Kauai · Uncategorized

Trekking the Grand Canyon (of the Pacific)

It’s our last day in Hawaii for now, my friends! Let’s make the most of it!

We finally slept in until 5:00am (woohoo!), and that’s a good thing. On our last day on Kauai, we would be hiking again. We gathered our belongings, ate breakfast downstairs, and with great reluctance, we checked out. Luckily for us, lots of people take red-eye flights out of Kauai back to the mainland (our flight would leave at 8:40pm), so the hotel will not only hold our luggage, they will also give us a key to a room specifically for showering after a day of galavanting and before you flight.

Back to the airport to get another rental car! Much to our surprise, we had reserved a mid-sized sedan, but when we got our e-mail confirmation for the day, it was a minivan! Lucky for us, we sweet talked them into letting us have an SUV for the day. They were so nice about it! It was much better for our purposes for sure.

Off we go! First stop, coffee. I got a macadamia nut latte and Steve got a mocha. Both iced. I love being hot enough to want iced beverages. Next stop, scenery!

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We met a lovely couple who offered to take our picture. Look at that beautiful valley! That’s not even the canyon yet. Legend says Mark Twain dubbed it the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, but he never even came to Kauai! But check it out:

Beautiful! And we got to see the wettest place on Earth!

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It’s beyond the mist. The sign says it’s “one of the wettest spots on Earth,” but a couple of other sources have said it’s THE wettest spot on Earth. All I know is that it’s definitely wet! Our pilot guide the first day said that with each mile you go inland, the rainfall goes up 50 inches per year–50 inches per mile! The island is around 20 or so miles across, if I remember correctly!

We decided to go all the way to the end of Waimea Canyon Road and find the best hiking spot to come back to. I’m so glad we did it that way because we got to enjoy this view:

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The clouds parted enough that we got to see the Na Pali Coast from a new point of view!

Back to the Canyon Trail! It is probably the most popular one–there were a lot of people on it–but by no means is it easy! It was pretty easy on the way down, of course, but what goes down, must go up! And the up part was going to be at the end of the hike! But the whole two hour hike was entirely worth the time and effort. Take a look:

That’s about as close to the ravine as I was willing to get! And what beautiful flowers growing from a dead tree! Anything can grow here it seems.

Back to the car and back down the mountains! There was more to see, including Glass Beach. What’s Glass Beach? Well, the sand is nice but there is actual glass in it! No, I’m sorry, it’s not a miracle of nature so much as it used to be a trash pit. Some years ago, people cleaned up the big things–tires, large pieces of things, etc., but I guess they didn’t get all the glass. So all the glass that was left over got smashed on the rocks, worn down by the salt water, and then washed ashore! There were lovely shades of green, amber, white, and blue glass pieces.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, it’s beautiful! And the jagged parts of the glass are so worn down, you don’t have to worry about stepping on anything sharp.

On to the Menehune Fish Pond! This was a little bit difficult to find, but worth the search. This inland pond has a wall around it that’s 900 feet long and five feet tall, assumedly by the Menehune people 1000 years ago! It’s a sacred spot for Hawaii now and historically, and it’s in a beautiful spot by the mountains.

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There was a cute couple who asked us to recreate a picture for them here. It looked like perhaps they had just gotten married. Ah, young love!

And speaking of love, it was time for my Love and me to get an anniversary treat! We parked the car at the hotel and headed down to Duke’s restaurant before it got too crowded with dinner-goers. All we wanted was a big Hula Pie!

It’s the only dessert on the menu, and it’s the only one you need! It’s macadamia nut ice cream, Oreo crust, whipped cream, chopped macadamias, and my favorite: hot fudge! See the before and after pictures above. It was delightful!

After that, we waddled up to the bellmen’s desk, picked up our luggage, and made our way to the men’s and women’s shower rooms. After a day of hiking and knowing we had two long flights ahead of us, a shower felt so nice!

And then it was time to leave. We turned in the rental car and headed into the airport. We were a little sad… well, ok, I was a lot sad! We are already planning our next Hawaiian vacation, but before that, we have more ground to cover and more world to see! Where will we go next? Subscribe to the blog or follow me on Twitter and Instagram @quickwhittravel to see more!

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