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the hike kicked our butts!

Tempe, Arizona
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1,818 posts
28 reviews
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the hike kicked our butts!

It’s Sunday, and while we had scoped out the churches in Hanalai yesterday, by the time we got around to actually doing something we opted to think spiritual thoughts instead, and go out to hike the Kalalau trail. The day is perfect- clear, sunny and there are some good winds blowing and I made it to almost 4am before rising so really slept in!

Got to the end of the road by 8:20 and were about the 25th car in the second parking lot (about half full?)- I knew we were late but thought it might be a bit slower being after Labor Day and all- still it’s a weekend so what was I thinking?! And another person mentioned that the lot was rocky and potentially unkind to cars and that was correct. Going in was OK because there was room to navigate around the big rocks but getting out was a different story- narrow rows to get around the boulders. I have never wanted a truck, but this fleeting thought crossed my mind as we made our way out very slowly and very carefully- but I digress.

This is probably the prettiest trail I have ever been on in my life- ever- and that is saying a lot because we hike quite a bit on every vacation …. But I do think it should be renamed as the Stairstepper Trail. I fully recognize that it is not very Hawaiian sounding, but it is clearly more accurate (although I have to admit I don’t know the meaning of Kalalau- so maybe it means “stairstepper?”)

This hike gave glorious view after view, after view. The pictures I took do no justice to any of it so I will either have to have a wonderful memory or just keep coming back! It has everything we look for in a hike- vistas, beautiful colors everywhere (birds, flowers, water etc), interesting foliage/flowers, varied terrain (although this was mostly either up or down- very little flatness involved, hence the name-calling on my part), and people watching (seriously doing this barefoot or in flip flops?!?!) Hubby was drenched by the time we reached the beach (he’s a much better sweater than I am- I merely glisten….but I huff and puff for the both of us so we’re even?) We split an avocado, turkey and pepper jack sandwich at the beach and flat out did not want to head back. The beach is so beautiful with the soft sand and waves crashing in, and is surrounded by towers of jagged bright green coastline that is simply breathtaking! We could have stayed there all day. A couple of kayakers came in presumably from the north shore, rested and then made a few attempts to get back out, finally succeeding to overcome the crashing waves- I cannot imagine how difficult that would be to paddle against those waves and then the current on up and back to the North Shore. Different strokes for different folks- but there is no way I would include that on my vacation-way too much work! I certainly hope they had more than a sandwich to split for lunch!

The hike back was shorter- I know that’s not possible, but that’s how they always feel and I cannot tell you how good those winds felt at the top of the last crest overlooking Ke’e beach. It was nearly noon and getting pretty hot. We brought our suits and snorkel gear but had no interest in anything but cooling off so we headed home. Just to note- the ants from the last third of the hike in were crazy! The ground was literally moving under my feet- and there was no way I could stop and take a picture (or catch my breath) without being covered within a few seconds. Maybe yesterday’s rain brought them out? They were non-existent at the beach or in the first 2/3 of the hike- just curious about that. And another “Ewww” for those barefooters on the trail!

We did stop on the way back at Wishing Well to find out what all the hullabaloo was about with this shave ice business- and I am going to have to say… that was completely refreshing and totally hit the spot! It’s like fluffy soft ice with a burst of flavor! I don’t have a sweet tooth in my body but this was really delicious! I got the rainbow mac nut ice cream one and hubby got the lychee and we just sat there smiling while scooping them up. NUM!

The rest of the day was really all about recovery- I’m not gonna lie- this trail and the heat that came later kicked our butts! Big sports day on TV for him (fatigue + heat+ tennis, football and golf = TV time) and reading for me. We considered a trip to the beach or going to the driving range- but we were really hot and recovering more slowly than usual and discovered later why- our AC unit had somehow switched to fan mode earlier and the south west location here with very little insulation gave us a little afternoon baking- it was nearly 90’ in the unit before the maintenance guy came in and corrected that. Much better a few hours after it kicked in. So no beach or driving range- just some R&R which I think was much needed.

I don’t usually boast about my cooking- but this dinner was one of our best ever. I will give credit to the amazing fish, but we did not just eat it raw, so I am taking a bit of credit- mostly because this was a new dish for me. Mahi Mahi crusted in mac nuts (soaked in coconut milk then dried, topped with panko, shredded coconut (found something to do with that farmer’s market purchase after all), chopped roasted nuts, pepper, a bit of flour and a hint of Cajun seasoning) with garic/soy bok choy and red potatoes with butter and chives. The potatoes were red inside- that was a surprise! Everything was so tasty! I would totally live on fresh fish if I lived here- no question. I love it here!

Grants Pass, Oregon
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34 posts
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1. Re: the hike kicked our butts!

You deserve to take some credit for dinner. That sounds AMAZING!

One question about the hike....

Remember the old saying that went something like "got ants in your pants and it made you do the hula dance"? You may have discovered the origin. =)

Thanks for sharing!

Nate

Santa Monica, CA
Destination Expert
for Santa Monica
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18,411 posts
249 reviews
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2. Re: the hike kicked our butts!

Okay, after your description, I'm going to start hiking up and down hills so I can do that trail next August!

Oahu, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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25,489 posts
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3. Re: the hike kicked our butts!

Aloha,

Looks like you made some memories !

Aloha

Riverside, CA
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680 posts
139 reviews
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4. Re: the hike kicked our butts!

Wonderful. The hike is my favorite.

Alaska
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10,713 posts
23 reviews
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5. Re: the hike kicked our butts!

Lol......good one Nate! I love every report that described their experience with this trail. I plan to do it to the two mile point at least, but hate the going downhill part! I want to see the views! Your dinner sounds incredible and made me cringe when I saw my same old turkey sandwich for lunch. Thanks for the report! Deb

new hampshire
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456 posts
93 reviews
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6. Re: the hike kicked our butts!

So looking forward to this hike on our next trip. We planned on it last year but hubby got a head cold while we were there so we couldnt hike.

Tempe, Arizona
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1,818 posts
28 reviews
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7. Re: the hike kicked our butts!

DD- Good idea to practice ahead of time for the vertical element- but don't skip if you don't. I am in decent shape but not an exerciser and it was fine- I just needed a long rest after the fact!

Something I meant to add- people are not taking enough water on this trail- I have read it here before and saw it myself with three different groups of people we passed and gave water to. One said they just thought they would go to the first vista (1/4 mile in and out) and got so pulled in they wanted to see the rest- without ANY water!?!?!

Dallas, Texas
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52 posts
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8. Re: the hike kicked our butts!

Awesome report! Thank you for sharing. I love that hike! You guys sound like you are having a blast! Already looking forward to my trip for next summer. How long are you there for?

Vacaville...
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470 posts
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9. Re: the hike kicked our butts!

Fabulous report. Your humor shines through. Glad you are having such fun.

Tempe, Arizona
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1,818 posts
28 reviews
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10. Re: the hike kicked our butts!

thanks all, and yes- we are having a lot of fun! We are here for a total of 10 days; 7 north shore, 3 on the south shore and have only one more thing planned after today (past: hubby's tee time today and our NaPali tour yesterday; future: Kauai Ono dinner in Hanalei later this week) and then we'll just see where the list of thoughts/ideas I've compiled over the past few months takes us. This island is just wonderful for that kind of "itinerary!"