nd it was time to tee off.
On the first hole, the basket was set in a cavern behind a waterfall, about fifteen feet in. From the tee, set atop a gigantic boulder, it was necessary to throw your disc through the waterfall, then climb through the water, over wet jagged slippery rocks, to retrieve it.
The danger in teeing off, of course, was of throwing the disc without enough force to penetrate the waterfall, because then your disc would be swept down to the rocks below, and might go downstream for miles before it came to rest, giving you a chance to begin throwing it back upriver.
The par was a generous (by Hawaiian standards): 4. Louis used a powerful overhand vertical tomahawk throw to split the water, and we could hear chains ringing from behind the waterfall even over the rush of the current.
Dirk, and then Scott, threw their discs through the water.
I stood on the rocks and stared at the waterfall, Stingray in hand.
Every throw has a curve; throw a curve.
My disc went through the water. I slipped trying to climb the wet rocks and cut my leg. I finally passed through the waterfall into a cavern lit by a shimmer of refracted light. Inside the cave were stalactites that were difficult to throw around.
Louis, having scored a hole-in-one, was leaning by the waterfall, rolling a stick. After the three Unknown fought to get their discs between the natural formations and into the basket, we left the waterfall and climbed to the next hole.
The trail ended at the lip of a jagged gorge. We parted some vines and on the other side of the crevasse, about ten feet over and ten feet down, was a narrow ledge with a wooden bench and basket.
The crevasse was very deep: a volcanic rift from which hot vapors rose. The bottom was distant and invisible, shrouded in shadowy mist. It was necessary to tee off by throwing down to the ledge. If your first throw missed the ledge, or bounced into the rift, your only option was to throw another disc, and keep trying until you emptied your disc bag. (Most of the holes at Circle Park have, in addition to a par number, a number for failure: a score you are given if you fail to complete the hole, whether due to a lost disc, exhaustion, failure of nerve, death or dismemberment.)
Louis teed off first. He threw a spinner, and the gyroscopic forces held it as it slowly floated across the ravine. But the disc bounced off the edge of the basket, and hit the bench, where the buzzsaw force of his throw split the wood causing the disc to become lodged in a plank.
Louis, disappointed at having already destroyed his chance to score an 18 for the round, shrugged, and then grabbed a handful of vines and swung across the narrow ravine.
We stared after him not really believing that this was happening. We all considered ourselves exceptionally practiced disc golf players, but we were not necessarily ready to swing on vines across a bottomless chasm.
But we did.
Scott lost six discs, Dirk two. I lost eight.