Dustin Hoffman Was Here

“We closed at 5:00,” said the slender guy operating the outrigger canoe hut on the secluded bank of the Wailua River. He and his two buddies were already swigging back a couple of cold brews in the vacant dirt parking lot. “Do you mind if we look around?”, Gerald asked. “Sure, as long as it’s right in this area”, he responded as he swirled his arm in a circular motion. I walked up to the thatch-roofed hut to snap a shot of the resident cat stretched out on the steps. About that time, a frisky rooster crowed and began chasing a hen in hot pursuit before giving up and heading for an easier target. The off-duty guide came over and began to explain about these ancient cultural grounds known as Kamokila Hawaiian Village. “The natural habitat reflected island lifestyles from centuries ago.” He coaxed us beyond the bamboo fence topped with several pairs of walking shoes, pointing out the primitive structures on the horizon. Two flamboyant peacocks strutted across the grassy area while we were told, “This is where the film, ‘Outbreak’ was shot. Dustin Hoffman starred in it.” “I remember that movie”, I said with enthusiasm. “A lot of movies have been made on Kauai.” He went on to say, “In my younger years, I was an extra in ‘Jurassic Park’. I played one of the soldiers who crouched during the scene where the actors were running from the dinosaurs.” “Younger years?” I marveled then teased, “You aren’t allowed to say that when you’re not over the age of 30”. He blushed and admitted he was 34 years old, but it seemed a lifetime ago when he was only 16 living up the mountain in the Wailua homestead. On impulse, he graciously took us over to the river where its indescribable beauty reflected like an artist’s rendering of a priceless masterpiece. Not wishing to intrude any longer, we expressed our thanks for the private tour, got back in the car, and headed out. Wanderlust is a key element in the quest for adventure. One never knows what opportunities lie in the next turn in the road. Or who you will meet and the stories they will share. Mahalo. 

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