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  • Beyond the final bend appeared the most miraculous pond. Cold, it was, and deep. The waterfall barely a mist by the time it reached our faces. We looked up the walls of the Waipi’o Valley. Our vision catapulted up into the sky where the clouds burned into the sunlight.

    Our vocabulary diminished into oh’s and ah’s. I went to the water’s edge and watched as it lapped my toes. There were a few others already there; some in no clothes whatsoever. Laughter echoed around us.

    I waded in partway and then, after some deliberation, descended, letting out a shriek of delight as the freezing water rushed over my torso. With each stroke, the water faded closer to black. It was impossible to know how deep it really was. A sense of endlessness rushed over me like vertigo with the cliffs rising up, the water falling down, and the depths falling further still. Uneasy, I swam back. My body rose out of the water into what seemed a safer element. I stood, dripping.


    I swirled around and watched, stunned, as ripples expanded across the surface. A boulder had just fallen hundreds of feet from the cliff into the water—literally just where a friend had been swimming only moments earlier. The sound of the splash had been low and deep, not the high-pitched blink! you might expect of a pebble. As the rock was presumably finding its new home at the bottom of the pond, we all rushed to get as far away from the valley walls as possible.

    We quickly agreed it was time to leave and headed back to the trail. Our exciting brush with Eden had been long enough. Mahalo very much!
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