Wai'ale'ale's Sorrow

During my visit last year to Kauai, I had my eyes set on getting to a special area of the island that is sometimes referred to as the 'Blue Hole'. Well, I never made it. The blue hole is the base of Wai'ale'ale mountain, which you see in the distance in this image, with the water pouring down the craters sides, also known as the Wall of Tears. After a several miles of off-roading down a road my rental jeep had no business being on(don't tell on me!), I found myself at a water diversion(actually seen in the movie Jurassic Park), and a stream leading up towards the crater walls. It was several miles to the actual back of the wall, So I started a journey up the stream to see what I could find. The 'trail' was a bit of a joke, as I continually lost it and got dumped back out into the stream. Eventually I gave up and spent most of the time walking up the stream itself, trying my best to keep my footing and not slip, fall, and put myself in a bad situation. At this point, I was miles from anyone, and highly doubtful that anyone would come by if something were to happen. Mix that with all of the continuous warnings of flash flooding on the island, and I was left with a sense of urgency to get in, get a shot, and get out. As the tour helicopters buzzed in and out of the hole, rotating the paying customers through like a conveyer belt, I trudged up the stream. It's a jaw dropping place. Even on the drive in there are several spots where you turn a bend, and the view opens up to the wall. Breathtaking for sure, and that continued as I made my way up, getting closer, and seeing the falls clearer. I found myself whispering 'wow' plenty. Eventually I came upon this scene and tried to capture the sense of being there as best I could. The clouds moved through above, but luckily there were some breaks from time to time, causing dappled light on the wall. That, the falls, some african tulips, and the gurgle of the stream flowing out of the crater made for special moment for me. Going much further than this proved to be a pretty monumental task, as you have to scale some waterfalls, and maneuver even more difficult terrain. I checked my ego 'at the door', and retreated to my waiting car. Maybe during another trip!
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