Sunday, October 4, 2015

Hawaii Part 1: Kalalau Trail

It has been almost 2 months, and I'm finally getting to my review post. Better late than never right?

I must say the Hawaii trip was the best vacation to date Ryan and I have taken.

We started in Kaui, and then hopped over to Oahu.

Let's start with Kauai!

One of the perks of how much Ryan travels, is he gets some SUPER perks from National. So we got this little hot-rod to escort us around Kauai!

We stayed at a hotel on the East side of the Island our 1st night. We headed straight for a walk on the beach. Actually...Ryan spent the 1st half hour in a 90 degree hotel room (AC wasn't turned on!), logging into work and school. I was not loving that...
But then we headed to the beach!!

Pictured below was a sacred area of the island. After much exploring, we realized those rocks "tombstones".
Here is a panoramic view of the Kauai from the east view! Gorgeous!

Our 1st night was pretty low key, as we had a BIG HIKE ahead. We headed up the street and filled up on delicious ahi tuna tacos served with plantains. 
We had a 4 am alarm set to get an early start. However, we got on the road and it was a torrential downpour. This was one of the top 10 most dangerous hikes, and people die while hiking it in the rain. 
Therefore, we headed to a coffee shop and had breakfast and waited for the storm to pass.
This picture shows one of my most vivid memories of the trip. The sun parted through the sky, the top was down, we had canopies of forests overhead, holding hands, it was a good day!

By 1 mile into the hike, we were already completely drenched in sweat. It was 85 degrees with 90% humidity. No joke. I have never been so sweaty and overheated in my life! And I live in AZ.

I am so grateful we bought trekking poles for this trip. Because of the rain, the trail was slick with mud. Even with the poles, we were sliding all over the place!

Here is the view of the Napali Coast as we climbed up and up and up...


If you know about the Napali coast, there is a part where you hug a cliff for about 1.5 miles. This is no joke. You put one foot in front of the other, and pray to God you don't fall. As it's a 300 foot drop off the cliff. 
I took this picture just for my Mom, as I know she was a little worried about this trip ;)

That 1.5 miles was hard. I ended up on my knees, hugging the cliff, sobbing, with 30 lbs on my back. I seriously wanted to curl up in a ball and quit. But knew I couldn't. And then I had to do it all over again to come back on day 2! It was a test of strength to say the very least ;)
Can you feel the humidity in this picture?
We sure did! In fact...dehydration really set in. Ryan had such terrible leg cramps that her feel a few times :(. In order to get more water, we had to hike further to find rivers.
For water, we filled our filter bags up with river water, and filtered it. We didn't get sick, so it worked! ;)

After 11 miles, we made it to the beach. What an accomplishment. It was seriously like finishing a marathon. I was so happy to know we were done for the day.

I ran straight into the ocean to cool off!! But once I got into the water, I learned how many cuts and blisters I accumulated during the day. *sting!!!*
This hike is not for sissies....
Here we are on the beach sucking the salt off our potato chips and enjoying the sunset. (we were so dehydrated...)

This sunset was probably the most surreal sunset my eyes have seen. Here we were on this remote, secluded beach that can only be accessed by an 11 mile hike, helicopter, or boat. We felt so far from the rest of the world. It was incredible....
I have many good stories about this experience that have put many of our friends in tears (laughter and terror. Ha!). I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. We woke up the next morning, and it was our 6th Anniversary. And we had to hike those 11 miles all over again!

 Here we are post-hike, trying to replicate that fresh photo we took on our way to the trailhead! Quite the "before and after", eh?

The pictures don't even come close to doing justice of how breath-taking this hike is. We have some pretty cool videos, but haven't downloaded them from the GoPro yet!
I definitely left a piece of my heart on this trail ;)