Holoholo Garden Isle

by kenji SAITO on June 10, 2022

Holoholo Garden Isle

We spent King Kamehameha Day Weekend on the only island that was never conquered by the first founder and ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaii. However, it has been conquered by wild chickens that are the descendants of jungle fowl, fighting cocks and domestic chickens.

Kauai Airport

Kauai Airport

King Arthur has come to re-establish the independence of Kauai. He brought along his entourage of Jen, Lilyn, Liz, Marilyn, Quan and myself where his vassal, Scott picked us up.

Konohiki Seafoods

Konohiki Seafoods

We stopped to have breakfast in Lihue. Sushi breakfast. Just missing the hot tea.

Hanapepe

Hanapepe

Brief stop at Kauai’s “biggest little town” which also means crushed bay in Hawaiian.

Hanapepe

Hanapepe

Squeezing and swinging our way across the bridge that was built in 1911.

Hanapepe

Hanapepe

The load limit of 15 persons at one time was not exceeded. Safety first.

Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon

We bypassed the fee paying tourists and gawked in the grandeur that is the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.

Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon

Some of us left the nosebleed section to take a closer look at the canyon that measures roughly 10 miles long and more than 3,500′ deep.

Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon

Scrambling back up the slippery slope.

Pu'u Hinahina Lookout

Pu’u Hinahina Lookout

Out on a limb to gain a different perspective of the canyon.

Lunch at Koke’e Lodge where we just beat the lunch crowd. Some of us got the kamaaina discount without asking. Must have been the t-shirt.

Kalalau Lookout

Kalalau Lookout

Group photo at the lookout, left to right: Art, Marilyn, myself, Liz, Jen, Quan, Lilyn and Scott; where one can check out the largest valley on the island. We wanted to get a closer look.

Kalepa Ridge

Kalepa Ridge

We descended through the thick brush and tree canopy until the trail became more exposed along with the views that opened up.

Kalepa Ridge

Kalepa Ridge

Somebody was looking for alepa ridge? Acapella ridge? Say it enough times and one is bound to get it right.

Kalepa Ridge

Kalepa Ridge

The group coming down the trail bordered by low lying shrubs one one side and steep drops on the other side.

Kalepa Ridge

Kalepa Ridge

Looking down into the remote valley that was once home to Hawaiians and hippies.

Kalepa Ridge

Kalepa Ridge

The exposed crumbly red dirt stood in marked contrast to the greens and blues of the shrubbery and ocean.

Kalepa Ridge

Kalepa Ridge

Looking back at the stopping point for the rest of the group while Art, Jen, Lilyn and myself kept the forward momentum going on the trail.

Kalepa Ridge

Kalepa Ridge

Following the trail of goat poop as we continued our descent down the ridge.

Kalepa Ridge

Kalepa Ridge

The ridge narrowed as we lost elevation but gained splendid views of the valley, ridges and the deep blue ocean.

Kalepa Ridge

Kalepa Ridge

Jen climbing down the chossy ridge held together by the dry grass.

Kalepa Ridge

Kalepa Ridge

Somebody was wondering what they got themselves into and my ears were ringing. Loud. Very loud.

Kalepa Ridge

Kalepa Ridge

I think the ringing stopped as somebody soaked in the magnficient views all around us.

Kalepa Ridge

Kalepa Ridge

Looking down into the fluted peaks of the Kalalau cathedral.

Kalepa Ridge

Kalepa Ridge

Group photo at the end of the trail. Involuntarily. Sweeping views of Honopu and Kalalau Valleys along with the incessant helicopters circling below us.

Kalepa Ridge

Kalepa Ridge

Time to go back up and leave all this panoramic eye candy behind us.

Kalepa Ridge

Kalepa Ridge

Hey, where did everybody go? So much for the group photo.

Kalepa Ridge

Kalepa Ridge

Perfect timing as clouds started rolling in as we returned to the lookout.

Red Dirt Falls

Red Dirt Falls

On our way back down, we stopped at the seasonal waterfalls that are surrounded by red dirt which is a byproduct of the oxidized iron-rich basaltic rocks that are found in this area.

Red Dirt Falls

Red Dirt Falls

Hop, skip and a jump. Or something close to that.

Jojo's Shave Ice

Jojo’s Shave Ice

Stopped at the original location in Waimea for some flavored ice dessert that has its origins in Japan.

Salt Pond Park

Salt Pond Park

When you follow the wrong Tacoma and still end up at the family beach that is also home to a salt pond where kanaka maoli families have their own plots to make Hawaiian salt for their own consumption or trading.

Wailua Falls

Wailua Falls

Quick stop at the 173′ triple falls. I don’t see de plane.

Dinner at Garden Island BBQ. Family style. Pass the rice. Loco moco to go.

Chicken whisperer

Chicken whisperer

Day 2
Birds of a feather flock together. I think the rice had something to do with it. The original plan today was to pile into a zodiac boat and explore sea caves and secluded beaches, high swells took care of that option. We woke up with the crowing chickens and screeching birds to go off-roading in search of the secret tunnel.

Wailua River

Wailua River

Overlooking the only river navigable by boats in the islands.

Secret Tunnel

Secret Tunnel

Never send a AWD to do a 4×4 job.

Secret Tunnel

Secret Tunnel

Russell, we have a problem. Time to turn around and do something else secret.

Wailua

Wailua

Where there’s a tree, there’s a photo opportunity.

Opaeka'a Falls

Opaeka’a Falls

The water flow was a bit thin at the 151′ waterfalls.

Secret Falls

Secret Falls

Why did the hikers cross the road? Because there was a crosswalk.

Secret Falls

Secret Falls

We elected to take the hiking trail rather than the kayaking tour.

Secret Falls

Secret Falls

Crossing the Wailua River.

Secret Falls

Secret Falls

Passing underneath one of several tree tunnels.

Secret Falls

Secret Falls

How high can the water get? Don’t want to be around to find out.

Secret Falls

Secret Falls

Scott said there used to be another concrete column on the other side of the river bank and they used to be connected to each other with a tethered cable for river crossings.

Secret Falls

Secret Falls

Looking down at the boardwalk that parallels a good chunk of the river.

Secret Falls

Secret Falls

Passing King’s Pool whose waterfall was barely trickling.

Secret Falls

Secret Falls

Approaching Uluwehi Falls aka Secret Falls aka Not So Secret Falls.

Secret Falls

Secret Falls

Group photo in front of the roughly 100′ waterfall. We had the place all to ourselves.

Secret Falls

Secret Falls

Water wings. Just got to work on the synchronicity.

Secret Falls

Secret Falls

Everybody getting out of the water. I think everybody had their water time.

Secret Falls

Secret Falls

Trying our best to feel rooted on the tree stumps.

Secret Falls

Secret Falls

Crossing the only rope found on the trail.

Secret Falls

Secret Falls

Passing a collection of crimson flowers.

Secret Falls

Secret Falls

Two way traffic on the North Fork river crossing.

Secret Falls

Secret Falls

Walking through the colorful beached kayaks.

Secret Falls

Secret Falls

Back on the road again. Back in the car again.

Olympic Cafe

Olympic Cafe

Eating lunch at the eatery where there is a little bit of everything on the menu. There was discussion of what to hike next. My suggestion of King Kong was repeatedly ignored. I would actually say blatantly.

Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant

We settled on hiking Nounou Mountain. The back side. A slipper friendly trail. The shortest and steepest of the three routes up the mountain.

Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant

The beginning of the trail was mostly shaded with pine trees planted back in the 1930s.

Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant

Switch backing up the trail as it became less shaded and intermittent rocky outcroppings on the way up.

Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant

Scott bareback bronc riding the bench on the “chest” of the giant.

Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant

After the rodeo was done, we all headed to the summit or “head” of the giant with a detour to the “nose.”

Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant

Some went through and others went over.

Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant

Exhaling.

Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant

Inhaling.

Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant

Jen showing off her rock climbing skills.

Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant

Standing tall.

Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant

Climbing up the most direct route to the top.

Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant

Group photo on the “nose.”

Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant

The rest of the group wrapped up their photo shoot and made their way to join us at the “head.”

Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant

Spin the hiker at the summit.

Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant

Going back down the West trail.

Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant

Looking back at the giant that has yet to be roused from his slumber.

Hee Fat General Store

Hee Fat General Store

We sampled some of the best shave ice that most of us has had in the islands.

Kapa'a

Kapa’a

Fallen angel. Can somebody pick her up please?

Wahine Weenies

Wahine Weenies

No weenies for the wahines.

Island Craves

Island Craves

Dinner was pizza with most of the toppings. Outside seating. Closing time.

Kalalea Mountain

Kalalea Mountain

Day 3
Woke up early on our last day on the island and drove North to take in a few more sights before flying home. Trying to separate King Kong from the ridge line. The mountains was also the background for the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Kilauea Bakery & Pizzeria

Kilauea Bakery & Pizzeria

We had breakfast at this cozy shop tucked away in a shopping center. Forget the pastries and get the stromboli. Veggie or sausage, it doesn’t matter. Thank me later.

Turtle Cave

Turtle Cave

Climbing our way down the short and steep hill.

Turtle Cave

Turtle Cave

Walking in low tide. No swimming needed.

Turtle Cave

Turtle Cave

A Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle (Honu) swimming in the shallow waters.

Turtle Cave

Turtle Cave

Mouth of the cave.

Turtle Cave

Turtle Cave

Looking out towards the ocean.

Turtle Cave

Turtle Cave

Shadows in the cave.

Turtle Cave

Turtle Cave

Keeping our distance from the endangered species. Look but don’t touch.

Turtle Cave

Turtle Cave

Low tide reflections.

Turtle Cave

Turtle Cave

Looking out the other cave entrance/exit.

Turtle Cave

Turtle Cave

Ocean view on the other side.

Turtle Cave

Turtle Cave

Art overlooking the tidepools with captured fish and missed photo opportunities.

Turtle Cave

Turtle Cave

We left without any attached barnacles. Our next stop to Queen’s Bath was derailed due to us being the 11th and 12th vehicles. No tandem parking.

Hanalei Pier

Hanalei Pier

Stepping foot on the pier that was built back in 1892.

Hanalei Pier

Hanalei Pier

Somebody’s buns hit the bottom. Not going back for seconds.

Hanalei Pier

Hanalei Pier

Group photo at the 340′ pier.

Kuhio Hwy

Kuhio Hwy

Who let the dogs out? Scott’s truck must have been a postal truck in its past life.

Maniniholo Dry Cave

Maniniholo Dry Cave

Somebody went to get cobwebs on his head in the cave that was formed from wave erosion when the sea level was higher and others picked avocadoes from the low hanging branches.

Blue Room

Blue Room

Climbing down into the Waikapalae Wet Cave that was also featured as the fountain of youth in the movie, Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides.

Blue Room

Blue Room

Looking up at the hanging vines and roots that drop down from the cliff to the cave.

Blue Room

Blue Room

The group making their way down to the water.

Blue Room

Blue Room

Scott said the water levels have dropped noticeably over the years and he urged us not to go into the water as he has had to pull a couple dead bodies from these waters over the years.

Blue Room

Blue Room

The cold water must have numbed their hearing. The sunlight bounces off the caves calcite rocks which gives the waters a blue tint.

Haena State Park

Haena State Park

Walking through the taro patches populated by wild chickens and Nene (Hawaiian Goose).

Kalalau Trailhead

Kalalau Trailhead

A hike that’s definitely worth repeating.

Ke'e Beach

Ke’e Beach

Want to pet my tako (octopus)?

Ke'e Beach

Ke’e Beach

A scene straight out of a B-horror movie, spider hikers fanning out on the exposed tree roots. Straight to DVD.

Last meal on the island was at Princeville Foodland where price means no object to the locals. We are not locals. Rich locals. We also had another helping of shave ice from Hee Fat before being dropped off at the airport by Russell and Scott.

We left Kauai full of fun memories and shave ice. Good times had by all. Special thanks to Scott for his generous hospitality and playing tour guide to our group over the weekend. Mahalo to Jacob for the rides to and from the airport.

Photos taken by Art Young, Elizabeth Barnaby, Jen Odence, Lilyn Avendano, Marilyn Bermudez, Quan Haberstroh, Scott Dea and yours truly. Not necessarily in order.

Note: I have been made aware that some hikers have been using my blog as a hiking guide and getting lost on the trails. Please note that this blog was made to document the hike for the crew(s) that did it. That is why some of my comments will seem to have no relevance or meaning to anybody outside of the crew(s) that hiked that trail. My blog was never meant as a hiking guide, so please do not treat it as such. If you find inspiration and entertainment from these hikes, that is more than enough. If you plan on replicating these hikes, do so in the knowledge that you should do your own research accordingly as trail conditions, access, legalities and so forth are constantly in flux. What was current today is most likely yesterdays news. Please be prepared to accept any risks and responsibilities on your own as you should know your own limitations, experience and abilities before you even set foot on a trail, as even the “simplest” or “easiest” of trails can present potential pitfalls for even the most “experienced” hikers.

{ 0 comments }

Ka’ala to Kaena Point

June 5, 2022
Thumbnail image for Ka’ala to Kaena Point

I decided to do another long haul hike back to back from coming off my camping weekend. I don’t want to get fat and lazy. Well maybe just fat. Thanks to Tessa for dropping Chris, Jen and myself off deep into Waianae Valley where the feral dogs still roam at will. They must refresh the […]

Read the full article →

Pupukea to Poamoho (HTMC)

May 28, 2022
Thumbnail image for Pupukea to Poamoho (HTMC)

I was unable to fly out to attend a good friends wedding on Kauai, so I camped in the mountains instead this Memorial Day weekend. Thanks to Jess for giving Elena and myself a ride to the North Shore and Patrick Rorie for inviting me on an uncommon HTMC three day camping hike, Pupukea to […]

Read the full article →

Omega Station and H3 Tunnel

May 15, 2022
Thumbnail image for Omega Station and H3 Tunnel

We went in search of a tunnel but found something close to it, but no cigar. Met up with Art, Chris, Edgar, Jen, Lilyn, Marilyn, Mateo, Quan, Scott, and Tessa to take a morning stroll in the neighborhood. Three distant cousins in the picture. What time does the gate open? Art climbing the stairway to […]

Read the full article →

Kamaileunu Ridge to Hunter’s Ridge

May 8, 2022
Thumbnail image for Kamaileunu Ridge to Hunter’s Ridge

In search of ridges that I have yet to hike; met up with Andy, Jen, Lilyn, and John today. Some of us left our doors unlocked and crossed our fingers and hoped for the best as we started up the grassy and rocky ridge. Skirting the ancient Hawaiian temple. Mass in the mountains. Coming up […]

Read the full article →

Ka’ilio

April 17, 2022
Thumbnail image for Ka’ilio

I spent Easter Sunday on the “forbidden mountain” with Andy, Enrique and Lilyn today. Walking down the shuttered road passing signs that warned of high winds and falling rocks. The signs did not lie at all. Leaving the twisting hairpins behind us as we traded the asphalt for basalt. We were not going up the […]

Read the full article →

Ka’ala to Kolekole Pass

April 10, 2022
Thumbnail image for Ka’ala to Kolekole Pass

Thanks to Robert for dropping Art, Enrique, Lilyn and myself off to Waianae Valley where we met Justin for somebody’s WST finish. This must be the way to the trail. Thanks for the visual reinforcement, as I would’ve totally missed it. End of the service road and the beginning of the “real” trail. Going up […]

Read the full article →

Ulupa’u Crater

April 9, 2022
Thumbnail image for Ulupa’u Crater

Met up with the group to do Ferlino’s last hike on the island before he shipped off to Guam for babysitting duties. Aida, Edgar, Ferlino, Lilyn, Marilyn, Quan, Scott, Tessa and myself carpooled into three cars and drove onto the Marine Corps Base Hawaii that occupies the entire Mokapu Peninsula to check in with Range […]

Read the full article →

Moanalua Saddle to Stairway to Heaven

April 2, 2022
Thumbnail image for Moanalua Saddle to Stairway to Heaven

A couple guys wanted to go to heaven, who am I to deny somebody eternal bliss? Somebody is sleeping in on this Sunday. It’s already past 0730. Where there are hunters … … there’s hunting dogs. Passing through pockets of dense tree groves and 28 stream crossings. Going up the short and steep slope with […]

Read the full article →

Piliwale to Nu’uanu Pali (Konahuanui Windward Scout)

March 27, 2022
Thumbnail image for Piliwale to Nu’uanu Pali (Konahuanui Windward Scout)

Met up with Ferlino, Justin and Tessa to check out a spur ridge this weekend. Are we hiking or visiting a petting zoo? Views for sale, starting at $895,000. This must be the affordable area of the island. Who let the dogs out? The hunters. Age old question finally answered. Crossing the demo trail as […]

Read the full article →