Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Our October Contest - win No Worries Hawaii

In a quandry not knowing exactly which island to visit this fall? To provide you some direction we're giving away five free copies of the No Worries Hawaii planning guide to selected blog readers. To win all you have to do is write to us at and tell us what you enjoy most about this blog and why you'd like a copy of this Trailblazer guidebook. Creativity counts as does a compelling reason. Winning entries will be posted here at the end of the October. Good luck and thank you for participating!

To learn more about this guidebook, go to the book list in the right hand column and click on the No Worries Hawaii image.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Waimea Swings

Off the beaten track, up Menehune Road, you'll drive by a suspension bridge that beckons you across. It's rickety and creeky and worth the stop, even if only to check out the ancient ditch by the side of the road. Embedded in the rock is an archeological plaque commemorating the water conveyance remains and tunnel built by a mythical race of primitive engineers called the Menehunes.

For hikes upriver and more local lore, check out pages 144 and 172 in the Kauai Trailblazer guide.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Monk Seal In the News

With a telephoto lens, we caught this monk seal waking up from a snooze on Kauai's Larsen's Beach. His 17 month old relative, KP2, is now making news on Molokai. We hope all this attention brings awareness to the fact that these mammals are endangered and need protection. Cute all right, but definitely not pet material.

The monk seal is named for its folds of skin that somewhat resemble a monk's cowl, and because it is usually seen alone or in small groups. Hawaiians call the seal `Ilio holo I ka uaua, which means, "dog that runs in rough water." If you are lucky enough to see one, stay your distance and photograph only with a telephoto lens. Do not disturb.

Some current info:

We hope he will be relocated in the wild successfully.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Waimea Canyon's scenic superstar

A hike along the Kukui Trail to the bottom of rainbow-hued Waimea Canyon's rates in the top ten on Kauai. Start in the cool morning for this 5 mile, 2,075 ft venture down to Wiliwili Camp.

The canyon floor, still about 600 feet above sea level, will give you a faraway feel with towering century plants and cacti. River crossings can be refreshing or can turn to treacherous depending on the weather. Be mindful of flash flooding. For how to get there and parking, consult your Kauai Trailblazer guide.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tunnels Beach is a freaking dream.

Makana Ridge, a drop-dead view. This Kauai classic demands an encore. Snorkel, swim, spread out the picnic cloth. The place to be for an entire day, with plenty of beachcoming possible in either direction. This shot is at Tunnels Beach, just up the highway from Haena Beach Park. Parking can be a hassle. Kauai Trailblazer has descriptions of several places to leave the wheels and avoid the traffic jam.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Haena's wild beach is hiding in plain sight

Between the posh condos and the resorts of Princeville and the tourist packed Napali Coast at the end of the road are several miles of open sandy beach that are the North Shore’s getaway for those in the know.

Check out the access at the YMCA camp or Hanalei Colony Resort. Kiteboarders, collectible shell seekers and beachcombers will have a blast. Shallow reefs are near shore (swimming in the winter is very hazardous), great for wading. The place sees more than its share of rainbows and the churning sands are known as a place to find jewlery quality seashells.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Kilauea National Wildlife Refuge

For a good look at thousands of migratory seabirds, check out the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge on the North Shore. Laysan albatross, red-footed boobies, red-tailed and white-tailed tropicbirds, brown boobies, great frigatebirds, brown boobies, and wedge-tailed shearwaters all visit the windy site. You might see humpback whales, spinner dolphins, the endangered nene, monk seals, green turtles bobbing in the waves below, the scene is everchanging.

The Kilauea Lighthouse sits on the tip of the bluff and was built in 1913 as a navigational aid for commercial shipping. In 1976 is was deactivated and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. A small entrance fee is charged and a visitor's center and helpful docents are on site to interpret the action. Be sure to check out the binoculars on loan for spectacular views of the breaching whales.

Directions on how to get there and for more activities around Kilauea, consult your Kauai Trailblazer guidebook.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Is Kauai your wedding destination?

Either you've been to Kauai and already have your site chosen or it's always been a fantasy and you don't know where to begin. Here are a few tips and a few links to get you started.

First the basics.
1. A wedding license must be obtained. Cost is $65 payable to the wedding agent.
Kapaa District: Kenneth Kubota, 808-822-5122; Walter Smith, 808-821-6887; Grace Apana, 808-821-6887

Hanalei District: Dayna Santos, 808-826-7742; Jamie DeVorre, 808-826-7742

Koloa District: Alan Matsumoto, 808-332-7133
2. The prospective bridge and groom must appear together in person before the licensing agent with their filled out marriage license application
3. A marriage license application can be dowloaded frm the Hawaii State Government site:
4. The marriage license expires 30 days from and including the day of issuance.
5. If the wedding is to take place on a beach, a permit must be obtained by the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). The fee is 10 cents per squaare foot per day.

Internet sites we recommend:

If you want to scout locations, begin by looking through the pages of No Worries Hawaii or the Kauai Trailblazer guidebook.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Oahu Trailblazer Contest Winners

Mahalo to all our followers who entered! We greatly appreciated your input and compliments. Our five winners were from Goleta, CA; Fairbanks, AK; Hailey, ID; Ithaca, NY and DeRidder, LA. All are receiving signed copies of the 2009 Oahu Trailblazer.

From Teresa's winning entry: "In preparing for our first trip to Hawaii, I've been researching websites for forums and blogs to gather information in preparation of our trip.  I came across this website today and must admit the pictures are absolutely breathtaking.  It's almost like I'm there and makes me wish I was on the plane headed there tomorrow instead of November.  I'd love to win a book to help with the planning of our trip.  Thanks!"

Watch for our October contest when five free copies of Hawaii the Big Island Trailblazer will be awarded.