I know other people have done it before, in fact Mike and Lori recommended we do it. Do what? Helicopter ride of Kauai.
It was fantastic.
Congrats to Chris who was willing to try this, never having been on a helicopter before and not one to normally enjoy rides, IMAX or 3D movies, etc. But when itwas over, she was beyond enthused, as was I.
From the beginning. We arrived at the office where you are weighed in and assigned a location in the helicopter that balances weight. Our helicopter, run by Jack Harter Helicopter, seats 4 passengers and has no doors on it. You are open to the wind. Chris was in the left rear, I in right rear. She got seated first, buckled in, and headset put on. My turn was next, then the two women who went in the front seat. (More on people later.)
After we were in, Chris noticed her seat belt was no longer attached. The helper came back and re-attached her but this was a bit nerve-wracking since it was the only thing keeping her in the helicopter as we went up to heights of about 2500 feet.
Minor details taken care of, we took off. It was somewhat choppy, very breezy ride. The day was primarily overcast with brief periods of sun and numerous brief showers. We were dressed warmly since the temperature is 20-25 degrees cooler, plus the breeze.
For the first 2 minutes, Chris had her eyes closed but soon was wide eyed and enthusiastic about the sights. She gave me many thumbs up signals as went along. We were looking down at the fields, ocean, rivers, mountains, etc. During the hour tour, we did almost a complete circle of the island, starting at the east and moving westward over the coastline, zooming over and along mountains.
We saw the Waimea Valley, Hawaii’s closest effort to match the Grand Canyon. We saw the Na Pali Coast which is only viewable from the sea or air. We saw craters and waterfalls. We saw rainbows. We saw the locations of many movie scenes from South Pacific to Indiana Jones to Pirates of the Caribbean. Our pilot did an excellent job of describing the sights and turning the helicopter so all could get views of special locations.
Of the 8 people signed up for the 9:45 tours in 2 helicopters, they all had a connection to MN. The two women in our copter were from the Lake Nokomis area of Minneapolis and are neuropsychologist. The young couple from New York-she had lived in MN and her father had taught for a while at the U. The last couple was from Idaho but the woman had lived by Lake Harriet. (THe guys connections were through the women.Close enough for me.)
After regaining our land legs (we did sort of brace ourselves in the copter) we headed back for lunch. After lunch we went for a hike. We decided to cut it short,only going out for an hour as the accumulation of brief showers made the dirt and rocks on the steep climb extremely slippery. We did not want to cut short our trip due to an accident.
We then drove to Wailua Falls overlook and back home to shower. Dinner was out and tomorrow will be another day of exploration.
A side point or two. We picked up another gallon of milk after dinner at the supermarket. Price was $5.59 plus 23 cents tax. Gas is $4.60 per gallon. Most speed limits are 25 mph. We observed one stretch of maybe 3 miles of 50 mph. “Major roads” might be 35 or 40 mph. It takes a while to get anywhere.
Ed Feb 11 8:45 pm