Hawaii – November 2018 – Day 19 Kauai and the Grand Canyon of Hawaii

We flew from Maui through Honolulu to Kauai on a Tuesday evening. Using google maps we made our way to our hotel, which took us past the shipping docks to who knows where.

The following morning we were up and on our way before sunrise. After about an hour and a half, and a quick breakfast in Waimea, we made our way up to Waimea Canyon.

We were greeted by the official bird of Hawaii – the rooster.

6136.jpg

 

 

We made our way through the park until we reached the famed Kalalau Overlook. If it looks familiar, it should, it was used in Jurassic Park.

We are about 4000′ above the ocean at this point.

6204.jpg

 

 

Look closely you will see the helicopter well below in the valley.

6192.jpg

 

 

The other highlight of the area is Waimea Canyon.

6211.jpg

 

 

Waipo’o Falls cascades into the canyon.

6238.jpg

 

6244.jpg

 

 

From a distance you can see why it has the nickname Grand Canyon of Hawaii.

It is immense, especially given how small the island is overall. This area of Kauai is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen, and well worth the trip.

6259.jpg

 

 

 

We made our way back down to the coast, and found this dirt road that continued in the direction of the bluffs we had just been on.

6353.jpg

 

 

Eventually we reached the end of the road and found this amazing secluded beach with a view of Ni’Hau.

6314.jpg

 

 

The waves, while not as impressive as what was in Maui, still made a great ‘Hawaii Five O’ look.

6325.jpg

 

 

But it was the view of the cliffs that made the dusty ride worthwhile.

6309.jpg

 

 

On our return trip to Lihue we stopped by the site of a Russian Fort, which was near the town of Waimea. Just down the hill from this fort a river ran into the ocean making some great sand dunes.

6375.jpg

 

 

Further along the coast we found Salt Pond Park and Beach. Nearby pools produce the famed Hawaiian sea salt, but the beach was more picturesque.

6398.jpg

 

 

Our final stop of the day was at Kauai Coffee. Very touristy, but amusing.

6424.jpg

 

 

They claim to have 4 million coffee trees, and near the visitor center you can take a walk amongst them.

6408.jpg

 

 

They also had some displays on how the beans are dried. These are for show, as this is a large commercial processing facility (that does not offer real tours of the plant).

6421.jpg

 

 

Remember that drive in the dark – it was much better in the sun!

6427.jpg

 

 

An amazing view at the Menehune Fishpond, literally a mile from our little hotel. The moral of this view is don’t always trust first impressions, the hotel and the views were spectacular – you just have to go through the cargo shipping area when you come from the airport.

6444.jpg

 

 

 

Coudersport, PA – May 2018 – Ice Mine

In the small north central Pennsylvania mountain town of Coudersport is a cool (literally) little tourist attraction known as the Ice Mine.

Technically it is not a mine, it is a small cave that due to some unique geothermal reasons cold air gets trapped in the mountain during the winter. Once summer comes the cold air begins to expel the warm air, causing ice on the moisture that seeps into the mountain.

2018 05 25 132 Coudersport PA Ice Mine.jpg

 

 

 

It had been a tourist attraction up until the 1960s when it closed, but has recently been re-opened.

2018 05 25 133 Coudersport PA Ice Mine.jpg

 

 

We showed up because of a huge sign in town saying ‘Ice Mine is Open’, but as we arrived we found that it was supposed to open the next morning as we were met with a sign that said ‘closed’. Still I drove up.

We did however have the good fortune of meeting Gary, the owner, who was more than happy to show us around.

2018 05 25 136 Coudersport PA Ice Mine.jpg

 

 

 

 

Sure enough on this 85 degree day ice was pushing up out of the ‘mine’, and the air temperature near it was about 45 degrees.

2018 05 25 137 Coudersport PA Ice Mine

 

 

 

The ‘mine’ is at the bottom of a 17′ pit, and goes down another 17′ into the ground. As a result of the perpetually cold environment the moss and other growth in the pit is more similar to Northern Ontario than Northern Pennsylvania.

2018 05 25 138 Coudersport PA Ice Mine

 

 

 

While not the most impressive sight around, it is still a very ‘cool’ experience, and Gary is a great guy who is proud of his hometown, and would welcome a visit – they are indeed now open for the summer. If you find yourself driving across historic U.S. 6 across northern Pennsylvania – go see him. And if you want to know more detail on how ice can form in the summer check out the wiki page

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coudersport_Ice_Mine

2018 05 25 140 Coudersport PA Ice Mine.jpg