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.