Kalalau Trail, Kauai, 03/13/2013

Hawaii. Islands of my pre-adolescent dreams. After living in Seattle for 10 years, we were lucky enough to be able to go for the first time last February. Adelaide hadn’t yet turned one. And the spoiled little brat got to go back just after turning two. Seriously, it took us thirty-some-odd years to get to Hawaii for the first time, and she’s been there once for every year she’s been on the planet. At least this time her demeanor and behavior had improved to the point where we did a bit more than we could’ve the first time.

The biggest thing on my list was to hike at least a bit of the Kalalau Trail on the Nā Pali Coast. We’d glanced longingly at the trailhead on our first visit to Hawaii, but were content to enjoy Ke’e Beach that time—probably our favorite beach ever so far. Even with a so-so forecast this year, we drove from Poipu to the end of the road (Kuhio Highway 560) and tried our luck.

And we were lucky; the weather was better than we’d hoped for. Helicopter tours continually buzzed overhead. Constantly we soaked in views of the coast ahead and the colorful ocean below. Yes, there were a lot of people. Yes, I wore terrible shoes which blistered my ankles to the point that I have minor scarring. Yes it was only four miles total (two in, two out).

It’s worth it.

Ke’e beach from above, near the start of the trail.

Nicole with valley walls looming above.

Nicole with valley walls looming above.

That's the ticket.

That’s the ticket.

Writing this post has reminded me that I actually did get out on a hike the first time we were in Hawaii. I went with my friend, Casey. I’ll have to write that up, too. (It’s a bit off of the beaten path and takes you out along one of the ridges of the Nā Pali.

The next time we’re back in Hawaii we may try a different island. But Kauai will always be our first. We’ll return, and we’ll backpack this trail, too. I need to camp on the beach here.

Stats: it’s not easy, but it’s not terribly difficult. Don’t drown or fall of cliffs. This is a famous trail so I’m sure you can get more details elsewhere. The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook is a must if you’re planning a trip to the island, whether hiking or not.

Hannegan Pass, 08/10/2012-08/12/2012

Did I not do any hiking or backpacking in nearly an entire year? According to my “Ahem” post, that’s the case. Damn! I’ll imagine that there’s something that happened in between that was spectacular and I did not document in any way.

Speaking of spectacular, this hike to Hannegan Pass (and the peak, really) was very nice. Revisiting my history, it’s once every couple years that my friend Casey and I manage to make it out for the Perseid Meteor Shower. Last time was Rainbow Ridge. This time, Casey invited a friend from LA up and we all went out together. He didn’t stab me.

In keeping with my after-the-fact recaps, here’s my remembrances, random notes and a photo dump, in an entirely unhelpful manner:

— North Fork Brewing: good pizza, good beer.
— Hike up to the pass is good for view of Ruth.
— My bag was heavy.
— It was hot in the sun in camp.
— Scott was pretty cool.
— Meteors are pretty cool.
— I didn’t have a lens that focused to infinity.
— If you’re going up, go to the peak, it’s way worth it; views to Shuksan are incredible.
— Pretty sure I can see Canada from here.
— Plus, 3G.
— I liked this so much, I’d do it again. Or continue on towards Whatcom.
— Stickhenge.
— Shuksan, again.
— No, I’m not hiking all the way down again on the second day to get pizza and beer. It’s FAR! You don’t understand how far it is and how lazy I am right now.

Ruth from near Hannegan Camp.

Ruth from near Hannegan Camp.

Stars out of focus. So far.

Stars out of focus. So far.

Up to Hannegan Peak.

Up to Hannegan Peak.

Climbing up Hannegan.

Climbing up Hannegan.


Mountains. Whatevs.

Mountains. Whatevs.

P-p-p-p-pano. (Gotta click this one, because 400px doesn't do it justice.)

(Gotta click this one, because 400px doesn’t do it justice.)

Yeah, how could I not want to do this one again? Maybe this weekend?! Got a babysitter? Oh, there’s a few more photos on Flickr.

Just go to WTA for the details, will ya? I can’t remember ’em.


Upper Eagle Lake, 10/07/2011-10/08/2011

In lieu of a proper entry (apologies again), I present the contents of my journal and selected photographs:

Eagle Lakes

I-90 -> 970 -> 97 -> US2/97 -> L on WA153N -> L on Gold Creek -> L on 4340 -> L on 4340(300) -> Eagle Lake Trail 431

15:25 – Leave trailhead
16:20 – Martin Crk int. Larches across valley look awesome! Tired. 2 dayhikers, 1 moto.


Back down the valley.


View across the valley: peaks, snow and larches.

18:30 – Upper Eagle lake — 1-3″ snow; followed footprints. Went upshore and found no campsites (main taken). Ended up in horse camp. Ate beef stroganoff, chocolate, scotch.


Up at 06:00 — slept poorly; was warm enough, but couldn’t get comfy. Very quiet. Amount of snow makes me worried about loop trip [that I’d planned on].


Sunrise at Upper Eagle Lake.




The morning lake.


More of the same.




Heading out; blue skies.

08:45 – Leaving camp; heading home.
10:35 – Martin Crk Int.
11:20 – Car
11:30 – Leave

As is often the case, a few more photos here.

Talapus Lake, 09/24/2011

I remember:

  • parking on the side of the road
  • agreeable switchbacks
  • Adelaide sleeping in the backpack

I’ll defer to WTA for the details on this one. Cool?

Talapus Lake

Me and Addie

Rainbow Ridge, 08/13/10-08/15/10

After a long hiatus, I decided that if I’m to do a proper year-end post, I should probably first make a brief mention of a one-night backpacking trip we took in August with our friends Cameron and Casey.  They’d never been backpacking, and it was something we really wanted to introduce them to, so we’d long planned to go out together on the peak weekend of the Perseid Meteor Shower. With Nicole being pregnant—yes, that is why this summer was a little quieter on the site, here—and with a couple newbies along for the ride, I wanted something short, quiet, and with big skies.  Rainbow Ridge sounded like just the thing—if perhaps a little more adventurous than some participants might be expecting.  It’s a non-maintained trail…

A rewarding view from atop Rainbow Ridge.

Since we’re all now months-removed from the event, I won’t recount how we pulled off to the side of the road late Friday night to throw up some tents, only to find I’d forgotten the majority of our food.  Or our search for that side-of-the-road location.  But the skies from the side of the road that night were beautiful, and softened the blow to my ego a bit.

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