Thank you for you patience and your vacation sentiments while I was away.  Kauai was absolutely amazing and quite adventurous!  So many of you have asked so I will try to recap 10 wonderful days into a small post so as not to bore you too much.

We had originally planned to backpack the Kalalau Trail along Napali Coast but due to the recent floods the trail is closed so we had to go to plan B.  We, being my sister Cheri and her hubby Henry.  My hubby is not the adventurous type and prefers to stay home, but encourages me to go have my crazy fun.  So what's the next best thing to backpacking?!...camping!  We camped on the beach for the first 5 days of our trip so we would be close to the trails for hiking and exploring.  Now don't get me wrong...I love a fancy hotel with a comfy bed, but I'm willing to sacrifice with sunsets like this!  But I must say, a bed and a shower never felt so good when we made it to our condo!  After the first day of hiking we were so muddy that we stopped at the showers to hose off.  A "shower" consisted of an open stall with a garbage bag for a door and freezing cold water.  Let me just say it was the quickest shower I have ever taken!!

We hiked over 40 miles while on Kauai!  Only 2 hours after arriving we were exploring our first trail.  It was like we were in the jungle and the views were absolutely beautiful!  Only problem was we were ankle deep in mud!  It felt like we were walking through quicksand.  It was red mud too...I kept thinking, hey, people pay good money at the spas for this kind of mud!  I wanted to bottle some up but I think my hiking boots were loaded enough.

Over the next 4 days we hiked the cliffs and ridges in Waimea Canyon.  The views were again incredible!  I am amazed that Kauai allows hikers out on these ridges and cliffs.  They do have signs posted that warn you about falling rocks and dangerous cliffs but who reads those, right?!  One of my favorites was an unmarked trail I had read on someone's blog.  It traveled along one of the ridges that was literally a cliff on both sides and maybe a few feet to walk along the trail.  I always have the worst thoughts prior to doing something so risky, but once I'm there all the fear leaves me as I look out over the horizon and into the canyons below and the beauty just overcomes me.  I just stand in awe!!! 

This was the hike we trained for!  Because there is no trail and very dangerous due to the terrain and flash flooding, we hired a guide to get us here...the weeping wall also known as the Blue Hole.  This is where they filmed the movie Jurassic Park.  Seriously! It was just like Jurassic Park minus the dinosaurs!  We took the jeep off road for about an hour to reach the trail head.  From the trail head we hiked 8 miles which took us 9 hours!  We had to wear shoes called Tabis that have felt bottoms for gripping the rocks.  We bush whacked through the jungle, boulder hopped through rivers and waterfalls, climbed up and down cliffs, and scaled across ledges all to reach this amazing place.  This was the highlight of the trip for me and top on my bucket list!  Every cliff we climbed and every ridge we crossed opened up into beauty I can't describe!!  I was so fearful of not making it that I had the guide keep us on schedule and always reminded him...are we going to make it!?  He kept assuring me we were making good time and it would be no problem.  I think I did the happy dance when we finally got to the wall!!  After spending some time at the wall taking in all the beauty, we headed back.  Me being the photographer with my camera, Go Pro and cell phone, I decided that if I was going to fall, it would be on the way back.  I didn't want to damage my camera so I smartly gave it to our guide.  You see, anytime I take an adventure, if someone gets hurt it's usually me.  I always fall somehow!!  Guess I am a klutz!  Well, thank goodness I did because I managed to fall down a small waterfall and slip off one of the cliffs.  Thankfully I was holding onto a rope that was attached to the cliff which stopped me from falling.  My sister said, you almost died twice!  NO!!  I don't think so.  I would like to think I would have hurt myself pretty bad instead.  But, I was fine!!!  No problem at all!!!  It really didn't even freak me out.  Falling down the waterfall was like going down a slide!  I know, people say I'm crazy, but I know God will take me in His timing and until then, he will keep me safe to explore this glorious world He created!  It was worth every step!  This is one of the most breathtaking places I have ever been! They say you're pretty lucky if you are one of the few that make it all the way to the back wall.  Yes!  We made it!!  

And when we weren't hiking we were finding a road off the beaten path in the jeep.  I love the road less taken.  You never know where it may lead and I hate taking scenery photos with tons of other people in my shot.  Anyone else like this?!  One road we took brought us to this secluded beach that we had all to ourselves for the afternoon. We walked along the rocky coastline for about a mile enjoying the crashing waves which opened up at the end to a beautiful sandy beach.

Since we didn't get to backpack the Napali Coast we decided to see the beautiful coastline by boat.  We took a small boat excursion where we got to see the magnificent coastline and sea caves.  And wow, did we get lucky!  We also got to see dolphins, and we snorkeled with the sea turtles.  It was such a beautiful day! Should you ever go to Kauai and want to see the Napali Coast I highly recommend The Napali Experience company.  Our boat was small catamaran...didn't quite look like one to me but that's what they called it...that could fit into the sea caves but was also nice that we only had a total of 6 on the boat.  I love a small group excursion.  Much more personal and our guide was great!! 

Since we pretty much hiked the entire island and drove down every dirt road we could possibly find, we thought what better way to end our adventures than to see everywhere we had traveled from above so we took a DOORS OFF helicopter tour of the island.  Wow!!!  This was sooooo cool!!!  About the only thing we hadn't yet seen was a rainbow.  We didn't see a rainbow, we saw a double rainbow!!  It had rained heavily that morning so there was so many waterfalls too!  It was so amazing to fly over the ridges and as our pilot was telling us the their names we were able to say...we stood there!!  This trip was incredible!!  I will forever have the most amazing memories and stories to tell from this adventure!! 

Thanks for stopping by and reading about my fantastic and "once in a lifetime" journey!  Julie







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