Thursday, December 18, 2014

Day Four (part 2)

While we were climbing our way back out of the canyon, we ran into some fellow hikers who recommended another hike.  They said the trail from the far end of the Pu'u Hinahina lookout was not as strenuous.  Well, I don't know why they thought that.  But first the lookout.


Hey!  What's that over on the ridge?  Is that the trail we'll be taking?

So we started out hiking through the woods.  Soon we found ourselves heading downhill.  And down, and down.  then climbing back up and up until we came to this point.

What?!?  We could have driven here?!?  Well, maybe not in the rental car.  So we continued to this very nice lookout point.
(Pardon the sun spots.  The canyon runs pretty much north to south, so this would be better as a late afternoon shot.)

From there we could just see the section of the trail on the ridge.  But because that would have involved another decent and ascent through a side canyon, we decided to turn around.

Diana making her way though the lush vegetation.

We were glad we didn't have to hike to see the fantastic view of the Kalalau Valley from the Pu'u o Kila lookout at the end of the road.

With the jagged cliffs and ridges of the Na Pali coast.

From there we could also see Mt. Wai'ale'ale, one of the wettest spots on earth  (Or we could if it wasn't shrouded in clouds.

On the way back down, we stopped a few other places to enjoy the awesome (and I don't use that word lightly) view.

And I had to screech to a stop and snap this sign.  Does anybody else think it's funny, or is it just me?

(Maybe I was just hungry after all that hiking.)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Day Four (part 1)

Because the time in Hawaii is three hours earlier than Arizona, once again I was up before sunrise.

We got an early start and had such a big day that I'm going to break it into two posts.  First we checked out another beach - pretty, but I don't think we'll be doing any snorkeling there.

Then we excitedly headed up Waimea Canyon Rd to milemarker 9 and the Kukui trailhead.  Diana's guidebook said this trail was a good way to get down into the canyon and had great views.  Although it's never optimum to descend first, then climb back out, we wanted to try it.

So let's go!

Sure enough, the views were breathtaking.

And still we continued down.

One section was steep with lots of tiny, loose gravel.  But we persevered.  Diana found a method that worked for her.

I wonder what other hikers will think of our tracks.
(I'm sure Diana will be posting her picture of me sliding down on my butt.)

I hope this isn't a bad sign.

After about 3/4 of a mile, we gave up.  The trail was just too steep and slippery.  I snapped one more picture up the canyon . . .

And one across.

Looking at my two pictures up the canyon, I see there's really not much difference between them. We probably could have turned around earlier, but it's good to push ourselves a bit.  I'm so glad we did it, although I did wish for my hiking shoes and sticks.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Day Three

Our second full day began with heavy cloud cover, so we decided to check out the Christmas Craft Fair at the Kauai Museum.  When the skies opened up, we appreciated that the locally-made crafts were under tents in the parking lot.  By the time we made our purchases, the rain had passed and we were on our way.

We stopped at our favorite lunching spot and were surprised to run into Ronald McDonald.  I guess even he vacations in Hawaii.  Diana got a nice hug.

Then we headed to the south side of the island.  First stop was the Spouting Horn.  I guess it must have been low tide because it was mostly spitting.

But never fear, I found my picture from when we were there in March of 2013.

Next was a stop at Shipwreck Beach.

We climbed up that cliff using the hand and toe holds.  (Okay, maybe there was a trail.)  While I was getting the perfect shot, Diana was making my position look a lot more dangerous than it was.

Here's the picture I was taking of the next cove over.

Our last stop was Poipu Beach where Diana did some snorkeling,
(That's her with the snorkel, totally unaware of the guy who's ogling her.)

Where she saw lots of pretty fish and some legs too.
(I'll let her post the rest of her many underwater shots.)

Meanwhile I was communing with nature.

And enjoying the island's ambiance.

Tomorrow - two hikes in Waimea Canyon.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Day Two

Due to our desire to do and see everything possible on this trip and Diana's organizing influence, we actually made lists.  I don't know if I've ever done that on a trip before.  Clouds and rain were predicted for our first two days, so we saved the major sights for later in the week.

On day two, we drove around the local area, stopping at a couple of water falls and a possible snorkeling beach.  Oh, and a thrift store.

First up was Opaeka'a Falls.  This waterfall can be seen from the road.  Somehow that seems like cheating.

Right across the road is a great view down the Wailua River Valley.
(Diana's picture)

The road ends at Wailua Falls, used in the opening credits of Fantasy Island.  (For those of you who are old enough to remember the TV show.)
(Diana's wide-angle lens came in really handy here.)

This was the most my camera could take from the same spot.

And we stopped at pretty Lydgate Beach Park - a definite possibility for a non-aquatic person like me to snorkel.  We'll see.
(Another of Diana's pictures)

You know I can't resist snapping some flower pictures.  I think this is a ginger.

And maybe this is too.  Anybody know?

When we returned to the room, look who was sitting on our balcony railing.

And another twilight shot from the beach at the resort.  You can see we had some clouds, but no rain to spoil our fun.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Adventure Begins

Just about a week ago, Diana and I left on a sisters' trip to the island of Kauai in Hawaii.  In years past, we took a lot of trips together, but this is the first in about 15 years.  We had a blast seeing all that this beautiful island has to offer.

We left bright and early on a flight out of Phoenix which flew directly to Honolulu.

After a much shorter flight, we landed in Lihue, rented a car, and drove a few miles north to the Kauai Coast Resort at the Beachboy.  Our home for the week was on the second floor, behind that small tree.

We were greeted by the Kauai island chicken ambassador.

The pool was a real work of art.

And the beach was scenic, but not the best for swimming.

We admired this local bird.  I have since googled it and found that it is called a Red-crested cardinal (Paroaria coronata).  Despite its common name, it is a tanager and not a true cardinal and also not a native bird.  It's still pretty, though.

After settling in, we enjoyed an ocean view from our balcony.

To give credit where credit is due, Diana gave me all her pictures.  In future posts, I'll label those which are hers.  In this post, the first and third are hers.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Green Desert

Now that we're back in Mesa, I probably won't be posting as often.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I haven't posted much since the end of October.  Ron has a couple of projects going which I'll be sharing sometime.  But we did get out one day with Carol and John to enjoy the results of all the rain this area received in September.  We took the Lost Goldmine trail - 5 1/2 miles, but only minor elevation changes.

The thing about hiking in the desert is that you can always see where you're going.

This trail runs along the base of the Superstition Mountains making for nice views the whole way.

We ran across this saguaro and couldn't decide if it would be considered a 'crested' saguaro or if it's just confused.  (Yes, John and Carol, the word finally came to me.)

It was a nice hike with fun people.

And to top it off, we got to see their new place.  We were their first visitors!

I just have to share this short video of a crazy dove on the house across the street from ours.  He must have stayed there for five minutes, enjoying the ride.