Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy 2012 to everyone!  Year 2011 was a fantastic one and 2012 is going to be equally as exciting. 

After the foraging dinner on Kauai, Jojo and I had a friend, Sarah Schreib, one of the greatest Little Bellas mentors, come to visit us.  The week was jam packed and we checked off most of the activities in the 'Adventures' section of the Kauai guidebook.  The guidebook does not kid around when they place things under the adventures section.  On the first day, we undertook one of the biggest adventures of my life.  We embarked on the secret tunnel hike where we followed a faint (big emphasis on faint) hiking trail for a couple of miles to the secret tunnels.  This hiking trail doubled as a pig path and there was about six inches of mud the entire way.  It was a slow couple of miles to say the least. These secret tunnels were built in the 1920s to ferry water from Kauai’s wetter north shore through the mountains to the west coast to feed the sugarcane industry.  They are impressive.  The first one is about a mile long and we had headlamps and a dime size light at the end of the tunnel to guide us.  The water was about ankle deep and mostly clear.  The second tunnel was just a black abyss and we had to wade through silt about shin deep. The third tunnel was extra secret and very hard to find.  After a half an hour jungle bush whack, we finally discovered the most tenuous tunnel of the three.  This one was also a mile long and was filled thigh high with water and silt.  We had to practically run through this tunnel because we were racing daylight.  The adventure was well worth is as we were rewarded with an amazing waterfall at the end of the journey.

View of Waimea Canyon
It was hard to top anything after that epic adventure, but we had to try.  We ventured to the southern end of the island and rode our bikes to the top of Waimea Canyon.  This is one of my favorite climbs.  Seventeen miles long and you get views of Kauai’s grand canyon or the Pacific the entire time.

 Polihale State Park

This is the ditch before the tubing tunnel

A mandatory post ride stop for jojo's shaved ice
That night we went to the end of the road and camped out at Polihale State Park.  It was the first time I’ve ever slept on a beach and the first time I’ve been camping in years.  The day was one of the more perfect days I’ve ever seen on the island and the waves were perfect for surfing.

We also decided that we hadn’t had enough of the tunnels so we found some more to tube through.  This is definitely my preferred method of travel through these things.  It brought us to an incredible swimming hole complete with a rope swing.  It was something straight out of Swiss Family Robinson. 

I have since traded in my surfboard for skis and spent the holidays in Vermont.  It’s great to see my friends and family and get into a training rhythm again.  I’m thrilled to spend January skiing.  Now, just think snow!