Retracing Our Steps . . .
9 Jan 2013
Once again the weather was the deciding factor on today's activities. Linda and Steve were interested in hanging out by the pool today and Jerry and I thought it might be a good day to return to the top of Waimea Canyon's Kalalau Overlook to see what we missed two days ago!
We headed out around 9:30 with it being a bit misty, but the further west we traveled, the nicer it became and the sun started to peak through the clouds. We made one stop on the way up the windy, curvy road to check out this little waterfall written up in our tour guide book at 1500' to get the picture we missed the other day. We reached the overlook and were rewarded with some spectacular views of a portion of the Na Pali coast. It wasn't just the Na Pali coast scenery we were rewarded with seeing, but also two whale spouts we could see from our vantage point AND a beautiful rainbow!
After leaving the overlook, we returned the same route and decided we'd stop by the Russian Fort located near Waimea in the Fort Elisabeth State Historical Park. The shape of this Russian fort somewhat resembles an eight-ointed star, and it dates from 1817, when according to traditional history, a German doctor named Georg Anton Schaeffer constructed it in the name of Czar Nicholas of Russia and named it after the czars's daughter. History goes on to say that Schaeffer, an agent for the Russian-American company, built two otehr forts on the island, one on the bluff at Princeville and another farther down in Hanalei Bay. Eventually Schaeffer was banned from Kaua'i, sent to Honolulu, and then forced to leave the islands altogether. No longer maintained and cared for, the fort fell apart and was dismantled in 1864 when 38 guns were removed. The walls were once 30 feet thick and are now rubble. And walking around the "fort" would readily admit to that being a very accurate assessment.
I took one picture of the Waimea River (Waimea means reddish water in Hawaiian) because it showed the red sentiment in the water mixed with green olivine. It is said that after a heavy rain, the river turns to a dark red as it mixes with the ocean waters and can be seen from space.
We also drove through the small little town of Hanapepe, which means "crushed bay" and calls itself "Kauai's Biggest Little Town". It originally thrived as a central place for taro cultivation in the Hanapepe Valley and later evolved into a rice-framing community, until it became a bustling town from the early 1900s until just after World War II. At one point the now-quiet town was an economic center and shockingly, one of the biggest towns on the island, loaded with shops, businesses, two movie theaters, and even three skating rinks. In the 1940s, thousands of GIs trained here before being sent for duty. The riverside town offers country charm and artisan creations sold at many of the shops on the main drag.
We visited the little swinging bridge over the Hanapepe River that was originally constructed in 1911 and later restored after Hurricane Iniki came through the area in 1992. While there we found out about "Art Night in Hanapepe" and plan to return to enjoy strolling through the streets with the locals and checking out the artwork, and local cuisine. Should be a fun evening.
When we returned, we heard what a fun day Linda and Steve also enjoyed, but they didn't sit poolside, they walked over to Shipwreck Beach and strolled around the Hyatt Regency Hotel and enjoyed the grounds and a nice lunch poolside.
We went out to a local burger place and enjoyed a nice drive back out to the coast for a sunset at Salt Pond Beach Park - wasn't all that spectacular, but still nice and managed to get a few fun photos from our outing. A most enjoyable day . . . again!
P.S. The Z-Reports are GREAT. Marie calls every time she sees Zookie and she is now accepting treats from Marie and following her all over the house; think she misses us! We certainly miss her!