is amazing--and keeps me honest!

Marc--have a great trip. I only hiked part way in on the Na Pali trail because we only had one day for the hike. The view of course is from a whole different road that takes hours to get to after leaving the Na Pali trailhead.

My only advice is to take a raincoat, and don't do what I did--(leave the convertible top down in the parking lot). It's the rainiest spot on earth.

Michael Pieczonka said...

Really beautiful to see one of your plein air pieces James.. this is fantastic.. thanks for posting! Also very interesting to see compare the photo and see how accurate your drawing ability is, though the painting blows the photo out of the water with it's own sense of life!!

cheers Mike