I intended to get this blog post out much, much earlier, but it just didn’t happen. I mentioned before that I don’t have a computer, and I have to wait until my husband isn’t using his so I can post. Well, he’s been working nearly ’round the clock lately, so computer time has been hard to come by. Come on, Santa. Get me a computer, k?
Let’s cut to the chase: there are some damned fine trails on the Hawaiian Islands. I know we didn’t tap into many, but what we saw were amazing. I have tons of pictures, so this entry will be photo heavy, and light on the text.
We did a 7 mile race called Vi’s Top of Tantalus on our first morning in the islands. It rained pretty hard, so the course was MUDDY. (This became a common theme.) It wasn’t all that well marked, so we got lost. Very lost. Like, we had no clue whatsoever. Since we hadn’t even been on Oahu for 24 hours, we didn’t have any point of reference. It took us well over 2 hours to find the finish line, but we didn’t care. At the end – tons of vegan food. Apparently there are a bunch of other crazy vegans in the group. SCORE!
The next day we ran from our hotel to Diamondhead Crater. It wasn’t a great trail run, but the view was spectacular.
The Big Island
We stayed in the town of Volcano and hit up the Kilauea Iki Crater twice. The trails in and around it were mostly dry, and very surreal. It felt other-worldly. And a little creepy since there wasn’t much growing there. It was certainly different than the trails at Tantalus, and what we saw later on Kaua’i. And no, we couldn’t see any lava. Boo.
There are no words to describe this place. As great as my Samsung Galaxy is, it does a poor, poor job of capturing the amazing beauty of the island. I gave up taking photos when we were on some of the trails because I knew they would never do the scenery justice. The first hike was a short one due to some logistical issues during the day. We did a 3 mile route called The Sleeping Giant. From afar, it looks like a man sleeping. It’s a pretty steep trail with some great views of the area.
The Na Pali Coast is simply stunning. Unfortunately it poured for much of our hike. The rain left the early part of the Kalalau Trail a crazy, muddy, soppy mess. It was very, very slippery – not like any mud I have ever run through here. It was like ice. I realized during this hike that my fear of heights is way worse than I ever thought. Well, crap.
As were were ascending the trail, which was very rocky to start, we commented that “no one could run this, so we shouldn’t feel bad that we aren’t.” About 45 minutes later 4 young-ish (maybe 25-30 year old) men came flying by us in the most slippery part of all. A young honeymooning couple was near us and the blushing bride said, “That’s why young guys get charged more for car insurance. They do stupid stuff like that.” Amen, sister. And they might be the type of folks who ignore this sign too:
The trail got a lot better after we began our descent. While it was more technical, it wasn’t as slippery and muddy, and didn’t have the steep drop offs.
We left the beach and headed to Hanakapi’ai Falls. This is the type of trail I like: rocks, roots, water and mud. It was great. We had to cross multiple bodies of water, some hip deep and some rushing by at a quick clip. I don’t do water; I don’t swim or go boating. However, I don’t jump from rock to rock either. I’d rather just head right through the water and take my chances that way. I ended up getting cleaned off fairly regularly, yet still coming back to the hotel caked in red mud.
On our last day, we ran through Waimea Canyon. It was a stark contrast to what we experienced on the Na Pali coast. It was bone dry, and there was significantly less lush vegetation. It was still beautiful!
This is the top of a waterfall!
I feel like this is wholly inadequate, but it’s all I have. I wanted to enjoy as much as I could without feeling like I was taking a ton of pictures. It’s all in my brain; it’s too bad I can’t show you!