OHE June 7, 1999 (Kaiwi Coast)



Date: Mon, 7 Jun 1999 13:34:56 -1000
From: MARK SHORT (MARKESHORT@worldnet.att.net>
Subject: Kaiwi Coast

This past Saturday it was my turn to watch the kids and my wife had a day off. This was only fair since I had incredible over night adventures the past two weeksends. I thought Kaiwi Coast would be fun for the kids and interesting for me. Our gang include my sons Dylan (6) and Jacob (11), my daughter Sarah (8), Sarah's friend Jennie (7), Jacobs friend Eric (11), and our dog Sam (3). At about 1:30pm started along the beach from the eastern most parking lot. Everybody had backpacks with water & snacks, shoes and clothes that could get wet, hats & sunscreen. We were ready for an adventure. In my mind this was like the team eco-challenge. We wanted to keep a good pace and all members of the team must finish.

We soon reached our first water crossing. It was a bit deep so we turned inland to a bridge that crosses the water near the highway (Jacob elected to cross the water and did so without incident). As we walked along we the inlet we saw a turtles head pop up then go back down. It swam towards Jacob and we called to him so he could see it. After crossing the bridge we turned right and back to the beach. After a short walk on the beach we came to our second water crossing. There was a bench made from a split log so we sat here and drank some water. This crossing was shallow and long and slippery, but the kids all had fun. They thought it was great to walk in wet shoes. On the other side we said hello to a guy with a jeep and started along the cliff bottom. I told the kids to stay on the dry rocks and keep an eye on the ocean to avoid getting swept away by a big wave (the waves were small and safe today). Sarah began to get nervous and it can be a little spooky being in the narrow area between the cliff and the sea. Her freind Jenny kept reassuring her which surprised me since Jenny is usually the scared one (she had attempted to sleep over many times but always ended up going hope early homesick). Dylan was keeping up just fine and enjoyed climbing on the rocks. Jacob & Eric kept going ahead with Sam and I had to call out to them to wait so we'd all be together.

Eventually we got to a section where a slope of large loose rocks extended down to the sea. Sarah was getting more scared so I asked if she wanted to climb up the slope to hopefully intersect the road or a trail. She agreed and I called out to the boys we were going up. I was concentrating on Sarah getting up when I looked back at Jenny, she had gone up only about 5 feet and now was stopped, clinging to a rock and crying. This created a chain reaction, Sarah began to cry, then Dylan. Jacob & Eric were almost to the top, laughing & yelling "It's suicide!!". They also rolled a large rock down the hill (it's path was well away from everyone and no one was in danger). At about the same time The rocks under Sarah began to slide and she slid about 2 feet. So now I have three hysterical kids who think we're all going to die. I managed to get them back to solid rock and calm them down by telling them we'll go back the way we came, which Sarah didn't like since she was nervous here in the first place. She did think it was better than trying "death hill" again. We also had a snack which always helps. Sarah said "Dad, you have to promise, never to take me on this hike again!" I said "maybe you'll want to when your older". She insisted "No! promise me! NEVER!" so I promised.

On the way back Sarah was staying extra close to the cliff wall. In places this ment ducking under the overhang and she ended up hitting her head. She didn't seem to be in much pain but there was a lot of blood, which led to a new bout of hysteria. I told her to keep her hat on and use her hand to apply pressure. This stopped the bleeding and she felt better Then her main worry was that she got blood on her 17 year old brothers hat and that he was going to kill her. With just one more mishap (Dylan falling on the road & scaping his knee) we made it back to the van. I thought for sure I would be in trouble. Bringing back a bunch of hysterical, bloody kids with tales of being near death. Fortunately after cleaning up, Sarah's head wound was almost indetectable and they all were too busy playing to tell their horrifing tale. I wonder if Sarah will make me keep my promise?


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