Waimea Canyon: Dark Rum on The Lanai

Had a good night sleep after DD’s awesome seafood and sticky rice supper and the room is very quiet and I woke up early after having some Montreal Cinema Rialto dreams of the Marquis de Sade and his powdered poisons from the Cocoa roots and I hear lamentations and protests and old ghosts from my past and their smoky damned DuMaurier dragons. Crazy dreams even for a Tropical Island! Must have been the rum-induced atmosphere that increased the depth of my sleep that manifested such visions. Anyway the Kauai roosters were crowing this morning again and I switched on the Hula Girl bedside lamp and saw that the colourful feathered cretins had woken me up at the at the most Un-Aloha hour of 7:30!

Goodness gracious Pele! Well the sun was beaming and we could see the waves crashing on the beach from over top of the pool. Our lanai was awesome with sculpted railings and below us like our miniature Hawaiian kingdom the tourists strolled with their coffees or beach towels.

I made a stove top coffee….it’s so great to have the stove top…it’s one of those flat panel jobs with no burners just little circles as to where the pots should be placed. Had some coffee and took the photos off my disc so there wouldn’t be a disc full message today as we want to go to the Waimea Canyon and do some hiking although the sky is a bit cloudy and it looks like it could rain. Rain in Kauai in January isn’t as bad as say rain back in Vancouver at this time of year! The views from the trails of the Waimea canyon are supposed to be incredible and getting ready for the hike is already filling me with excitement! Come on DD wake up! Can’t you hear the roosters calling you!?

Last night we met little Sassy! Sassy the Cat! We couldn’t believe our eyes and ears when we saw this little white mottled kitty-cat lounging on the wood floors of the lush, open lobby of the ResortQuest Islander on the Beach, Kapaa and when we asked the desk-attendant if it was the hotel cat she said yes and said her name was Sassy! Now this may not seem like a big deal but for us it was incredible because in the house we live in back in Knowlton, Quebec we have a neighbour cat called Sassy and the resemblance is startling! We thought that this was proof of magic and that wasn’t the rum-induced slurry talking either! The Sassy here has a tiny little voice…it barely meows…nothing like the Knowlton Sassy Pants who can be heard over the sound of lawn mowers!!

We finished a leisurely breakfast on the Lanai watching the birds in the palm trees and the sparkles off the waters. I made some turkey sausages lightly fried in golden buttah and we had over easy eggs and some orange juice with pineapple slices…mmmmm the pineapples have a cocount flavor in them….sourdough English muffins capped off the morning and we talked about wanting to maybe look at some sort of employment opportunity that would allow us to travel more and not be working 50 weeks out of the years.

Travelling is so great; you’re always living in the moment and while it can often be overwhelming it was nice to sit back on the wicker backed chairs and dream about doing more traveling…but we have to get back to reality! Grab the boots and poles and knapsacks because the day is moving on now and we have to get ready for the hike in Wimea Canyon.

We drove from Kapa’a to the main Koke’e Park and Museum where the trail maps are handed out. It was very busy as the tourists came to get maps and find out the best trails throughout the Canyon which is known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific….well…I’ve never seen the Grand Canyon up close and personal so I’ll have to take Mark Twains word for it but the little 3D miniature map of the canyon made out of papier-mache was quite stunning. It was very cloudy and grey at this altitude so we weren’t sure what sort of view we would have from the overlooks and lookouts and as we looked at the large three dimensional map under the plexiglass which had the hiking trails marked with pins and stretched rubber we were quite excited. The trail maps were rather vague and compared to Florida or British Columbia. We asked the woman at the checkout, a rather thin and tall thin-lipped blonde woman who repeated my questions as if I had just asked the most stupid inquiry she had heard!

We were directed to a trail near the NASA station and first we were recommended to continue a few miles up towards the lookouts at the end of the trail and we got there and put on our rain gear and hiking boots and promptly ran up to the lookout and it was like we were crawling up into a big cloud…there was the railing and the foreground and then just empty greyness where the view should have been.

But once we drove down to the trails in to the Waimea Canyon we were not disappointed! OMG! Wow! That is like some sort of red boiled descent into the deep slices of a sweet cake! We drove the winding highway 562 up and saw the lost island in the distance as we stopped at the beach and the huge waves crashed on the black rocks.

So we drove this incredibly winding road up towards the canyon and the red earth hugged her arms around us and we wound and slithered up higher and higher from sea level up to 3500 feet within a few miles. There were some roadside vistas that we’re simply breathtaking! Hundreds if not thousands of feet dropping off from the road edge into nothingness!

The first section of the hike was a descent down a 4 by 4 road, even though we had the Dodge Nitro and could have driven the first mile or two to the trail head we decided to just walk. Even though it was cloudy and misty up at the overlooks it was a great temperature for hiking; not too hot! It was a nice walk with some mossy covered sheer walls but it was a road. It was only when we got off the main road and started on to Canyon Trail that it got interesting.

The soil is very red, like a rusting iron dark blood and we found the clay somewhat more slippery than we would find back home. The trail was well marked and even though it was marked as strenuous I didn’t find it too difficult…of course!

As with all of our hiking adventures we passed some folks who were a bit out of shape and seemed unprepared for the trail but our weeks on the cross trainer in the Gym back home paid off as I found the walk easy.

When we got to the vistas it was freaking mind blowing! The deep gorges were deep and lined with green mossy trees and it was beautiful. The red earth and seemingly volcanic boulders that lined the trail were incredible and we stood on steep edges that really made you feel alive because that feeling that if you took three steps then death was awaiting with a golden Laei. The steep cliffs were wild and we came to one part where there was logs built into the red earth overlooking the canyon and it looked like something direct out of the Video Game “Myst”!

There were some sections down towards the waterfall where DD felt a bit uncomfortable but there was a couple packing up after a picnic, or a sweet love interlude by the small waterfall. I followed a trail down towards the big waterfall and came to a trail area where DD didn’t feel comfortable coming down even with the walking poles. I came to a small ledge where I could just see the waterfalls and certainly hear them but it was sheer drop into the gorge and that was heart pounding! I went on another little leg off the main trail and DD didn’t want to follow as the round red rocks were a bit too steep for her.

It was an eerie sight to be on that precipice and wanting to go further bu the element of danger was there beckoning…I crawled up to another point and DD started getting panicked and froze in one spot not wanting to move, calling my name and just looking uncomfortable even though I was standing in an area where there was a big rock with carved graffiti saying “Bon Jovi We Love You” so it couldn’t have been that dangerous if it had been accessible by a knife wielding Bon Jovi fan!!

We climbed back up to the main trail as it is only near the gorge that it is really exciting the rest is like a walk in the park but it was nice to get some exercise. We passed a few people who were just entering the trail and it was already after 3pm and I found it odd that anyone would start down a 2 mile trail at that hour…there was one man, not sure how old but was greying beard with a khaki hat and orange earplugs and rather thin with a young, maybe 8 year old Asian looking boy…they were sitting on the edge of some tree branches and as I approached I smiled and said “Oh are you waiting for the bus?” because they we’re sitting down right? Ya you get it! The youngster had a wooden walking stick and DD commented to him that it was a very nice walking stick and the young boy asked DD as she passed why she had two poles? Unfortunately DD didn’t hear the young guy and continued up the trail but I saw his face as he asked the question and he looked a little sad that he didn’t get an answer…for a young boy DD must have looked like a real adventure person with her big red boots and knapsack and poles…he probably thought she was a Hawaiian Goddess climbing up from the canyon!

We drove back down the hill on a wild winding road that headed back to the main road that circles the entire island anxious to see more of the Walmea canyon.
In the Nitro we drove the 520 route instead and stopped at the Kauai coffee plantation the largest or second largest coffee plantation in the USA. The wind was blowing hard and it was getting cool and it was almost closing time but they had these little eyepiece things that had different scenes of the islands…we sampled some coffee out of those large pump style coffee urns and checked out the gift shop…the price of the coffee we liked the best The Blue Mountain Bean was like 20 dollars for a pound so we passed.

We took some Maui sugar packs as a souvenir as this was about all we could afford, and just moved on down the road avoiding the little sideways sidecar drive that always gets me! Darn it all…then we got back and DD is doing some laundry I am having another beer, natch and typing on the laptop out on the Lanai listening to Chicago…it’s a lot of songs that DD had on her compilation albums and it’s so cool that they are playing it on the radio! It’s cool listening to the radio stations on Hawaii because they often seem to have a playlist that is from another planet!

Back on the Lanai having a Fire Rock pale ale listening to, you guessed it, the roosters crowing! Huh, doesn’t that rooster know that it is 6:15 in the evening? The torches are glowing over by the pool and The Sand Bar has a few patrons having some fruity girlie drinks…the wind must be from the North because it is blowing through the palm trees and it’s not exactly warm out…well that is relative. DD is having the last of the Kauia Kaboom…she is starting to talk funny so it must be working! There are people strolling up the walkway and the torch lights are starting to take prominence as the sunlight drops below and out of sight. Across the lawn I see the white shadowy furriness of Sassy The Cat, and we close the lanai door and head in for hotdogs and to watch a slide-show of the pictures we took at the canyon today!