Despite not sleeping for, oh I don’t know how long, I woke up at 0230 local time. And you want to know what I noticed? The crowing roosters.
Let me just back up for a moment and say this: the travel book I bought for Kauai briefly mentioned the chickens. So back in ’92, a hurricane hit Kauai and blew up a chicken farms. Then the chickens became wild and flourished. They are ALL OVER the Island. I didn’t really understand or appreciate this until I drove to the motel (they are dumb as shit and will hardly get out of the way of a two-ton car baring down on them.) And then when I was wide awake at 0300 that I fully realized that the roosters crow ALL THE TIME! Morning, afternoon, or night, they crow. This became a continuing theme.
Ok, so I was up, so were the chickens, in the middle of the night. I figured what the hell and try to go to some pace to get a sunrise photo. I drove from the hotel to Poipu Beach and I watched the sunrise and tried to get a few decent pics. From there it was off to breakfast and then up to Waimea Canyon.
The difference between western side of Kauai, where you start the journey up the mountain, to the my first stop at the Waimea Canyon Lookout was dramatic. Down by the coast it was sunny and warm. At the Lookout it was chilly and windy. I was glad I brought my windbreaker and I’m a sure a few of the other visitors there would have would have grabbed that first time of my dead body.
The view was breathtaking. I have been to the Grand Canyon a few times. There are no words that can accurately describe the what you see and experience. Waimea Canyon is called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific – and it’s a moniker that fits. After trying to get some shots to stitch into a Pano, I brought out my telephoto and tried to get a picture of these tiny little white dots that were transitioning the canyon. The dots were helicopters!
The travel book said if there was one hike to do on the whole island was the Pu’u Kila Overlook. It’s toward the end of the road in Waimea Canyon and higher in elevation. There were actual three hikes up there that I wanted to do. Yet, the weather was not cooperating. This was another theme of my trip. The cloud cover was so bad that everything was gray and I couldn’t see anything.
Fine, Island. I will do a stupid crazy hike.
The Ku’Kui Trail… an easy, breezy 5m roundtrip. Yet… it goes downs to the floor of Waimea Canyon. In other words, each leg of the hike was a 2,500 foot elevation change! I suppose I’m so kind of masochist, cause what’s better for that kinda hike than wearing nearly 40lbs of camera and lens gear. There was a point when I was about a quarter the way down and fell. I had my camera in my hand and I think I instinctually wanted to save the camera at the risk at my body. Hence I got a pretty good scrape on my elbow and a big knot on my knee. But this is Kauai! I’m going to do this! I made it down to the river, ate a ClifBar, drank half my water, and cleaned my wound in the cool waters of the river.
I did make it back up eventually. I was powered by the fact that I was going to this NY-style pizza place and eat like a glutton. Which is what I did, went back to hotel, and fell asleep before 10pm.