August 25 – September 5, 2010
Our trip to Kauaʻi in 2010 wasn’t primarily a hiking trip, but we did do some hiking while we were there. We stayed
at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, for 1½ weeks. The Mortons and the Van Cleefs were with us for the first
We landed in Lihuʻe well before sunset, but the five-hour time difference meant it was after
22:00 back home, and it was approximately midnight by our internal clocks when we reached the cottage after
picking up luggage and rental cars and making a 45-minute drive to Barking Sands, with a stop for groceries
at the Big Save Market in Waimea along the way. And we still woke up early on the 26th because our internal clocks
hadn’t adjusted yet, and because of the calls of the wedge-tailed shearwaters that nested in
the sand all around the cottage. We got used to the shearwaters, because it was Hawaii.
Our almost private beach—not truly private but so uncrowded that it usually felt like ours
From the deck of our cottage, we had this view of the beach and the cliffs of Niʻihau about 16 miles away.
The sunsets were always pretty and usually
beautiful. We took lots of photos.
Lehua Island as sunset approaches
Thursday, August 26
The first day we drove to (nearby) Waimea Canyon, took in the overlooks, and continued up to Kokeʻe State Park.
Waimea Canyon with the Mortons and Van Cleefs
Kalalau Lookout, farther up in Kokeʻe State Park
Puʻu O Kila
Chickens are everywhere on the island. These three were in the park.
Waimea Canyon again when we stopped on the way down from Kokeʻe State Park
Friday, August 27
On Friday, Doug rented a bicycle for the day, and the rest of us drove around the island all the way to Keʻe Beach.
We saw and photographed the Kilauea lighthouse, spent some time in Hanalei, and visited Queen’s Bath. Photos later.
Saturday, August 28
On Saturday the whole group took a tour of the Na Pali coast with the
Na Pali Explorer company.
Neither Mary nor Keith took a camera on the boat. (Our friends took some photos.) All of us enjoyed the tour.
Sunday, August 29
On Sunday, Mary and the Mortons drove the short distance to Polihale State Park to get thumped by the waves. But mostly it was a day
to relax and enjoy each other’s company before the three couples had to go their separate ways again the next day.
Monday, August 30
Monday was the day our friends left us. We were sorry to see them go, but we had no trouble finding
activities to keep us busy.
Sunset, August 30
Tuesday, August 31
We intended to take a doors-off helicopter tour on Tuesday, but the helicopters
were broken that day. So, we hiked the Kalalau Trail and Hanakapiʻai Trail instead.
The Kalalau Trail in one of Keith’s better shots
Approaching Hanakapiʻai Beach, where the Hanakapiʻai Trail begins
Warning sign—I would pay attention. If
you get in trouble here, you’re a long way from help.
The Hanakapiʻai Stream
Crossing the stream—one of many times
we did this
First view of Hanakapiʻai Falls from the Hanakapiʻai Trail
Big step for Mary
Hanakapiʻai Beach on the way back
Looking back down on Hanakapiʻai Beach as we turn onto
the Kalalau Trail again
Kalalau Trail in the late afternoon sun
Keʻe Beach, where the trail began
Wednesday, September 1
The helicopters were working Wednesday; so, we took the tour, which was pricey but worth the cost.
All of us here had postponed tours from Tuesday to Wednesday. The couple on the left had just finished their tour and were telling us about it.
Mary holds on. She never got completely comfortable with the doors-off thing, but it was still fun.
We head west from Lihuʻe. The tour went clockwise around the island.
The famous Jurassic Park waterfall comes into view.
The five sisters
The five sisters
Looking toward Barking Sands, with Niʻihau and Lehua Island in the distance
Na Pali coast
Na Pali coast
Na Pali coast
A few days earlier we had taken a boat tour up the coast and the boat had gone into this hole.
Looking down on the Kalalau Trail
Wailua Falls—Ze plane!
Chris, our pilot, starts to turn just as Keith is getting ready for this picture.
Posing with Chris and good old N842LA
Before heading back to Barking Sands, we drove up to Wailua Falls for a closer look. Mary poses here
with a coconut we bought from a street vendor.
Thursday, September 2
We spent the day hiking the Nuʻalolo Trail, the Nuʻalolo Cliffs Trail, and the Awaʻawapuhi Trail.
The Nuʻalolo Trail, which isn’t very scenic at first
The Nuʻalolo Trail
The view starts to improve.
Finally it begins to get interesting.
First glimpse of the Na Pali cliffs
OK, this is definitely an interesting part of the trail. Keith stops to take
a picture. Notice that he stands far to the left. Notice also that he has clipped his
hat to the back of his shirt to keep the wind from taking it.
Mary at Lolo Vista Point, at the end of the Nuʻalolo Trail but near the beginning of the
cliffs trail, which was still open in 2010
Mary starts back toward the cliffs trail. Soon after we turned onto the cliffs trail,
we met two young women who had started it but turned back. One of them said it was
Keith looks back at the narrow, eroded section that makes people nervous.
Apparently it has become more dangerous since 2010, and the trail is closed.
Here is another view of the dangerous section from a short distance ahead.
Part of the Cliffs Trail, certainly not the best part, consisted of a maze of paths through tall grass.
We were happy to find a landmark that indicated we weren’t lost.
A better view from the Cliffs Trail
Vista Point is a pleasant spot to sit and enjoy the view.
Looking back from Vista Point toward Lolo Vista Point
Looking back at the Cliffs Trail
Looking down from Vista Point
We stopped for several minutes just to enjoy the location. From here we hiked up the
Awaʻawapuhi Trail back to Kokeʻe Road.
down Kokeʻe Road wasn’t interesting; so, we were glad when
a Russian immigrant in a rented Mustang gave us a ride. We warned him about our scent but he said it was OK.
He worked for Blurb
, and he was surprised to learn that Mary already
knew and approved of the company. He was a good guy who represented his company well.
Another day, another sunset
Friday, September 3
On Friday we spent half a day with a ziplining company. We did the ziplines, a monster swing, and a climbing wall, and then ended
by climbing 100 ft up a Norfolk pine tree—in the rain—and rappelling down.
We also visited Poʻipu, a nice resort area with good beaches.
Saturday, September 4
On Saturday we toured the Kauai Coffee Company and visited some salt ponds on the south side of the island. Photos later.
This was our last full day on the island. Even after 1½ weeks we were not ready to leave.
Mary on the beach
Last sunset—very sad. Keith has used this photo as the desktop background on his Mac ever since.
And it’s gone.
Sunday, September 5
Our last morning on the island, we took a walk up the beach to Shenanigans. We liked how the waves
caught the sunlight, and it was fortunate that we had our cameras with us. Then we cleaned the house
and packed and—eventually—drove to Lihuʻe to turn in the rental car
and wait for our overnight flight home.
Last walk on the beach
The green line, which you see in clear ocean waves when the sun is just right
We went back to Kauaʻi in November 2013 and spent two weeks there, again with the Mortons and the
Van Cleefs. At the end we still weren’t ready to leave.