brief snapshots in time. memories and thoughts. disorganized and random.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

hiking falls

after the first half day, I got a good night's rest and woke up ready to explore some of the island. I was flying solo for the day, since my new roommie had to work on a paper for one of her classes.

I headed to Waimea Canyon. Mark Twain's "Grand Canyon of the Pacific."

it was incredible. even with the misty haze created by the constant rainshowers moving through.

the different layers created by different volcanic eruptions. the beautiful colors. the black patches of the volcanic rock cliffs. the stunning red of the top soil. the lush green of the trees and other plants.

the beautiful Waipo'o Waterfall. it draws me in. captivates me. falling in multiple falls. the water drops 800 feet before it hits the canyon floor.

cutting its way through the hard volcanic rock. through the soft red top soil. slowly creating more of a canyon. patient in its work.

water is amazing. it slowly carved this incredible wonder of nature.

I continued past the trailhead of the hike I planned to take. I had decided to drive up to the other outlooks, then come back and start my hike.

I happened upon a newly formed rainbow at the last quickly accessible lookout.

the view, a spectacular one of the Na Pali Coast. the rainbow seemed to be stretching all the way from the edge of the beautiful mountain to the ocean. more breathtaking beauty.

I wanted more. I decided to walk to the furthest lookout. the road was closed, but there were many people making the trip.

the view from this lookout was not spectacular. the clouds had enveloped the mountain top. and the visibility was very poor.

I quickly returned to the car. started the drive down from one of the wettest spots on earth. anxious to start my hike.

the trail wound through trees unfamiliar to me. flowering trees. lowering vines amidst the branches. it was all so lush. and the rain continued.

there weren't many people on the trail. a little eerie hiking alone. I've never done that before. I've always had TheDog with me at least.

the trail continued over an irrrigation ditch tunneled into the mountain. there are many tunnels throughout the mountains carrying irrigation water from the wet mountain tops to the drier fields of the island.

yes, I found this intriguing. I am a nerd. I've told you that.

the trail came out of the trees and continued along the rim of the canyon. red paths leading hikers along the way. very few improvements exist on these trails. they're natural for the most part. some might say a little dangerous.

eventually I could hear the falls. I hiked down the steep slippery cliff to the first small falls. to the beautiful fresh water pool at the base.

the lush vegetation hiding the oasis. enormous lava rocks fallen about from the cliffs above.

I've seen waterfalls before. even falls in Hawaii. but this little fall captivated me. it was peaceful. there was no one else there. just me.

but there was a subtle nagging feeling. again, I wanted to see more. and I could hear more.

I hiked down another small drop-off. the red dirt was a little slippery. I slipped. I grabbed onto a rock, attempted to wipe the red dirt off, and stood up.

I took a step forward. I found myself standing at the edge of the first part of the large falls. a several hundred foot drop to the next tier. the slip could have been bad. really bad.

but I suppose if you're going to go, falling off a waterfall in paradise wouldn't be a bad way.

I remembered back to the view from the rim on the other side of the canyon. I was standing at the top of the falls you could plainly see from there. I started snapping some photos.

the light was getting incredible. a photographer's dream. brilliant greens and reds popping out of the surrounding volcanic rock.

wait. great light means sunset. and I'm a few miles from the car. on a trail I don't really know. with no light. and there is no one around.

I very carefully hightailed it back up the trail. making certain to not slip again. running a little on the flat portions to make up time. yet still making an effort to enjoy the spectacular view all around.

I made it to the rim of the canyon (and the car) just as the sun set over the ocean.


Jeremy said...

Gorgeous photos. Brings back some good memories. During my 5 year stay in Hawaii I found myself hiking alone most of the time too... it can be scary under a canopy that seem to swallow sunlight.

Enjoy your well deserved re-creation.

Kelly said...

Incredible photos RG! My personal favorite (so far) is the waterfall - just looking at it brings me to a peaceful place.

Looking forward to more from your trip!