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Old 01-29-2010, 01:05 AM   #1
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Default Alaka'i Wilderness... the secret garden of Kauai

The Alaka'i Swamp of Kauai is a result of eruptions millions of years ago that created a caldera over 12 miles in diameter. The swamp rests on the old caldera floor and receives hundreds of inches of rain annually. Better explanation, Kauai's Alakai Swamp The trails are not for weekend warriors but... we're talking a pristine wetlands system well worth the strenuous hike. These photos are from the Pu'u O Kila lookout.
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:07 AM   #2
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The Pihea Trail to the Alaka'i Swamp begins just past the Pu'u O Kila lookout.
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Old 01-29-2010, 05:28 AM   #3
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It looks breath taking, Equilibrium! How long did it take to hike, you lucky duck?
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:43 AM   #4
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Gorgeous!
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:28 AM   #5
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omg! I want new legs! I wanna be able to go there!
Your pix are fantastic!
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:49 PM   #6
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Me too! I wanna! So thanks for remembering to take your famous camera and sharing your visions with us!
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:29 PM   #7
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Looking forward to seeing more photos from the Alakai Wilderness.
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:13 AM   #8
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Did you hike down all that way to see it or was there a closer route?
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by havalotta View Post
Did you hike down all that way to see it or was there a closer route?
maybe her pix are the "closer route"!
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:09 AM   #10
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Rise and shine... it's 5:30 am and the weather looks good today...
More on the Alakai Swamp,
http://www.wildernet.com/pages/activity.cfm?actid=HIKAUAIO*59133hw&CU_ID=1 Dar ees no shortcut… You can always turn back which is what like 99% of everybody does once they hit those 266 steps that get you to the beginning of the swamp. The steps, some of them are only a foot long and some are over 10’ long, are easy peasy because you’re on a boardwalk… albeit uneven… missing in some spots… and the wire they put on it for traction didn’t stay attached good enough so you have to watch for that closely so you don’t end up slicing your ankles and doing a face plant on the boardwalk but… you get steps and there are tree branches to hang onto in tough spots. You’re really hiking along the mountain’s ridge and along the floor of the caldera so you go up and down then down some more then up then down and up. The trail starts out going down but… we all know what goes down must come up. This is a difficult trail, not the most difficult we’ve ever done but up there with some of the most difficult. There were times we were making our way through areas where a path was pretty overgrown much like what you and me had to do at Carney Fen… which would have turned most people back in the direction they came from. We were the oldest people up there. Every couple of hours or so we’d pass by die hards in their 20’s and 30’s that said good morning or good afternoon as they forged forward and one young guy gave us a diagram of an awesome side trail he had found then added he wished his mom and dad would do a trail with him but they were too old to make it… I reserved comment and said that was too bad then thanked him for the map. We crossed paths with three that were breathing hard because they had the wrong shoes and weren’t pacing themselves. I gave one gal a bottle of water... nope, they didn't bring anything to drink with them because they read on the map the trail was only 3.5 miles long... and figured they'd be in and out in under an hour. Ha... wrong. The gal looked like the typical tourist that followed a path and got in over her head but kept going with her friends and you gotta reward that “don’t give up” attitude... she sucked the water down half way then passed what was left to her companions. We crossed with another young guy up there by himself with a net and there were birds chirping and singing while a way cool butterfly flitted around. I nonchalantly asked him what he was doing with the net. He was very young and reminded me of a pasty wax bean with extremities. My husband started eye balling me when I asked the question then looked to the young guy waiting for an answer… Pillsbury knows when I’m bristled and said he was waiting to hear if the guy had a real good answer for having a net so it didn’t end up over the top of the guy's head and… I have taken nets away from people before and turned them in when we’ve been in “look but don’t touch” areas. I looooooooathe collectors who STEAL small animals or plants and the people that nab butterflies to mount them and sell them really irk me to no end too. He said he was studying evolution and was from the University. He showed me his stash of fruit flies in collection jars hidden behind a fallen tree and we had a nice little talk about fruit fly DNA. Soooo, that’s the sum total of what we ran into up there for the whole day taking the trail and the side trails. If you only do the main trail, you can make the 3.5 miles to the end in about 3 hours then 3 hours back but we needed to take the side trails so that added hours. This photo is from the very first descent down. That’s a rock trail you’re going down... what seems to be endless rock...
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