Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hiking Hawaii- Kilauea Lighthouse

That view, whoa Nelly that view. That view is worth a million bucks and it is all yours if you go to the island of Kauai and checking out the Kilauea Lighthouse.

Here is the lighthouse in all of its glory. This is a very popular place so getting a shot with no humans in it was a challenge to say the least. Competing with the humans were birds, lots and lots of birds.

This is a major bird watching area with many species of birds flying around and squawking and if you are for the birds, then you would be into this place.

One of my favorite aspects of the lighthouse is not the views or the lighthouse itself but the "secret" island behind the lighthouse which looked amazing to me.

Such a rugged island, almost seemingly inaccessible with the shore line and so many birds nesting on it. It was also so beautiful I stayed and watched it for several minutes (the Island wasn't going anywhere but I still wanted to check, just in case).

The rest of the shoreline and mountains surrounding the lighthouse are rugged and beautiful and well worth the very short walk (something like 0.1 of a mile) to see the landscape.

Here is a link to the Lighthouse: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Kilauea_Point/map.html

Check it out!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hiking Hawaii- Makena Black Sand Beach

If you ever are in Maui and in the Makena-area of the island, do yourself a favor and go on a mini-hike to the Black Sand beach of Makena.

The hike is along a rutted road

and while the hike isn't particularly challenging (I think there is a 5 foot elevation gain), it does take you through a jungle-setting of Maui

Winding your way through the forest, you eventually pop out on the beach and it is a great thing when you do because the views are spectacular.

You don't need to go on a long hike in Hawaii to find beauty and this short hike is well worth your time. 

I was particularly struck by the black/reddish sand and also how it was tucked in to the hills and rocks surrounding it, like a black pocket amongst green and brown splotches (a poet I am not).

Definitely check out this beach! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hiking Hawaii- Iao Valley

If you are in Hawaii (Maui specifically) then a hike you MUST do is to the Iao Needle. This hike might be short but it sure is sweet and one I would do over and over again. This is one of my favorite hikes of 2014 and hopefully you will see why!

First things first, this hike is short and "easy".

Yes there are stairs, yes there are handrails but you still have to be careful as you make your way up to the observation area for the needle.

(I don't think that stick figure is going to make it)

As you go up the trail, the mountains of the Iao Valley rise up all around you and also frame the land below.

As beautiful as that scene is, it is nothing compared to the cloud kissed mountains that await you as you reach the viewing hut:

(maybe there are some dinosaurs living in there)

(clouds making out with mountain tops)

Of course, what you are there to see is the Needle.

Being from Upstate New York, I have an in-built love of cold and grey and to my eye, the clouds make the mountains even better to look at.

The wind, the feeling of the clouds and the mountains, the uniqueness of this area, especially compared to the rest of Hawaii, makes this one of my favorite places and a MUST hike for you if you go to Hawaii.

Here is some info about the hike: http://www.hawaiistateparks.org/parks/maui/index.cfm?park_id=36

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