August was a big month for Aina Imagery. This past Thursday I attended the Nextworking mixer over at Aloha Tower. Hundreds of Honolulu professionals attended the event. Not only did I meet a bunch of interesting people, but Aina Imagery happened to be the event?s main sponsor. One of the highlights of the evening was seeing my images printed on waterproof postcards being used as drink coasters. Talk about functional artwork!
The biggest news I have for you is that after months of preparation, I finally hiked the Kalalau Trail on Kauai?s magnificent Na Pali coast. My friends and I started early on Friday morning, 5:30 am to be exact. We were a little bummed when we first began hiking since there was a steady, drizzling rain falling on us. However, as the day progressed, we were quite thankful for the showers as it kept the temperature nice and cool.
Traversing across countless switchbacks, we made quick progress along the 11 mile trail, stopping every 2 miles so I could take photographs from different vantage points. At the 5 mile mark, my friends and I stopped at a stream to filter water for the second half of our journey. On the advice of a friend who had hiked the trail before, we took off our shoes and soaked our feet in the cool mountain water for 45 minutes before resuming the trek. Feeling rejuvenated, we hiked the remaining 6 miles to our campsite at Kalalau Beach on just 3 liters of water.
One of the highlights of the hike occurred at the 7 through 9 mile mark where the trail darts in and out of a ridge-line. These spots afford hikers with an unencumbered view of the entire coastline, which happens to be one of the most dramatic landscape?s on the planet. Filled with natural arches and tons of waterfalls, it was surreal to be so high up in the mountains. From our vantage point, the waterfalls looked like streams falling off of cliffs.
We arrived at our campsite in just 7 hours, which is a pretty good time to hike 11 miles through steep mountains. Unfortunately, we ended up setting up camp in the rain. That first night I slept on the beach in my bivy. As I was setting it up, a sand crab scurried in unbeknownst to me. As I was attempting to go to sleep I heard scratching and turned on my phone?s flashlight. I was surprised to see the uninvited guest near my head. After giving the crab the boot, I slept quite soundly.
Saturday was spent exploring Honopu, the two adjoining beaches west of Kalalau. We walked over at lowtide with my Mamiya 645 Pro camera to get some shots, climb along the rocks, and to chill with some Hawaiian monk seals. Honopu is comprised of two beaches which are separated by a gigantic stone arch. The beach got it?s name from the sound the wind and waves make during the winter months. Trust me when I say that it is definitely one of the most gorgeous beaches in all of the Hawaiian Islands.
Instead of hiking back 11 miles, we decided to catch a boat ride back on Sunday with a man from Hanalei who charges locals $50. Money well spent! The ride back got me really excited about planning my next trip to Kauai. In the summer of 2013 we are going back to the Na Pali coast, only this time we are going to kayak it. I can?t wait!
Mahalo for the continued support