It's incredible how friendly people get when you share a common 11-mile walk back to civilization and a black, black starry night sky.

I met people from Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, a computer science professor at Duke University in North Carolina, a very tan family from Wisconsin (who admitted they hadn't gotten their tans in Wisconsin), an 8-year old girl who was on her 6th time out to Kalalau, a state champion backgammon player (champion in two different states on different years), a man who knew how to build and run a sweat logde, two gay couples, a man starting his own company, and many other wonderful people.

What do you do when you're out in the wilderness and it's New Year's eve? Well, one person hiked out to buy fireworks, but (to almost everyone's great relief) came back without them.

Several people thought a New Year's eve bonfire on the beach sounded like a good idea. Then people thought of a sweat (aka native american purification) lodge, and started building it with a framework of bamboo and a cover of sheets and tarps. Perhaps because they were on vacation, people who didn't know each other pitched in and co-operated, and the bonfire and sweat lodge happened.

My neighbors, two gay couples, were very hospitable in sharing their cave when it rained before I put up my tent, and all my stuff got wet. They were hospitable and friendly even when I made it very clear I wasn't homosexual, and we spent a pleasant rainy afternoon and evening (even though I was somewhat tense).

I have at least 3 people I plan to contact by e-mail whom I've met at Kalalau, a place without computers, cell-phones, or even US Mail (snail-mail) service. Since I didn't see any snails, perhaps the toads would be so courteous as to deliver mail.