What a glorious day!! it started out cloudy and windy here in Wailua-Lihue. But we were driving to Waimea Canyon, an hour away and who knew what the weather would be. Well it turned out glorious with just some clouds in the mountains part of the time. And a few showers on our way home 11 hours later.
You may recall from Mondays helicopter post that Waimea Canyon has been called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. It is about 10 miles long and 3000 feet deep. There are the red colors you would expect as well as green from the numerous forest vegetation. (See above)
It is about 20 miles from the ocean to the last lookout in the state park. All of our guides told us to get 4 wheel drive to make it to the end-so we did. However, contrary to my previous negative comments on the roads, the state has repaved the entire road from top to bottom and 4wd is no longer needed to reach the end. (MOre on 4wd later.)
The road is twisty and turny with switchbacks and limited visibility around corners. You drive at no more than 25 miles per hour, not unusual, and there are several lookouts along the way. Several lookouts also view the ocean.
Our first hike ended up being a total of about 3 miles and to reach the start of the trail did require 4 wheel drive-most definitely. I have driven cars on dirt mountain roads previously but this road would have ripped out an oil pan or broken an axle on our cars.
We reached the start of the trial, one other car was parked there. As it happens, we met the people, Bret and Ellie, and went on the hike together. Very nice, redwoods, berries, not too much elevation gain,and pleasant conversation.
After our usual PBJ lunch, we went for our second hike. We stopped at one of the overlooks first and ran into a couple that had been at Limahule Gardens on the tour Monday. Linda and Jerry are from the Baltimore area and we exchanged hiking ideas and trail data.
The second hike was in the forest area and the air was clean, the birds were singing and the skies were clear. Very enjoyable.
At the visitor center we learned that the state allows hunting of wild pigs on weekends. Hunters are limited to the use of dogs and knives, no guns or bows and arrows.
A final new fact. When you eat at a salad bar in a different area, ask what the unknown items are. We took some vegetables that looked like snow peas but were not. Turns out it was soy bean and we were supposed to just pick out the bean and eat only that. I ate only one, Chris none. When I mentioned to the waitress how tough they were, she gave a look like you dummy. The guy behind us must have been a regular, he had a pile of bean pods stacked on his plate.
Ed Feb 13, 10 pm.