Sunday, December 26, 2010

Red dirt canyon waterfall

The day started with a sail and snorkel trip out of Port Allen in Kauai.  We saw humpback whales, sea turtles and spinner dolphins.  It was a laid back way of seeing the Napali coast.  

Later in the day, we got a bit more adventuresome and visited the Waimea Canyon on the west side of the island.  

Stretching over 10 miles long and a mile wide, the Waimea Canyon has many opportunities for taking pictures, hiking and mountain biking.  The conditions for taking photographs in the afternoon weren't the best, there was quite a bit of haze. I met a man with incredible camera gear and asked him for some tips.  He said to come back another day, the conditions are best at 8am. That time didn't work well for this vacation.

Waimea means red water and this is the home of the Dirt Shirt Company where the shirts are dyed with "100% red dirt."

At the Red Dirt outlet, the episode of Mike Rowe's Dirty Jobs plays telling the story of his experience in Kauai learning about the process.  

One of our favorite stops at the canyon was this red dirt waterfall across the street from the 1500 foot elevation sign on Highway 550.

We stopped at a turnout for a view of the canyon and saw a couple across the street looking intently at something.  Afraid we might be missing something, we wandered their way.  

I'm glad we did.  

Over the years, I have met many landscapers who designed streams and waterfalls with pockets of plantings along the banks of the streams.  Sometimes with success, sometimes a bit forced.  Here nature created a beautiful design.  The pockets of plants have grasses, ferns and bamboo orchids.  

The mountain bikers have a route through this area and even built bridges including this one.  I just stood back and watched in awe as they traveled across ridges along the edge of the canyon.  

This adventure ended with meeting an older woman standing by the bridge alongside the canyon.  I was concerned maybe something was wrong.  It turned out she was the lookout person for her son, a professional photographer.  She was to alert them when anyone came close to their location down the slope of the canyon along the exposed roots of trees.  The subject of the photograph was nude.  That was one place I didn't go exploring!
Other waterfalls in Kauai we visited:

Opaekaa Falls

Wailua Falls

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