We heard rumors of a beach that was unpatrolled, where locals sneak down to freedom camp on the sand far away from the circus of ABC Store Hawaiian shirts. In a very real metaphor, we were lost on the way to find this hidden beach spot—which I won’t name. Sky was darkening as we reached the dead end of a long straight dirt road. This is the kind of place where tweakers and down-and-outs might break a car window just for the change on your dash. We emptied the car of everything valuable and left the doors unlocked.

With backpacks, an ukulele, and a borrowed tent, we tried to remember the general directions we had heard in conversations. “Start walking the trail, don’t go all the way down, go left almost to the end, then right to the beach and look for a spot in the trees.” Everyone we had talked to about this place said to be careful. “There are some bruddahs out there.” The night was starless and dark. We were squeezing our bags through overhead-high grass on what had originally seemed like a trail…..