Monday, August 29, 2011

Off-roading in Waimea Canyon

Despite the fact that we have been living in Waimea for the last month, it wasn’t until this weekend that we saw the town’s main attraction… Waimea Canyon.  It is nicknamed the “Grand-Canyon of the Pacific”.  We went there with our friends Branden, Natasha, and their daughters.  As we drove up the long road into the mountains our first stop was quite a unique sight.  A waterfall surrounded by mounds of red dirt, and not much else.  We felt like we were on Mars!

Next we went to one of the look-out points.  We were surprised at how cold it had gotten after driving up so far!  It felt almost like fresh, crisp fall air… which was kind of a nice change because Waimea can get pretty hot, especially in the afternoon.  The view was beautiful! 

As we drove further up the mountain we arrived at a restaurant and museum, which was about another 15-20 minutes down the road.  It struck me that it must be kind of strange for the people who work at the restaurant to have to drive up a mountain to just get to work!  We went to the little museum.  We enjoyed looking at the Niihau Shell Lei’s and other historical items.  They also had some information on display about the unique plants in the area. 

We had a picnic outside the museum in a huge open grassy field.   After eating we couldn’t resist doing some gymnastics and stunting in the field.  There is something about a open, flat grassy area that just makes us think of doing back flips!

Eventually we continued our journey into the mountains… and it was quite a journey!  Before long the paved road turned to dirt, and then into mud, and then into water!

We parked on top of the small waterfall and waded into the river for some fun pictures…

It was a wild ride, one side of the road is sheer cliff, and the other drops off hundreds of feet.  We eventually made it to an amazing lookout point. We had hoped to have this spot to ourselves so we could throw paper airplanes off and watch them fly forever, but there were already other people there...they were hunters who had gotten a wild boar.

We drove to a dead end and decided to get out and do some hiking and went down a steep path and found some wild fruit and some amazing views.  We did not venture out too far before deciding to turn back to the truck and back down the dirt road. We started our trek back home, but not before stopping for a quick game of golf.  For all you golfing pros, this was a par 1, with a guarantee of getting a hole in 1 on your first time out or your money back!

With Waimea being on the warm side, we had a completely wrong impression of the Waimea Canyon.  If your reading this, and you decide to visit Kauai, rent a jeep and make this a MUST STOP on your stay here. Bring food, water, a full tank of gas, and some golf balls.


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