As you’ve no doubt heard, this winter Kauai went through a huge storm. Some places had near-record rainfall, and some low lying areas were badly flooded. Hanalei was hit hard, and the road north from there to Haena was wiped out by mudslides.

In the aftermath, there were countless examples of neighbors helping neighbors, showing what aloha really means.

Kauai Big Storm Pro surfer Laird Hamilton rescuing children stranded by the flooding

Not to minimize the very real impact of the storm on people in those spots, on most of the island life is just as always. If you drive all the way from Lihue to Princeville, you see little to nothing showing that a big storm just swept through.

The Kauai Marriott Resort, home to our conference, reports that they had zero damage.

Kauai Marriott Resort golf course view of Kalapaki Bay

Kauai is home to a herd of a hundred buffalo, thanks to the late Hanalei resident William “Buffalo Bill” Mowry. The rising water made some of them escape their ranch and wander through Hanalei and Princeville. The ranch’s paniolo (Hawaiian cowboys) came on horseback and jet skis to round them up and take them back home.

Hawaiian Cowboys on Jetskis rescuing Buffalo in Hanalei storm

Here’s something you’ll probably never see again: a paniolo lassoing a bison in the surf from a jetski.

Kauai Big Storm stranded buffalo on beach

Despite all this, preparations for the Kauai Writers Conference are uninterrupted. People are registering every day, and some master classes are nearly full. We’ve recruited three more great faculty members, and are planning a couple of memorable surprise events. We know how fortunate we are to live in this magical place, and look forward to welcoming you here in November.