Wanna See the Sights?

This is just a jumble of images from our life on Kauai, a glimpse or two of random beauty.

Waterfalls are among our favorite sites to see, and this little gem meets the sea just north of Donkey Beach at ’Āhihi Point. It’s only an intermittent trickle (tickle in Newfoundland), which sometimes runs dry in summer, but the sight and sound is especially soothing on warmer days.

Waterfall, Kauai

Little waterfall

Looking west across Kuhio Highway (56) from the top of the tree-tunnel pathway down to Donkey Beach provides a spectacular view of Kauai’s major water supply: cloud-capped mountains. Wai’ale’ale Ridge, in the background, features the two tallest peaks on Kauai: Kawaikini at 5,243 feet (1,598m); Wai’ale’ale at 5,148 feet (1,569m). Makaleha Ridge, in the foreground, is surrounded by peaks  averaging half that elevation and the highest point visible in this photo is Pōhaku Pili at only 2,477 feet (755m).

Kawaikini, Wai’ale’ale, Makaleha

Cloud-capped mountains

Closer to home, the skies offer spectacular shows like banshees, and dragons, and zephyrs, oh my! Some of the most unbelievable sights really can be found right in your backyard.

Returning to earth we find various expressions of what we are made of—calciferous rock, sand & ash, and Kauai’s infamous red dirt. (See also, Arizona to Georgia)

Striated Cut Bank

Eastside geology

Driftwood abounds at inlets, sometimes appearing as fanciful creatures, at other times simply a cache of “drift kindling.”

After living here for nearly four years, I finally pulled off Kuamo‘o Road to visit the Royal Birthstone, Pōhaku Ho‘ohanau, where all of Kauai’s Ali‘i (Chiefs) were once born. Then again, I had always wondered where those stairs at the back went, and presumed that they led to a viewing platform.

But oh no, they lead to a Japanese cemetery, which is visited often by descendants and loved ones. That is, there were fresh flower arrangements, toys, and food for hungry ghosts throughout.

On Monday, during my morning hike, I took a picture of a treacherous point along the old right-of-way that may be added to the Eastside Trail for completion to Anahola. Suffice it to say “road narrows”, and it’s been doing so quickly the past couple of years. A stream passes through a narrow culvert under what’s left of the fill and empties into Kuna Bay.

Speaking of the Eastside Trail, Ke Ala Hele Makalae (The Path that Goes by the Coast), future development to the south may transit this 165-foot (50m) bridge of the former Ahukini Terminal & Railway Company along the way to Ninini Point and Nawiliwili Bay.

Viaduct Spanning Hanamaulu Steam

Viaduct spanning Hanamā‘ulu Stream

Naturally, the coast speaks up in winter by way of weather advisories and warnings. It’s violence is fascinating when viewed from shore; not so much viewed from a small boat.

Stormy Surf

Storm surge

Thus ends another week in paradise.

9 thoughts on “Wanna See the Sights?

  1. Marji says:

    Thank you for this visual treat. I’ve been enjoying your “last posts” from Kauai. I really liked the one about enjoying Kauai as a tourist, without breaking the bank. You are able to focus on the spots that make Kauai special. The writing is superb. I’m also enjoying the “preparing for the big trip” posts. The bottom line is: I enjoy all your posts.

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    • Laura says:

      Thanks so much Marji! Brett is always snapping pictures of the things he sees here, and for that we’ll always have a record of all the wonderful things that exist. I sometimes wonder why he’d want a picture of this or that, but now I’m glad we have them. There are so many special places to enjoy here, and we haven’t come close to seeing them all.

      We’re sort of in a lull right now with trip preparation and planning – we’ve done as much as we can for now, but can’t move forward until we know where YaYu will be going to school, and that won’t be until the end of March.

      I am so glad that we were able to get together when you and your husband visited last year. We got lots of good travel tips from you, especially about France (eve though you didn’t know our plans at the time – sorry!). I’m hoping we will be able to meet up again some day.

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  2. Julie says:

    Thanks for the photos…love Kauai. I enjoy reading your blog, but think I missed something because I don’t understand the reference to the “last posts”. Are you planning to move out of Kauai?

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    • Laura says:

      We’ll be leaving the island for around a year beginning this August to travel around the world, and we haven’t decided what we’re going to do when that’s over. We have to be in Oregon next summer for our oldest daughter’s graduation, but what comes after that is undecided. These may be our last few months on the island. We’re storing a few things while we’re gone, but sometime along the way we’ll decide what to do. I will say that the thought of not returning here is very hard to contemplate right now – we love it here, and it’s home.

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  3. Jen says:

    We visited Kauai a few years ago and have been wanting to return but the timing has not been right. For the last couple of years we’ve been hearing from friends who go to other islands ( Maui and the Big Island) that they have become very crowded. Partly because more folks are traveling and perhaps because less are going to the Caribbean. I’m curious if you’ve noticed that on Kauai?
    When we went it was February and we stayed in Kilauea on the north and Kekaha on the SW-avoiding Poipu and Lihue as much as possible. We were able to enjoy beaches with less than 10 folks, and the whole experience was very laid back. I get happy just thinking about it, and nervous that it’s no longer that way!
    And are folks on Kauai wound up about rat lungworm?

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    • Brett says:

      You can buy a bumper sticker that reads, “If you love Kauai, tell all your friends to go to Maui”– perhaps it’s just the advertising.

      Seriously though, both the resident (+5,000/year) and visiting populations have grown sharply over the past few years. Nevertheless, if you stick to your habit of avoiding Lihue and Poipu, you can still find uncrowded beaches, especially midweek.

      Regarding rat lungworm, cautious is the word I’d use ~ people just don’t get wound up here. Aloha.

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