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Wilson Sun Amber Tortoise-Cognac Tortoise with Pure Blue


Photos: Cristina Dunlap
Words: Garrett Leight

Kauai can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. The Garden island has a wide range of experiences available, from the sun-filled beaches of the south shore to the usually stormy but enchanted rain forests and hiking trails of the north shore. Most people are more familiar with a modern day version that's associated with vacation lifestyles and the Hyatt Grand Regency than the Kauai that we like to picture, which is a more free-spirited, stylistically inspired, and culturally impactful version.

Have you ever heard of the no rules, clothing optional, drug friendly, organized community of acceptance and love named Taylor Camp? Maybe you only know the Kauai filled with bad sun tans, elastic waistbands, bad floral prints, and happy hours that's more closely associated with alcoholics than happiness. Well Taylor Camp was a hippie commune that started in the late 60's on the North Shore of Kauai. It was the motherland for surfers, artists and anyone looking for a different way of life. It was an opportunity to live a non-materialistic life where people bonded over their love of nature and living freely. This is the version we like to dream of when we think of Kauai, and it seems that if you look hard enough you can find it, perhaps more fully clothed, but still romantically reminiscent enough.

Not that this photo shoot has all that much to do with Taylor Camp (nothing at all actually), but it did create an opportunity for our minds to wander, as your mind should, and learn a piece of history not often shared in the Emmy winning documentary by John Wehrheim. If nothing else, the next time you ponder a trip to the oldest island in Hawaii, you'll know that its not all about daiquiris and overpriced golfing. Unless you want it to be. We support that too, but at least you'll know.