(as always, click on photos for larger view)
Yesterday I got up at 4:30 to be at Hawaii Forest and Trail (on Queen K by the harbor/Kealakehe turn). I got a free Waipio Rim Hike Adventure.
One of my friends from the Aloha theater, Joel Michelson, who works for Hawaii Forest and Trail, could not participate in a photo shoot to publicize the new Waipio Rim Hike, so they needed another old guy for the photos. Wanting to jump-start my new career as a male model, I agreed.
A large mini-bus transported us smoothly past Waimea to the country club, where we transferred to one of their Pinzgauer vehicles for a bouncing ride through one of those eucalyptus groves (planted on former sugar land and someday will be harvested for some purpose or another) to the trailhead.
The trail is about three miles long, winding through the rainforest, the strawberry guava crowding out the native ohia in places, past native lobelia, with several small waterfalls (like this small one above Hi'ilawe) en route. There are many vistas of Waipio from different vantage points, like this view of Waipio stream meeting the sea:
Plus, as much culture, natural history and Hawaiian legends as you can cram into your skull, all presented professionally. If I had paid the $149 for the hike, I would have felt well-served indeed. Of course, had I paid for the tour, I wouldn't have had to cross a stream several times to get the shot just right and then again a few times for the video. The life of a male model is tougher than I thought!
At one point we trekked down a little stream to the edge of a 1000' drop. A hands-and-feet-tingling moment. The amount of water isn't enough to create a waterfall, though. It dissipates into mist before it hits the ground. The photo doesn't do it justice:
At the end of the tour we got a spectacular view of the storied waterfall, Hi'ilawe:
Finally, here's the song about the waterfall, by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole: