After our descent into Darkness along the Wailua River, Kelly and I packed up our camp at Anini Beach and headed clockwise around the island toward Polihale State Park. Polihale offers some of the more remote camping on the island, as it is not particularly accessible. To get there, Kelly had to maneuver the Avenger down a bumpy dirt road, only one lane wide at times, over the same firm, slick ‘Hawaiian Ice’ which we encountered on our mountain biking excursions. After around an hour of wrangling our way down this trail (during which time we were passed by a number of 4x4s and notably no passenger cars) we arrived at the state park.
It was after dark when we arrived, and we poked around with our high beams in search of some place suitable for camping. Our plan was to spend our last night on Kauai camping on a nice beach before enjoying a leisurely car tour on the way back to the airport. When the sun finally woke us the next morning, we were stunned by our surroundings.
After enjoying the view and a quick snack morning snack, we packed up our camp site back into the Avenger and headed inland in search of some more scenery. After a a solid four days of camping and adventuring we needed some R&R to rejuvenate before round two. Our destination was the Waimea Canyon – said by none other than Mark Twain to be the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. In an ideal world we would have traipsed all over the canyon and surrounding lands on foot. It’s theoretically possible to get to the Kalalau Valley from the plateau above the Canyon, but time and energy did not permit. We had a full week of adventure lined up ahead of us and a couple of airplanes to catch, so we settled for some good old fashioned air conditioned site-seeing.
The views of Waimea Canyon were truly remarkable, but we were in and out of the clouds the entire time. While the incessant haze gifted the landscape with plenty of mystique, it did not allow for great photography. We took a stab at a few cool shots and made the best of it.