Wiliwilinui Trail

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.

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Waimea Canyon

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.

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Hiking the Kalalau Trail

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.

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Tips for Photos from a Helicopter

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.

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Kauai by Helicopter

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.

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This summer we visited the island of Kauai in Hawaii, where we enjoyed Kauai‘s high cliffs, deep valleys, and water. For six million years, “high annual rainfall has eroded deep valleys in the central mountains, carving out canyons with many scenic waterfalls.”

Above is a sunrise from our condo, where the rising sun paints the beach and trees with a red glow.

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ISO Honu and Stars

On Hawaii’s Big Island, we searched for honu (the Hawaiian name for the green sea turtle) and stars. The Big Island has high mountains, and I wanted to photograph the Milky Way from there.

Shown above, a father and son fish at Kiholo Bay, where we looked for honu. We asked a Hilo family camping at the beach, but they hadn’t seen any either. Days later, they emailed us that their auntie saw honu when walking the other way from the parking lot.

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