I stand in mountain pose facing the sunrise with my eyes closed. Breathing deep, the carrot orange glow of daybreak infuses me from the inside out with a warm luminosity. The sun salutations feel familiar and welcome, my body instinctively moving from one pose to the next. When I am finished, I feel strong, limber, balanced and calm.
Dan and I enjoy a leisurely breakfast (our "normal" yogurt, fresh pineapple, toasted coconut and macadamia nuts) while we watch the local news. We crack open the laptops to check our emails and Facebook. We talk about going snorkeling but I have two towels and one of them dried off the dogs yesterday. I remember reading about a website that has trail routes called kauaiexplorer.com, we decide Nounou trail looks good.
I finally got to get all hot and sweaty. I have been craving a good workout to release some of this anxiety since we got here. Today, I got just that. Nounou trail is on Sleeping Giant, it's the mountain you can see from our dining room window.
Fifteen minutes from our house, 3 miles one way, and a 1200 foot evevation gain (thank you Shannon Hall for the guide book!). The smells are totally different than the Rockies. The fruit that carpets the forest floor, fermenting in the sun, smells like wine casks. Sometimes, the scent of flowers dance under your nose. The canopy is thick with a huge varity of plants and trees.
Looking behind us
The roots act like a stairway, making the going easier. The red dirt of Kauai is wet (because of the rains) and makes the going a little tricky.
Giant Lodgepole Pines
Yup, I'm a tree hugger! This is a giant Oak.
Looks like we should continue on here...we'd been going downhill for about 1/4 mile before we decided we missed a turn and doubled back...this wasn't it! We backtrack some more.
This way! The real assent begins, a steep 15% grade.
This is an example of my inability to get the camera to do what I want it to do! In that little opening is the first sighting of the ocean, the breezes are welcome!
Up, up, up. About 18% grade now.
Almost to the top. The famous Bali Hai Mountains on the far right, jutting up, signifies the beginning of the Napali Coast.
View from the top. I took a shot from this angle because we live down there. If you look along the coast line, to the left is a tree, just off center. Go up from there, inland, there is a light green groomed field, to the right of that is a baseball field where the farmers market is. We live about 5 minutes up from that.
At the top there is small clearing with a covered picnic table. Underneath, Loel and Sarah, an elderly Menonnite couple, maybe 70, are enjoying their lunch. We are impressed, we saw them heading up the trail about a 1/4 mile ahead of us. She is talkative, he is not, both are extreemely nice. She learns of how we came here and when Dan tells her how everything just lined right up, tells us it is God's way. She asks us if we have jobs, I say no, she asks me if I have faith that the lord will provide and I say yes, she likes that. She asks me if we have been to church yet and I tell her we are not really church people. She persists, telling us about all the churches they've been to on the island. A young group of 3 hikers join us after checking out the view. I ask them if there is an ocean view and they point the way. Craving an ocean breeze, we say goodbye. What we see is the picture above, almost a panorama. A little opening in the trees on a cliff top makes it impossible to get a 360 degree view. Perched on a bench, munching their lunch, is a couple from Seattle. They come here a lot for vacation, would love to live here. We tell them about our new adventure and they share theirs with us. Several years ago, they quit their jobs, sold everything, and bought a sailboat. For 3 years they cruised from San Francisco past Mexico, Central America, South America, and back through the Panama Canal to Florida where they ended their journey and sold their boat. They suggest eating at Scotty's Beachside BBQ in town (that's what I call our downtown of Kapa'a) and we head down! We pass Loel and Sarah on the way back down and she asks for our names so she can pray for us. I'm happy to know someone like Sarah is praying for our success here!
Big ol' root going across the trail.
Ah, done! I'm hot, I need a cold beer and food!
Lunchtime view. It was good to go to the restaurant because we didn't know we had such a great beach park. Not shown, on the inland side, is a paved bike path. Oh yea, can you see the chicken?
Since Baxter and Lucy didn't come and we had some errands to run, we went back home to get them and our flip flops. I forgot to bring them for post hike comfort. Baxter was running wild through the yard, chased a rooster and got it to fly 25-30 feet, straight up and over the hedge. There is a secluded area on the property (for parities I guess) that I haven't checked out yet and I can see Baxter's outline chasing a rooster through the hedges. This is what I found.
I need to add a disclaimer. Sometimes when I post pictures they say they are centered and they are not. I don't know why it does this and I don't have the patience or desire to figure it out, please forgive me. Also, sometimes the font changes...