Waimea Canyon and Poipu Beach, December 12, 2003

  1. Waimea Canyon is one of the hugest natural features in Kauai. Mark Twain called it the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific." You can drive up there and get out at any of 4 or 5 lookouts, which I did.

  2. Looking down into the lushness - the light was not with me.

  3. Waimea Canyon, encore.

  4. Gazing down the spine.

  5. This is what you see at the end of the Waimea Canyon road, looking out to the sea. This is the beginning of what turned out to be an incredibly muddy, swampy trail: Pihea Trail to Alaka'i Swamp. I should have paid more heed to that "swamp" title.

  6. The lush growth gives way to sharp ridges gives way to the blue blue Pacific.

  7. To be honest, the view all along the Pihea Trail didn't change very much, but I never tired of taking the same shot every half hour.

  8. You see what I mean?

  9. This one is framed by some of the intense jungle growth.

  10. Quick! Vote on which ridges are your favorite!

  11. A glance in the other direction.

  12. I originally meant to hike in 4 miles, and back out 4 miles. Ha! If I made it in a mile and a half, I'd be surprised. After slurping my Teva's in and out of mud ponds and struggling to not fall on my bum as I navigated the steep and muddy and slippery trail, I was just glad to be out on dry land. This photo documents the state of my feet. Little did I know the next day's hike would be as bad or worse! The main problem with a mud-swamp hike is that you're at peril of falling at all times, so you have to go slow and concentrate concentrate concentrate.

  13. After a hot shower and changing into clean clothes, I found Poipu Beach. This beach on the south side is popular since it's more often sunny and hot.

  14. Now begins the great sunset series! The day ends at Poipu beach around 6:00 p.m. The days on Kauai are about 12 hours long, even in December.

  15. You can't see them in the glare, but off the right from where I'm sitting are a dozen or more surfers, some of whom actually catch the waves.

  16. Two sailboats off in the distance, and, I think a surfer closer up.

  17. A sailboat to the left of the setting sun.

  18. The orb of the sun starts to sink into the sea.

  19. As the sun recedes, the sky takes on rosy shades. The sun is refelcted in the sand.

  20. The sun is taking its sweet time.

  21. Again, the sun is reflected in the sand.

  22. The last gasp.

  23. Twilight is taking over.

  24. Poipu Beach is all but deserted by now.

Marianne Mueller
Last modified: December 13, 2003