Friday, November 14, 2008


Spending the day kayaking up the Wailua River, hiking jungle trails, and finally reaching the waterfalls was my favorite activity while we were on Kaua'i. I used a water proof disposable camera. The jungle was dark so my pictures turned out dark. The day was partially cloudy, sometimes full cloud cover. The weather changes frequently and quickly in Hawaii.

Close to the ocean, the river was wide and open, silky smooth and peaceful.

Beyond the bridge is the ocean. We put the kayaks in the water at a small boat ramp near the bridge.

The clouds never cleared completely but we didn't mind. The weather was lovely.

The further up river we paddled, the narrower the river became.

Eventually we were in tunnels of jungle trees. Paddling upriver was easy, the current was not strong.

Here we landed and got out to visit the Fern Grotto. It was a lovely large flower garden; at one time. Now it is being destroyed by wild pigs rooting up the soil, trees and plants. A half circle of rock cliff was covered thick in ferns, before the dry spell, now the ferns remaining are brown and dry. We stayed for a brief walk through and I got no pictures.

Eventually we reached our final landing site. We found the trail and headed into the jungle. It was dark, humid and warm; very warm.

The trail was narrow and slick with moist mud. Much of the trail followed the river.
We passed these little falls and the trail forked. We agree on which fork to take, the one continuing along the river. As we hiked on, the trail became more narrow, increasingly wet, and suspiciously similar to a wild pig trail. We climbed on and on. The trail stopped, no warning just an abrupt end. It was a pig trail. We had climbed higher and steeper than I had realized as we had been trudging uphill. The hike down the narrow, slick, mud trail with a raging (at this point it seemed to be raging) river below was not pleasant. We made it to the fork without plunging to a watery death. I was emotionally and physically exhausted.

We made it to the falls. Those small spots at the bottom are people in the pool. A very high and beautiful waterfall. We didn't spend much time here, we figured we had just enough time to get back before nightfall.
I slept quite well that night.
Speaking of sleep, it's time to get to bed. I'll be heading home tomorrow and will be working in my home territory for a while. Back to the land of poor Internet connection, thus fewer pictures to share.
Thanks for joining me and sharing your thoughts.

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

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hawaiian Sunshine

Yes, we did see some sunshine on our vacation.
I'll show you.

We started our mornings with breakfast out on the little screened in porch dining area. A canyon drops steeply beyond the yard green with jungle plants and flowering trees. I kept expecting to hear the screech of monkeys and roar of tigers.

The guest cottage we stayed in, nestled in the jungle. Compliments of Ollie.

It was cozy and comfortable and we loved our stay here.

Sunny skies and waves.

Sunny skies and waves.

We took a chartered sail boat trip, 5 1/2 hours along the south to western coast line. We were promised snorkeling, awesome views of the cliffs, and as you see above, if you look closely, abundant sea life. We enjoyed a large group of dolphins swimming along with us, leaping in the air, racing us, and just generally having a blast.

Jerry visiting with our captain.
That's all the pictures I have of our 5 1/2 hour trip.
For 3 1/2 hours I was puking off the back of the boat, just wishing I would fall in and drown.

We don't see many signs like this here in California. I liked it. I laughed.
No coconuts fell while I was being cautious, but I saw an entire village of small tent campers and their dogs........

Blue skies and green trees.

The telling of my vacation is almost longer than the actual trip. I am most certainly one of those who show way too many grand kid and vacation pictures. But the reality is that if you're bored you can just skip by and I never know the difference.

One more day of Hawaii, I'll show our two favorite days, and then I'll be on to other topics.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hawaii - Day Five

Continuing my travel journal, skipping to our fifth day on Kaua'i. I took pictures on the skipped days using a water proof disposable camera. Hopefully they will be ready to share in a few days.

The bee business was fascinating and we enjoyed spending time with Ollie, the apiarist, learning about bees and increasing my vocabulary. An elderly Japanese couple called, requesting the removal of a hive of wild bees they found in their shed in a cooler. The yellow globs of alien looking stuff is a mass of bees, wax, honey, and comb. It is a several day process to get them moved. I snapped a few pictures and then retired to the safety of the car.

Ollie suited up and went to work with the bees, note the absence of gloves... *shudder*...
We watched him work with his hives several times without the 'space man' suit, only a puffer of smoke to protect him from bee stings.
We learned that the smoke blocks the pheromones the bees emit to signal an attack.

An afternoon drive to the northern shore to visit another cousin. The evening before, heavy rains here caused flash floods along the rivers. The waves at the mouths of the rivers were quite brown with silt and dirt, leaving piles of wood and logs washed up on the beaches.

The rains and wind didn't look very promising for our next planned adventure.
We were on our way to a large cattle-horse ranch.

Another cousin of sorts, manages the horse trail ride business on this large cattle ranch.
They have acres and acres of green grass, a river, waterfall, pond, and canyons. It was raining as we arrived so we really didn't expect to ride, only to visit with the cousin. She is a real sweetie!
She insisted on taking us out for a ride, said that if we didn't mind the rain, she sure didn't. Said it would probably clear up in 5 minutes or so anyways. Jerry and I wore rain coats, she did not.
We rode for a while, got soaked and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The trails were getting real slick and slippy, so we did not ride to the waterfall in the canyon.
That's Jerry and his cousin-of-sorts. She is so funny and sweet and I hope we can get her to come visit us soon.

And a picture of all three of us wet riders. My camera was getting drenched, so not many rainy ride pictures to share.

Jerry and L untacking big wet Blondie.

I think I remember that we drove back to our little cottage, took hot showers, put on dry clothes and relaxed for a bit before going out to dinner.

In previous comments, I was asked if it rained all the time. I do think I remember some sunshine, we'll be getting to that.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Kauai - Third Day

We drove along the cloudy but warm southern and western coast on our third Hawaiian day.

This site is called the Spouting Horn. It was all fenced and there were a few bus loads of tourists but it was neat to see. Although we were tourists, we like to stay away from the crowds.

Another view along the southern coast.

I saw this sign and had to have Jerry pull over so I could see just what was so dangerous.
It was straight down into the 'Kauai' Grand Canyon. Frightful! More on that in a few days.

The depth of the canyon cannot be appreciated in this photo.

More beach, heading along the western side.
No people. The beach to ourselves. Lovely.

Warm and balmy with a few sprinkles of rain.

Kauai - First Day

Driving along the eastern shoreline, our first day on Kaua'i, we stopped to visit this park, an old Lighthouse and Bird Sanctuary share the grounds.

A small island past the cliff, beyond and below the lighthouse.

Steep cliffs and pounding waves, I love to listen to the roar of the ocean. The white specks in the distant trees are nesting sea birds.

Making a comeback from near extinction.
Downy, grey WEDGE-TAIL SHEARWATER chick. or 'UA 'U 'KANI
They nest in ground tunnels, and are very cute.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Blame Hawaii and poor Internet service for the Colorado blog interruption.
Jerry and I spent ten wonderful, warm, wet days on Kaua'i.
It is wet and sunny here in California and I am glad to be home.
Before running off to VOTE and then getting some groceries, I decided to check emails and that, of course, led to reading a few blogs which resulted in a need to post a picture of my own....

A couple hundred, post card quality photos of our Hawai'i vacation are loaded on my computer. You've seen the typical palm trees and ocean scenes and mountains. I'm sharing an original here folks. Ollie Shagnasty, a colorful and well known bee keeper on the island, and a distant 'some-how' related, cousin of Jerry, takes us way out on the Kuaui coffee plantation on a bee hive adventure.

I thought of titling this 'Chick Magnet'.
Roosters, chickens and chicks run wild everywhere.
Someone we know and love dearly, does not wear shorts, would not buy shorts for a Hawaiian vacation. The days are warm and humid, jeans are too hot, so this 'someone' hiked and played tourist out in public wearing boxers...... I was laughing out loud most of the day. (This subject did not give permission to post this picture, but does not read my blog, therefore, I have no fear of retaliation.)

Next, do you want more pictures of Hawaii, a continuation of our Colorado pack trip, or a rambling, random jumble of my life?