Hiking and Climbing
This was a long, meandering loop trail that took us up & down through a paperbark forest, other invasive plants (e.g. uluhe, etc) and numerous stream crossings. Mid-hike we could have rewarded ourselves with a refreshing dip in a deep pool which is also a great spot for a snack but we wanted to keep moving. Trail was described as having tricky and confusing junctions where hikers go missing. Plus, it’s a slippery terrain due to a rainy, winter season rating this hike has a HARD one! Luckily we had seasoned hikers from the Hawaiian Trail & Mountain Club showing us the way. We started the hike around 9:00am and ended 1:30pm (4.5 hrs) without taking a dip.
Why It’s Awesome: The only way to learn about how to get there is from locals. There’s really nowhere to park to start the hike into the valley. We knew someone who lived nearby for a parking spot. Although relatively easy to hike (a dense green trail with a slight upslope and stream crossings), the difficulty comes from meandering through the trail and knowing which way to turn.
"There are a handful of places that stand out as excellent locations for wildlife watching in Florida… but the place to see alligators is in the home of the Gators, Gainesville. Located at the north end of the prairie, the La Chua Trail provides an excellent place for wildlife watching, with an elevated boardwalk and lengthy dike out to an observation tower." – Florida Hikes
Why visit the Grand Canyon? For activity junkies like us there’s the lure to hike, bike, mule ride, raft, whitewater, helicopter or experience land tours (bus, jeep or van). And, hello… how about just for its amazing landscape! Unfortunately, we had planned little time in the area and didn’t even know if the trip up would be doable. We’ve never been in Arizona for the winter and were worried about freezing weather… getting around in the RV.
We turned to page 278 of "Guide to Scenic Highways & Byways" by National Geographic which talked about how “Sand laid down about 300 million years ago became sandstone, tinted red by the presence of iron, then shaped by water and wind…” to what you see today. It’s only a short but sweet 7.5 mile scenic drive (Exit 298 to Hwy 179) of Red Rock country. We make an afternoon of it.
Small surf today so after waking up at 8am, having coffee and breakfast of canned tuna and rice, we’re off on a new hiking adventure. Oh, only about 3,000 visitors to Hanauma Bay on a daily basis (except Tuesdays) but …
What is the most spontaneous, last minute adventure you’ve ever taken? After a planned drive for breakfast at Sweet Home Waimanalo, we discussed what else we should do today. I had mentioned hiking Mariner’s Ridge Trail as other friends have done the hike and although we only wore our flip flops, we decide to go for it!
Pillbox (a.k.a, Ka’iwa Ridge Trail) is considered an easy hike and is located in Lanikai, Oahu. I would say it’s easy because it’s only a 0.7mi. trail but with an intermediate start and return where the trail is the most steep. There are a few parking spots on the street in front of Mid Pacific County Club. Walk up the road and you’ll see it stems off from Kaelepulu Dr. to find the trail head.