Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net


Rainforest Hike, Kauai

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

I enjoyed a very short trip to Kauai at the end of last week. One of the adventures I went on with my husband, Ron, was a short hike on the Pihea Trail in Koke’e State Park.

If you’ve visited Kauai, you’ve almost certainly been to Koke’e. I’ll bet the photo below looks familiar…this is a view into Kalalau Valley — it’s a standard stop for island visitors.

kalalau_valley

Nearly everyone who visits walks out along the eroded ridge that is the back wall of Kalalau Valley. That is the start of Pihea Trail, which continues along the ridge to a peak on the opposite side of the valley. It’s not very far — maybe 1.5 to two miles? — but there is some interesting terrain along the way. It’s good to remember, this is called a rainforest for a reason.
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Waimea Canyon, Kauai

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

I think I was sixteen when I flew from Oahu to Kauai with a group from the Hawaii Sierra Club, to participate in a two-week “Hawaii Service Trip Program” project — a volunteer work project, in this case devoted to building new trail in the bottom of Waimea Canyon. I participated in several other HSTP projects over the years, but this was my first.

Waimea Canyon — often called the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” — is an amazing feature that seems entirely out of place on a small island like Kauai. Wikipedia puts its size as about ten miles long and as deep as 3,000 feet. The geology alone is striking, but there is also an abundance of streams and waterfalls which exist in sharp contrast to the generally dry terrain. In Hawaii, rainfall patterns change radically over very short distances. Just to the east of the canyon is a high elevation region dominated by Waiʻaleʻale, the highest peak on the island at 5,100 feet. Rainfall records from Waiʻaleʻale indicate it’s one of the wettest places on Earth. Between the peak and the canyon is the Alakai Swamp, which drains into the canyon, feeding those amazing waterfalls.

Waimea_Canyon_1

Unfortunately for me, I haven’t been back in the canyon since that first expedition. One of these days I’ll need to make a serious effort to go again, but for now photos from the canyon rim will have to do. These were taken on Friday, June 20 — an absolutely gorgeous summer day.

Waimea_Canyon_4

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