Thursday, August 03, 2006
Kauai's Kalalau Valley Lookout
The towering, majestic cliffs of Kauai's Na Pali ("Pali" = "Cliff") coast represent one of the Kauai's most spectacular sights. While numerous waterfalls and streams (that are all powered by the wettest spot on the planet, Mt. Waialeale) quietly but dilligently carve out rugged valleys, the ocean just as inexorably pounds the earth down below into Pali. Stone-walled terraces still exist in the valleys as monuments to where Hawaiians once lived and cultivated taro.
While the Na Pali coastline can be experienced in many ways - on foot (via the Kalalau Trail that starts at Kokee State Park), via a helicopter, or on a raft - the easiest, and arguably, the most visually stunning views (although one could just as easily argue that any view of the Na Pali coastline is destined to be "visually stunning", so that comparisons are essentially moot!) can be had from the Kalalau Valley Lookout (~4000 ft. elevation). You can get there simply by following Waimea Canyon road all the way to the end (see my earlier Waimea Canyon in Color blog entry).
The lookout area is typically shrouded in Mt. Waialeale's cloud cover; though if the clouds are slowly drifting out toward the water, only a bit of patience is required and they are likely to part long enough (at least in spurts) to permit a peek of this magnificent valley. However, if there are heavy clouds coming in from the ocean, you may need a considerably heavier dose of patience to catch a view!
Kalalau Valley Lookout is my Church, for it is here that I feel closest to the heart and soul of the world and universe. It is here that I most strongly resonate with Einstein's Cosmic Religious Feeling. And it is here that I can best hear the faint whisper of the true answer to the question, "Who am I?"