Papa'iloa Beach: Can't you almost see Sawyer?

Papa'iloa Beach: Can't you almost see Sawyer?

We got back last Monday from a trip to Maui. On the way back, we had a 24-hour stopover on Oahu… meaning we were in LOST territory.

Unfortunately, I did not run across any LOST shoots that Sunday. Nor did I bump into any stars in the airport or in Waikiki — unless you count spotting the Searcher, aka Penny’s boat, in a Honolulu marina.

But I did persuade my indulgent husband to drive us to a couple of LOST sites in the brief afternoon we had to explore the North Shore, in the area around the cool surfer town of Hale’iwa.
Papa'iloa Beach on Oahu's North Shore, a backdrop familiar to LOST fans.

Papa'iloa Beach on Oahu's North Shore, a backdrop familiar to LOST fans.

First we checked out Papa’iloa Beach, where a lot of LOST beach camp scenes have been shot. We were very near the actual shooting site, but not as close as we would have liked. We didn’t have the time (or the energy; it was hot) to trudge a mile south, down the beach and around the point, from the public-access spot where we could legally park.

But the mountains were there as a green backdrop, the beach looked a whole lot like the beach we all know and love… and if you used your imagination, you could almost see a shirtless Sawyer sitting on the rocks, looking out to sea. (Well, at least I could almost see him. My husband was probably imagining Kate or Juliet.)

YMCA Camp Erdman welcomes LOST fans.

YMCA Camp Erdman welcomes LOST fans.

Next we went up the Farrington Highway to YMCA Camp Erdman, also known as the Dharma Barracks or “New Otherton.”

Almost nobody was around Camp Erdman that day, and even before we checked in at the Welcome Center, no one seemed to mind that we parked and walked around to shoot photos. As you can see from their sign (above), they seem to welcome LOST fans.
Kate was held captive in Camp Erdman's Assembly Hall.

Kate was held captive in Camp Erdman's Assembly Hall.

We spotted the gazebo and the Others’ recreation hall (above), sometimes used as their temporary jail. You’ll recall that’s where Kate was kept prisoner when she tried to rescue Jack, who didn’t really want to be rescued.

The yellow cottages of "New Otherton," aka the Dharma Barracks.

The yellow cottages of "New Otherton," aka the Dharma Barracks.

The mustard-colored cottages (above) were unmistakable, although the campgrounds didn’t look nearly as green and pretty as they do in the show (I suspect the LOST crew does a lot of set dressing beforehand). It’s obvious that the cottage interiors we see are sets; the real interiors are much more spartan.

All in all, it was a fun afternoon. If we’d had a few more days in Honolulu, we might have taken a pricey tour of Kualoa Ranch, a private estate where many LOST shoots take place, on the windward side of Oahu. Or I might even have contacted Grass Skirt Productions to see if I could finagle a backstage, on-set visit.
But for the brief time we had on Oahu, it was enough to know that we were as close to the Island as we were ever likely to get. Now when I watch the reruns and see the Barracks, I can think: “Wow…I was there!”
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