Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Kaua'i Trip (Day 2)

March 17 - Waimea Canyon + Southwest Area
I started the day with some sunrise yoga on our lanai and then found a decent lap-swimming area of the big pool, right near one of the elephant statues that spouts water for much of the day. The water was a bit cooler than I anticipated, and there was a water inflow that caused quite a current and resistance when it was on! The weather was a bit drizzly, which created an amazing full rainbow arc towards the west over the Bay, precisely splitting the grey skies above from the blue skies below. What a lovely way to start the morning!

Mr. E and I headed off just before 9am to get breakfast at the Kalaheo Cafe & Coffee Company, which Mr. E remembered fondly from previous visits. We shared a warm cinnamon roll as we sipped our Americanos and waited for our breakfast to arrive and then did a bit of shopping at The Collection before departing for Waimea Canyon.

We drove the entire length of Route 550 (Waimea Canyon Drive) to the end of the road, stopping along the way at a few viewpoints to get sense of the vastness of the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific." As we got higher and farther north, we encountered colder temperatures and more rain, and at the final viewpoint, all we could see was clouds! So we decided not to try a hike up there and started to retrace our route back south, stopping at the Koke'e Museum for some browsing, restrooms, and rooster sightings.

We were able to find a parking spot near Halemanu Road so that we could hike the Cliff Trail to the Canyon Trail, which leads to the top of Waipo'o Falls. There was just one really nasty muddy spot, and I definitely chose the wrong side to navigate around the puddle! Several warning signs lined the paths:

We saw some impressive vistas along the path, but arriving at the top of the trail was almost anti-climactic, as we had gotten a much better view of the full length of the Falls from the helicopter tour the day before.

The trails had some interesting plants and flowers along the side that provided some bright spots of colour along the way:

We decided to return along the Black Pipe Trail to extend the length of our hike. Back at the car, I managed to change out of my very muddy trail running shoes into black walking sandals without getting myself or the rental car too dirty! The tires were caked with mud from our parking spot, which created a rather worrisome but innocent noise as we headed off down the road. We made one final stop at a Viewpoint that included a vista towards Ni'ihau and then finished our drive out of the Canyon on the alternate Route 552. This road led us right along the southwestern coast and a lovely empty beachfront in Kekaha.

Our attempts to find a local restaurant for lunch were unsuccessful (nonexistent service at Little Fish Coffee in Hanapepe and a lack of broth options at a Ramen House in Port Allen), so we grabbed sandwiches at Subway to take to the Glass Beach near the Port Allen Marina. Mr. E and I gathered some white, clear, blue, brown, and green glass to send to Mom and then paused for a 5-beer sampler at the nearby Kaua'i Island Brewery (not as good as the beer from Kaua'i Beer Company). We also checked out Kaua'i Chocolate Company across the street, buying a dark chocolate covered marshmallow and two dark chocolate "opihi," a unique creation of a macadamia nut, thin layer of caramel, and a small shortbread cookie, all encased in chocolate.

Once we got back to the hotel, we used our free drink coupons for mai tais at Kukui's poolside restaurant and sat in lounge chairs on Kalapaki Beach under the moon and stars and cloud cover to enjoy our tropical beverages. We wandered over to the Harbor Mall across the street in search of dinner options but didn't find anything appealing, so we decided to jump back in the car to drive the few miles up Nawiliwili Road to the Safeway shopping area for wine and Panda Express take-out.

Without our usual go-to HGTV or Food Network available at the hotel, we instead watched a local travel channel that provided an overview of each section of the island, including commercials for local businesses, which was a great way to preview some of our planned hikes and excursions for the next couple of days!

Oh, and of course we met up with several more roosters throughout the day. Mr. E started giving them names...


Blogger Stephanie Goodner said...

These roosters are so fantastic! Is that his truck? They match so I had to ask! ;-)

4:09 PM  

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