Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Waimea Canyon Drive, Kaua'i, Hawai'i

The Waimea Canyon Drive was my favorite road trip on Kaua'i. The road meanders along, following the edge of the canyon. I was relieved to see guard rails, providing a sense of security, on sections of road that seemed to be mere inches from certain death if a tire drifted off the pavement onto a non-existent shoulder. I wonder how many plunge to their deaths off this road?, but I really don't want to know.
Years ago, a girl friend and I, with our young daughters, took a trip through Colorado on our way to Cheyenne, Wyoming. We drove up the Pike's Peak Highway. Stopping to chat with a ranger on our way, we just had to ask that very question. His answer was most disturbing, I didn't enjoy the rest of that drive, not relaxing until we made it back down off the mountain.

I have a love-hate relationship with mountains. I love mountains, I belong in the mountains but, I am terrified of heights. I sort-of like that adrenalin rush of the fear, but I sure don't like the terror I feel, the fear of free falling off a cliff and smashing at the bottom. My palms are sweaty as I type that. *shudder* I doubt that I'll ever really take that mule ride down the Grand Canyon, I need to erase that from my list of things to do.

A short distance along the road and the canyon is deep, our first stop, I get kind of close to the edge but not too close without a fence or guard rail.

The rest of my pictures were taken at pull-out lookout points with heavy sturdy fences firmly anchored into the ground to keep us sight-seers safe.

Now I want to point out something quite disturbing; well it was to me. On the second picture, look at that hump of red rock cliff below the tree line... see it? Look at the top of it, see the defined line? That is a hiking trail, for crying out loud, and people were actually out there hiking it. They were too far away and teeny tiny to show up on this picture. It made my palms sweat.

Colors, shadows, depths, waterfalls... spectacular and constantly changing.

A different view of the falls as we drive further along the road and increasing elevation.
As we reach the end of the road there are several lookout points. We are looking straight out across a canyon that opens to the ocean. This shot is to the left.

This view is to the right. The view constantly changes as the clouds drift by. We could appreciate the elevation change as at one point, a tour helicopter flew for a short distance into this canyon and you could just barely make it out.

The clouds have drifted by and the sky is clear. We have driven a bit further and this is another view.

Feral hens, chicks and roosters are all over the island. Everywhere. These were pecking about in the parking area at the end of the canyon drive.
The story we heard, was that a hurricane demolished a large chicken ranch, spreading the birds over the island and without predators they have flourished. Sounds fair enough, I'd come up with a better story myself though.

Mutt and Jeff


Jenn said...

I never even KNEW canyons existed in Hawaii! How spectacular...and scary. I got a little bit of vertigo just LOOKING at the second canyon picture. I used to not be such a chicken about heights, what the heck happened? Sheesh.

That's a great photo of you and Jerry!

Courtney said...

Love the picture of Mutt and

About the canyons and terrifying. The pictures were breathtakingly beautiful though.

DAVID said...

Mmmmmmmmmmm CHICKEN

Karen Deborah said...

Gorgeous pictures! Is that all you have of Mutt? Hee hee. sounds like you finally got out of the infallible feelings of adolescence and realized what danger is. Makes sense to me.

Debbie in CA : ) said...

Marvelous photos! We cruised the islands and had but a single day on Kauai. We chose to drive up the other side of the island, mainly to see a botanical garden that was closed. : ( If/when we get back to Kauai the canyon is first on the list.

I was amazed at all the chickens and roosters EVERYWHERE we stopped. Weird! Hurricane story sound plausible . . . I guess.?.?.?

lov ya,mom said...

Love the pictures. keep them coming. One day maybe I can go see it all for myself.

That first picture, the mountain tops sure looked odd. how anyone could walk those narrow trails? no way, not me. know what you feel looking off edge of that road, scarry, not the word for it.
Bout time you got in a picture, got some more

di :) said...

green with envy

JANET IN MICH. said...