It was late in the day when I decided to check out the Waimea Canyon drive. I was actually on my way to a beach to photograph sunset, but I did a quick detour because I hadn’t been up the mountain in 5 years. Waimea Canyon is known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, and while the moniker is worthy, the visual comparison is not. Imagine the Grand Canyon with lush green accents and sheer cliffs leading to the Pacific Ocean. Within the Waimea Canyon State Park is Mount Wai’ale’ale, considered the wettest place on Earth, with an average of 452 inches of rain a year and a record of 683! That is why the Park has some spectacular waterfalls.
The first overlook was socked in with fog, so we drove a bit further and I took some quick snaps of the Pacific side of the canyon. The clouds come in from the ocean and hit the cliffs and swirl around in a mesmerizing dance. At times you are totally enveloped in clouds, which is a wonderful sensory experience, although if you are standing on the edge of a cliff you’d better stay still until it clears. Here is a sample. I’ll plan to go back later this week and spend more quality time there, weather permitting.
BTW, that “little” detour ending up costing me the sunrise, as I raced (well, you don’t actually race in Hawaii, where the top speed limit is 50 mph) the setting sun and ending up on the losing end. Like I said, there’s always next time.