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Monday, September 30, 2013

Hawaii: Waimea Canyon

We woke up this morning bright and early, no need for an alarm clock with my Little Cricket around. He is still in between Michigan time and Los Angeles time which means he is about 4 hours off from Hawaii time, it kinda sucks. However his waking very very very early allowed us to see the sunrise every single morning. Yes I am making lemonade out of my lemon. Anyways our hotel was on the side of the island where we didn’t get to see the sunset over the water but the sunrise every morning made up for it.

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The other good thing about being up before dawn was that we always got a nice early start to our day including a way less crowded breakfast time than I am used too. Most times we were able to get a waterside view with a gorgeous overlook and even SWANS!!!! The buffet was horribly expensive but it was the only place to get breakfast on the resort. At least it was an incredible buffet.

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Today was a big day, we were visiting Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Mr. Rogue is a big lover of landscape photography and he had a blast when we went to the Grand Canyon for our first year wedding anniversary. He was really looking forward to today and he even bought a new wide angle lens a few days before we left that was going to be perfect for wide open landscapes. The scenery was simply breathtaking. As we climbed in altitude there were numerous little pullouts and vista points. Of course we stopped at almost all of them which made our 2 hour drive up the mountain more like 4.

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There were actually three main park lookout points. The first was a view of a good portion of the canyon. It looked much like the Grand Canyon only much much greener. In fact Mr. Rogue and I agreed that the Waimia Canyon was even more beautiful than the Grand Canyon because its complexity of color and water. We stayed for almost two hours as the cloud cover changed and gave us different lighting across the canyon.

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On the way back to the car we stopped at a refreshment cart for some drinks and a few snacks. I couldn’t resist trying the dragon fruit. Mr. Rogue and I split one. You know when you are hot, and in the middle of nowhere, and you are terribly thirsty, and there is this one single oasis where you would pay whatever they want to get a coke… yea the prices were gouging but that dragon fruit and diet coke was the best thing I ever tasted. It was really good, and tasted like a cross between a kiwi and a grape.

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The second lookout, Kalalau Lookout, is a vista overlooking the cliffs plunging straight into the ocean. Although the last lookout was gorgeous for its vast caverns I actually loved this view more.

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We were now at the top of the mountain and we were hungry. With only one more lookout to go to we decided to stop for lunch and give my Little Cricket a break from the car seat. The diner food sucked but we were so hungry we ate it anyways. There was no other choice for food other than the little food cart. I at least managed to multi-task eating and feeding my Little Cricket at the same time. I am totally rocking the mom thing here!

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After lunch we spent some time in the visitors center. They had a great exhibit on the birds of the island that are endemic that I found super interesting. And there were a bunch of other things that caught my eye. In particular the amount of rain that Kauai gets. The highest point on Kauai, Wai’ale’ale gets an average rainfall of 451” per year and holds the world record. Although you cannot actually stand on the Wai’ale’ale summit we did get to see it way off in the distance from one of the vistas. I always love that I learn so much in the Nature Centers and perhaps I will make it a goal to donate some of my time once I get older to helping a few with their displays. Oh and my Little Cricket loved his hour of tummy time as Mr. Rogue and I loved slowing down and just lounging in such a beautiful little valley.

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Our last stop was a little hike where Mr. Rogue had to wear my Little Cricket. There was no way we were getting the stroller to do this kind of off roading. I really loved the vista we were able to see. Without any bars or gates you had to be super careful on the edges. It was a straight and very long drop straight down. I loved standing on the edge, just not to close, I felt like I was on the edge of the world.

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On one side was the cliffs meeting the ocean and on the other I got my first look of the bog. Nearly impenetrable land that is saturated with water in a depression of a volcano it is a large vast place that people just don’t go. The good news is that there are a ton of endemic birds in there the bad news is that there is on way for me to get in there to find them. I guess I can just be happy that those little birds are safe from human disruption.

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We stayed on the cliffs until sunset. It took us three hours to get back down the mountain in the dark to our resort. By the time we got back to the room I was so super tired. I begged Mr. Rogue to just order room service instead of going out to the restaurant we had made reservations at but he dragged me out anyways. The food was delicious and I am glad in the end we got to finally eat at one of the restaurants. Sometimes you just need a kick in the pants when you are dragging.

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1 comment:

paul peggy zeus said...

I'm so glad you were able to see Waimea Canyon. One of my favorite places on the planet. Next time make sure you do the helicopter tour. Spectacular scenery!!

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