Last day on Kauai…
Jerry and I went on a zip line adventure today. It consisted of 8 zip lines and 1 rappelling line plus a T-bar zip over a natural pool that we both skipped. The longest zip line was 1800 feet long. All of them were a lot of fun. Only problem is that they are too quick to really enjoy the view so you have to settle on enjoying the ride!
The location of the zip lines was on Kipu Ranch where numerous movies have been filmed including Jurassic Park and one of my all time faves Raiders of the Lost Ark! The tour wrapped up just before 3 in the afternoon. From there it was back home to clean up and pack.
We had a very nice dinner, some ice cream at Lappert’s and then it was off to the airport for me.
Today Liz, Jerry and I went on a kayakhike tour. We drove up to the Waipu River State Park area and met up with our guide at an historic Hawaiin village. From there we drove to the other side of the river and pushed off in our kayaks. We paddled upstream about 1 and a half miles and from there hiked about a mile into the Sacred Waterfall – finally a real waterfall! Prior to meeting at the village we stopped at an overlook on another waterfall (the first images in the following gallery).
Today Jerry, Liz and I went on a 3 hour horseback ride up on the north side of the island at Silver Falls Ranch. We took the Silver Falls Ride which included lunch and an option to swim below the falls which we all passed on. We were the only ones in the group and our guide Lorie was terrific.
Jerry was riding Keiki, Liz was on Nikoli(sp), and I was riding Wheels!
Today we took a drive up Waimea Canyon which is billed as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. It’s a beautiful drive with several nice overlooks. For anyone who has been to the actual Grand Canyon this is really no comparison, but it is certainly worth the time to have a look if you’re on Kauai.
After taking the entire drive we then drove back down and stopped at the trailhead to Waipo’o Falls. It’s about a 3 mile round trip down partway into the canyon. There’s actually very little water in most cases so it was a bit disappointing in terms of a waterfall, but still worth the effort.
There be whales here!
We saw several turtles, 3 bottlenose dolphins, a huge number of spinner dolphins, and lots of whales including several calves. There was an option for snorkeling at the end but both Jerry and I opted out of that as the water was still pretty choppy and didn’t look to me like there was much to see. The tour wrapped up around 1:30 and we headed back to house.
I was greeted in Hilo last night with a light rain shower. Several heavy showers woke me up this morning. Another brief, light shower welcomed me back to the airport this afternoon.
While at the park today it was nothing but blue skies! And wind. A lot of wind. Really, it never stopped. Which was probably a good thing as it would have been unbearable walking around on all that black lava rock.
About half of the crater rim drive is closed due to the current eruption causing excessively high levels of sulfur dioxide gas. But the views from the open part were enough to enjoy.
From there I headed down the “Chain of Craters Road” which descends from the caldera rim of Kilauea down to the coast. It’s a stunning view once the ocean comes into view and you make your way down the switchback road.
The road ends, technically it’s still there but under a bit of lava, at the lava flow first created in 1983 and continuing to this day. From here you can hoof it a ways over the lava to get a distant view if the steam plume being created as fresh lava is flowing into the sea. Pretty cool (or hot?)!
All in all, well worth the side trip. As always however, a couple of days would be better in order fully explore the park. Guess I’ll have to make a return someday.
Now it’s off to Kauai!
There was a lot more to see at Pearl Harbor than I expected…
I arrived at the visitor center at about 8:30, picked up my ticket (I took a 10am ticket instead of the one I reserved at 9 since there was lots to see up front). I took the guided audio tour and wandered around the visitor center until it was time to get in line for the movie and boat ride out to the Arizona memorial.
The Arizona tour wrapped up by 11 so I decided to take the tours of both the USS Bowfin (submarine) and the USS Missouri (battleship).
The Bowfin is a WWII era diesel electric sub that was nicknamed “Pearl Harbor’s Revenge”(or something like that) as she sailed on December 7, 1942 – one year after the attack. She sank 40+ enemy vessels during the war and during multiple deployments her crew suffered nothing more than a broken leg. Very lucky considering that the entire sub fleet lost nearly 20% of its boats during the war.
From there it is was on to the “Mighty Mo”. Coming out of the cramped quarters of the Bowfin, it’s hard to comprehend just how big the Missouri is. Where the sub basically has one passage down its center, this place is like a maze. Here the captain has three cabins in various parts of the ship, the largest of which has a sitting area and a dining area that looked to seat at least a dozen people.
I arrived in Honolulu just as the sun was setting. It’s been a long day to get here – left the house at 9 am and it’s now 12:30 at home. Only 8:30 here on the island;-).