clouds moving in on viewpoint at Pu'u o Kila
The Pihea trail starts at the Pu'u o Kila Lookout at the top of cliffs falling into the Kalalau Valley which descends to the ocean. On the way to the trail head a road worker stopped us then gestured us through with a shaka. The trail starts out following the rim. Before the path turns inland into a different valley, it ascends to the Pihea Vista. By this time the clouds had begun to roll in and the vista was only visible through occasional holes in the clouds.
Clouds rolling in at Pu'u o Kila
Clouds in at Pu'u o Kila
Ferns covvered the ground like an army of green crabs. Ohia trees lined the path with thick clusters of thin gnarled trunks, standing like the twigs in a witches broom or like stalks of petrified sea weed. Areas of multi-colored moss and lichens made a patchwork blanket over the feet of trees. Rowshan rejoiced at the sight of rich patches of clay-- red, black, yellow. All around us we could hear birds but we didn't see them since they hid in the leaves. Kauai is one of the few islands that still has a population of native birds. It has no mongooses.
Fern frond unfurling
Ferns from below
The path came to a stream and eventually reached a picnic area. Rowshan and Jeff took a swim in a cool pool formed by an eroded concrete dam. It was an uphill hike back. When we got to the part of the trail that looked out over the ocean, the valley had completely filled with clouds. We (rather boastfully) assured the late comers that the view that they had missed earlier was fabulous.
Jeff, Rowshan and Tamia
Clouds fill the forest
By the time we got back to camp, my Uncle Jim, Aunt Charm, cousin Noe with her husband, Chris, and son, Kai and 2nd cousins, Jamie and Mika had arrived. All were enjoying appetizers and wine (for the adults). Sweaty and smelly, we hugged everyone and got some wine and cheese.
Waimea canyon from southern ridge