You can barely see the point in this picture, but it’s the very last point you see jutting out in the center of the photo. It’s about three miles down a hot and dirty trail……just how we like ‘em.
Most of the trail is pretty easy going, and Joey and I just follow Jewel as she skips along.
Until we come to the point where the road disappears. We could go straight and balance across a six inch plank or take the “easier” route and go up the side of the mountain…. Umm..yeah, we chose the easy route.
We got a late start so we knew we’d be in the heat of the day, but at the start of our hike we were under cloud cover and even had a few sprinkles so thought we had it made in the shade for the rest of the hike. Then we busted past that grey cloud and it was nothing but sun the rest of the day, and we were HOT. Not a coincidence now that I find out Ka'ena means “the heat”! Not a coincidence either that not many people were on this hike while we were. It felt great, though! There was a spot that we considered hiking down to the water to cool off but it was so early on we figured we’d have another chance, but we never did.
The guidebooks all recommend taking the northern approach to the point, because it’s a nice flat path out the dunes, as you can see in the below photo.
Personally, I didn’t know what to think of these dunes. They were beautiful and unexpected, even though I’ve been here before (just forgot about them), but they were also a lot like the razor on top of barbed wire. THE LAST THING I WANTED TO TREDGE THROUGH AFTER DRIPPING WITH SWEAT AND WANTING NOTHING MORE THAN TO JUMP IN THE OCEAN.
Kaʻena Point is a spear-shaped protrusion into the Pacific Ocean. Some ancient Hawaiian folklore states that Kaʻena Point is the "jumping-off" point for souls leaving this world.
After finally cooling off we started exploring the beach and noticed that the beach here is nothing but wave tumbled coral pieces, large pieces…..not something we’d seen before, but is now in my car to add to her collection. While they beach combed I jumped back in the water on the west side and just as Jewel came in the largish waves to join me I was quickly pushing her against the current back out. There was a Hawaiian Monk Seal about twenty feet away heading straight for us, and I wasn’t so sure we were welcome in his cove!
I grabbed the Droid as fast as I could to snap a picture of him, but this was the best I could do. Ha! I did take this picture but it was off an informational sign out there explaining that the area is a protected natural habitat for the endangered Hawaiian monk seal and to basically ……..stay away. The one I saw sure didn’t look this cute He looked like he was on a mission to get me out of his water…..quick! Man…..What a rush that was. Can I have an encore? (Jewel had me to take this picture so that I could show you all what it looked like)..aww
We had some great views from up there!
Why do boys always have to scare girls? He thinks it’s funny to do push ups over an eight foot hole. Jewel and I, do not.
After getting fully rested up, and still having plenty of ice cold water left, we begrudgingly made our way back towards civilization. But before we could even leave the dunes we walk smack dab into an albatross nest.
I used that photo to show how large this chick is.
I didn’t want to get too close to him, and I wasn’t so sure he wouldn’t try to come after me, but he remained perfectly calm. There was a large albatross circling overhead, I’m sure freaking out over us, but no dive bombs to our heads. We also were lucky enough to see some Nene birds, which are almost extinct!
The sun wasn’t near as intense on our trek back, and with it behind us instead of glaring in our faces, we got to enjoy the views much more. It was less a hike now and more like a stroll in the park. So naturally Joey had to turn it up a notch and take the less easy route back.
He’s taking the old road that washed away, while we take the new trail over the washed out mountainside.
This was as close as I dared to get to it.
and whattya know?? there’s another cave. Caves are EVERYWHERE over here, it seems.
Back on the trail………….
What trail???????? Back on the boulders that you better cling to the walls so you don’t slide down them, trail.
If I ever find myself with the opportunity to climb across an arch, I’m going to take it.
I even got a group shot out of it!! (For the record: Most of the time I was walking with them, but occasionally I would run ahead or behind with my Moto Droid to capture the scene.)
After about mile four and a half Jewel did ask her Dad if he would carry her. Also at this point she says she’s never hiking this again. I asked, “What if there are monk seals at the end?”
She say’s…”I’m going!!”
Having her Dad carry her did not last long once she saw coconuts down by the water. You see……we’ve been collecting coconuts so we can try something out that we saw on Survivor that involves coconuts and blowholes. That’s all the info I can release at this time, but stay tuned for more details.
She went all the way down there to get her coconuts and then threw them up the hill as she hiked back up, until eventually she could pawn them off on her dad to carry.
Which of course means now I’m HOLDING EVERYTHING ELSE. But ahhhh…….I really could care less.
As we got closer to the end of the trail and towards the beach we came across a local fisherman who told us he had refreshments in the cooler in his truck and to please help ourselves. We thanked him, but walked right past his truck once we got to it to just have his friend that was sitting in the truck run after us bringing us two ice cold bottles of water! Amazing! Those two old timers are what the Aloha Spirit is all about and it felt great to be on their receiving end. What a perfect ending to an already awesome day. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again….Nature Has The Best Playgrounds!!