After visiting Kauai last summer, we went to Honolulu where we joined a family hike in the Koolau Range that forms the backbone of Oahu. Shown above, we are hiking up the Wiliwilinui Ridge to the top of the Koolaus in the distance.
After seeing the Na Pali Coast by air and land, we drove to the Waimea Canyon and saw the Na Pali Coast from a mountaintop. Shown above, Waimea Canyon is pretty, and it’s dramatic — “approximately ten miles (16 km) long and up to 3,000 feet (900 m) deep”. But Kauai is only 30 miles by 25 miles at its widest points. How did this large canyon occur on an island not much bigger than the canyon?
A canyon is a “deep cleft between escarpments or cliffs resulting from weathering and the erosive activity of a river over geologic timescales”. A canyon needs headwaters for the water, sturdy mountains for escarpments or cliffs, and time for the erosion to take place.
The day after seeing the Na Pali Coast by helicopter, we saw the Coast from land, hiking part of the Kalalau Trail. On the windward side of Kauai, the Na Pali Coast is hard volcanic rock battered by wind, rain, and erosion. Shown above from my helicopter ride, the Kalalau Trail starts on the left at Ke’e Beach, climbs up the cliff, and goes back down to the ocean at Hanakapi’ai Beach on the right.
Kauai is beautiful, and a helicopter tour of Kauai was short and expensive, so I wanted to prepare for my first helicopter ride — selecting the helicopter tour, choosing the camera equipment and settings, and dressing for the ride. My post Kauai by Helicopter described what I saw on my helicopter tour; this post covers how I prepared and lessons learned.
On our first day on Kauai, I took a helicopter tour of the island. Seeing the Napali Coast from the air was the highlight, and there was more: a waterfall from the movie Jurassic Park, Waimea Canyon, and sheer cliffs with waterfalls. Kauai is a volcanic island with one of the rainiest spots in the world, where the rain erodes the hard rock, forming cliffs and feeding waterfalls.
To get photos without reflections from doors or windows, I rode a helicopter with the doors off. This post focuses on what I saw, and a second post will cover tips for taking photos on a Kauai helicopter ride.
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Chicago’s Robie House “is renowned as the greatest example of the Prairie School style, the first architectural style considered uniquely American”. Inspired by the Great Plains, the Prairie style is “usually marked by horizontal lines, flat or hipped roofs with broad overhanging eaves, windows grouped in horizontal bands, integration with the landscape, solid construction, craftsmanship, and discipline in the use of ornament. Horizontal lines were thought to evoke and relate to the native prairie landscape.” Seen above, the Robie House has all this.
Inspired by borscht we had last year in Russia, my wife added a spoonful of crème fraîche to her vegetable soup that made the soup so much more rich and tasty. People in Argentina seem to use rico to enthusiastically describe food that’s delicious or rich, and that’s what this combination brought to mind.
This vegetable soup combines stock, seasonal vegetables (celery, carrots, butternut squash), and brown rice and beans (for complete protein). It’s very healthy, but I find the taste to be on the lean side. We had tried the crème fraîche from a north-bay-area Costco, so she had it on-hand to substitute for the sour cream used in borscht. We both thought that the crème fraîche really improved the vegetable soup.