More lore and beauty from Kaua’i

It is conceivable that a year from now I’ll still be organizing photos from our January trip to Kauai. I have more photos than I have time, but I don’t feel hurried. Every time I do sit down to work on them I am immediately back on that dream island. The wedding location, and the house we stayed in, were on Hanalei Bay, and although there was an entire island worth exploring, we were so at home with our nearly private beach, our short bursts of exploration were limited.

On our last day, however, we circled the island and strategically checked a few “must sees” off our list.

The Koloa district on the southern coast is recognized for its giant crashing waves, and these waves shoot water up the through the narrow openings in the lava created coastline. And here we found the Spouting Horn.

The Spouting Horn shoots the spray up to fifty feet in the air.  Hawaiian legend attributes the spray to a giant lizard, hunted by a young man charged with the duty of challenging the lizard and protecting visitors who came to the area to fish or swim. During the battle the warrior thrust a sharp stick into the lizard’s mouth and lured the beast into the water where he became lodged in a lava tube.

You can still hear the giant lizard’s roar every time the Spouting Horn Blowhole spouts. It’s either the lizard, or the force of the water through the narrow volcanic openings.  Personally, I like the lizard story for my explanation.

I’m not positive we deliberately set out to locate the Spouting Horn. We may have just pulled off from the main highway following a sign or two, but we learned later it is one of the most photographed locations on the island. We were primarily focused on locating Waimea Canyon State Park.

As we approached Waimea Canyon we caught a clear glimpse of the island of Niihau.


Niihau is the westernmost and seventh largest of the islands, owned by descendants of Elizabeth Sinclair, who purchased the island from the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1864. The island is generally off-limits to all but relatives of the owners. So far the family has turned down all offers to sell, which reportedly includes a $1 billion offer from the U.S. government.

And then we started climbing. Winding roads and climbing about  18 miles we didn’t know if the trip “up” was going to be worth the time. What do you think?

We pulled over to one of the first lookouts and gasped! What a loss this would have been to us had we not made the effort.

Known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, Waimea Canyon was such a surprise! At ten miles long, a mile wide and 3,600 feet deep–breathtaking!

It’s almost impossible to capture the beauty of this area and effectively share it with you, but you’ll just have to see it for yourself one day.

Care to take a helicopter ride to better see the canyon depths and explore the heights?

Before I leave you… Just one more look. Hanalei Bay

48 thoughts on “More lore and beauty from Kaua’i

    1. There are so many beautiful places on this earth and we just can’t see them all, I know, Cathy! We have had a wonderful vacation and it may be a while before we have another one as spectacular. I will have to continue to pour over those photos. 🙂

    1. We had the same reaction to Waimea Canyon, Frank. We knew of it, of course, and had even been told of its size, but I couldn’t envision it at all. We were simply stunned when we saw it. Some of our group never did make it to the other side of the island so we think we all need to plan another trip. 🙂

  1. Such gorgeous photos! Organizing them, no matter how long it takes, just extends the pleasant memories. 🙂 I love hearing about legends behind natural phenomena – there’s always at least one legend – it’s so interesting to hear about how early man explained these things with the belief systems in place at the time.

    1. I love folk tales and mythologies, too, and every culture has relied on them to explain and support beliefs. I know so very little about the Polynesian culture and I came home from this trip with a real desire to learn more….I’ll be better prepared next time. I do hope there is a next time. 🙂

  2. Oh, Debra, this is a gift for my day; freezing temps outside, dust bunnies chasing Easter bunny inside, a lift a mile long and another a mile wide and all fades away with your lush photos and helicopter ride. Keep ’em coming, my friend.

    1. I saw your comment on FB today, Penny, and could just feel how eager you are for spring to come and stay! It just can’t be long now. 🙂 I know that looking at the photos from beautiful Kauai brings me delight, and I hope they will spread a little warmth your way! ox

      1. unfortunately my camera quit on me (too much salt and sand perhaps??) so had to resort to the camera on my phone, not the greatest quality, but still good memories.

      2. do have lots from our trip to the big island of Hawaii we took 8 years ago though, yours reminded me of that trip, beautiful scenery! Want to go back some day…

  3. Lovely. I feel the same way about my photos from last year’s trip to Europe. They give me a chance to remember the times spent there. I have only been to Kaui once. Such a beautiful place!

    1. Aren’t you glad you took the trip to Europe and have those wonderful memories, Karen. I hope your mother is doing better and that you, too, are able to rest and recuperate from so many stressful events. I hope you and your mother will be able to take another vacation together at some point. ox

  4. I, too, prefer the lizard story… The hike was well worth it. The blend of colors forms a picturesque scene… Personally, I think each of us lives on an island and it requires no airplane to take us there!

  5. I love the legend of the Spouting Horn Blowhole ~ with the lizard giving out a roar every time it sends up its spray. Gorgeous shots, Debra. Enjoy reliving the memories you made.

    1. The sound coming the Spouting Horn was very distinctive and quite loud, Nancy. I can see how the fable of the lizard would be very compelling. I am enjoying the photos, Nancy, and I hope to actually get a few printed and keep them close for those times I need to have a little mental vacation. 🙂

  6. What an excellent set of sights and experiences you’re sharing with us Debra – Love the Lizard in the hole! That view was definitely worth the drive up the mountain 🙂

    ps – if you get a visit from primallucario… Don’t panic, it’s Alasdair finding his way in the blogosphere 😉

  7. My kind of locations … Those rocks are absofruitly gorgeous!!! And I’ve always wanted to those shooting water. They have those in Samoa. Great to know there’s one in Hawaii. So then I get a better chance. 😀 Glad you enjoyed yourself while there. 😉

  8. Haha.. you take as long as you like to organize your photos, I enjoy seeing them any time:) I’ve always said if I could afford a second home away from home it would be in Hawaii. There are so many islands I would have a difficult time choosing:) What a gorgeous spot you found at the top!

  9. I need to organise my photo albums as well. I am decades behind and I blame the digital revolution. Back in the olden days when you’d take your roll of film to the local chemist and wait a week for it to come back to you, I was super-organised. Your Hawaii trip sounds so amazing and it’s lovely to see images that you don’t see in tourism brochures. You certainly made the most of your time there and I’m so glad you made the effort to see Hawaii in its very natural state xx

  10. I feel you about the photographs…I am so behind organizing photos…but it will be my priority this week! Fascinating canyon photos…I can only imagine how beautiful it must have been to be there and witness such breathtaking views. Happy photo organizing!

  11. Debra, how amazing. I’m so impressed you came home and back to reality 🙂 I watch glossy, ridiculous, ‘crime’ drama Hawaii 50 just so I can admire the views and the waves; I’m afraid it’s the closest I’ll get!

I always enjoy hearing from you!

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