A hike, that would take us over the second highest mountain top on Kauai, through one of the wettest spots on earth, the swamp (Max has been wanting to hike through the swamp forever), and lead us to a vista view of Hanalei Bay.
Even though it was about five miles longer than Michael likes to hike, the swamp and the vista view of Hanalei Bay, sold it. We four-wheeled down a dirt road for a couple miles to the trailhead, and off we went on our seven mile roundtrip family adventure.
We were told that this hike was easy, and mostly flat. Okay, it was “mostly” flat, but, there is some up and downing, and they failed to mention the “never-ending stairs”. These come into the hike after about a mile in. (I’m thinking, we got to go back up these on the way back, uh oh).
We almost lost Michael after the stairs. But, just then, we heard the sound of a nearby stream.
Michael is an amazing swimmer and great body boarder. But when it comes to hiking, well let’s just say, it’s really not his thing. His legs start firing off messages to his brain that scream for him to stop.
So we took a nice break at the stream. Michael’s face shows the cool temperature of the stream’s water. Max loved playing in the bright green algae.
After the lovely stream break, enough to keep Michael in the game, we continue along the swamp’s boardwalks. This day, it was dry. Not really swampy, since we had been enjoying beautiful blue sky days through the week. (Did you spot the boys in this pic?)
After hiking along what has now been a couple miles of these boardwalks, I was beginning to wonder how often they must have to service these wooden boardwalks, in one of the wettest spots on earth, then, we started to run into these.
Trudging along, the top of Mt. Waialeale (Waialeale’s Hawaiian translation is overflowing waters), we realize how fortunate that we are hiking on this dry day. This 5148 summit is one of the wettest spots on our planet, raining an average of 452″ each year, since 1912.
This area, that appears mostly dry today, is where seven rivers begin from, ending at the sea. Including Hawaii’s longest river, the Waimea River. It was kind of amazing to stand there and imagine that just over the edges of where we stand, the water from these bogs cascades into the picturesque waterfalls that grace our island’s emerald green mountain ranges.
The boggy swampland transforms suddenly into a tropical fern laden rainforest. Then, this the final set of boardwalk stairs takes you down, then up, then…
WOW! Here is your first look at the Kilohana Vista. Nope, my camera could not fully capture the sense of this unforgettable place.
Feeling on top of the world, looking out from Wainiha Pali (pali means cliff) you gaze down at Wainiha, Lumahai Beach (the beach made famous in the movie South Pacific, when Mitzi washes that man right out of her hair) Hanalei Bay, and Princeville.
My zoom lens was able to bring into view the Hanalei Pier, and we can even make out our own home’s neighborhood.
An unforgettable view, an unforgettable journey, over the mountain and through the swamp.