In late-September Leah and I headed to the big island of Hawaii for a week. We stayed in another great VRBO rental with a back porch that went right down to the Kapoho tide pools.
I spent last week with the Store Division from Automattic at their meetup on Kauai. Toward the end of the meetup Ben, Peter, Joe, and I day-hiked the Kalalau Trail. The trail runs 11 miles along the north coast of Kauai across an area with extremely minimal development.
You start out hiking through lush terrain that follows a well-trafficked trail. Lots of people hike the first 2 miles in to a beach.
That first beach at 2 miles in sits right below a flowing stream. You can take a 2-mile side trip up the valley to a waterfall. We were looking to do the entire trail, though, so we skipped the waterfall.
From there you continue up and down along the cliffs parallel to the coastline. The contrasts are just beautiful as you have the dense green plants growing right out to the ocean.
Around the 6.5 mile mark you come out of the lush vegetation and hit a much drier section of switchbacks. It leads you down to the literal edge of the cliff.
We were looking at the trail and almost confused about where it went as it curled out of sight. Turns out where it goes is just right on around the edge of the cliff. Fun stuff.
Coming back the other direction you can get a sense of how the trail winds its way around.
And when you’re hiking around that corner the trail doesn’t give you a lot to go on.
At 9.5 miles in we paused for a bit. There was a nice elevated point you could walk out to and get a view up both directions of the coast and back in to the valley behind the trail.
It was already 1:00pm by this point so Joe and I turned back for a more relaxed hike back. Peter and Ben ran, literally, the remaining 1.5 miles to the beach at the end of the trail. After Joe took a quick power nap…
We headed back along the trail. I took a brief stop about 5 miles from the trailhead to wash my feet off and cool down a bit in a stream flowing through one of the side valleys.
We got back to the van about 9.5 hours after we left that morning. The sun was just setting which meant Ben and Peter had about 30 minutes of hiking in the dark.
We then drove all the way back to the south shore where we were staying and promptly plopped down in the hot tub for a good long while. Overall was one of the best hikes I’ve ever done. It was a fairly demanding 19 miles but so worth it.
A Lonely Quest for Facts on Genetically Modified Crops. Long feature from the New York Times about a Hawaii councilman’s attempt to dig at the truth around GMO crops.
2 full days are in the books now and Maui is wonderful. We’re staying in a condo Daniel got just south of Lahaina. Nice spot with a full kitchen, BBQ, laundry, and one row of houses back from the beach.
The first day was pretty low key. Just hung out at the beach next to the condo, picked up snorkel gear, and made an epic trip to Costco. Daniel and Leah had made a trip to the Safeway in Lahaina the first day and after going to Costco I’m pretty sure that Costco 1/4 to 1/5th of the price. We bought way, way too much food including 6 pounds of ground beef, 4 steaks, 6 pounds of brussel sprouts, 6 pounds of edamame, and enough onions to feed us for a week.
Yesterday, day 2, we drove around to the other side of the island and hiked the Waihee Ridge Trail. The eastern side of Maui is much more what I was expecting the terrain to be like. Lush, wet, and filled with plants. The trail climbed about 1,500 feet over 2.5 miles and was a simple up and back. Really nice hike and there weren’t too many other people out on it.
After the hike we were all drenched in sweat. Humidity will do that. So we went straight to Oluwalu Beach to swim and snorkel. The snorkel gear we picked up for the week at Snorkel Bob’s, which is a great deal. $35 for the entire time we’re here for a mask, snorkel, and fins. The beachside sellers charge $100 and up for what looks like inferior equipment. The reef at Oluwalu was way better than Black Rock, which we swam in the first day. Here it stretched for a long, long way and we swam for about an hour. I’m terrible at tracking which fish we saw but we did swim with two sea turtles. One was swimming out to deeper water so we tailed behind for 10 minutes or so. The other, and much larger, one was content sitting under a ledge of coral. Would have loved to see him out and swimming as he was so much bigger.
"Sure, we need 6 pounds of ground beef and 32 corn tortillas."
There are 4 of us here. For just a week. I hope we get hungry!
Yeah, that will work. Looks like Sunday night will be a cold one! 😉
Looking forward to my first trip to Hawaii. Will be on Maui through April 1st with Daniel, Leah, and Leah.