Saturday, December 12, 2009
Farewell to Kauai
As the day of our departure from Kauai neared, I feared that I would feel very sad on our last day. We've had such a great time on all the islands and avoided brutal subzero temperatures at home in Montana. Kauai's weather stayed glorious for our entire stay, and we were able to get a tiny taste of a rare phenomenon--giant swells, formed by a huge storm far north in the Aleutian Islands, that turned into 25-foot plus waves as they struck the Hawaiian Islands. We drove to Hanalei again and watched as these monsters crashed onto the beach. A photo can't capture their size, but you can see from the thick sea mist that the sea is roiling. The beach there was closed, but on Oahu, the giant waves triggered the Eddie Aikau Invitational Tournament, a surfer's dream that only occurs when the waves turn huge.
Surfers from around the Pacific flew in to compete, and the roads to the North Shore became completely gridlocked as thousands of fans did their best to reach the beach.
Now I'm in Northern California, experiencing the wind and rain from the same weather system as it drenches the Pacific Coast. Our Hawaiian Idyll has ended, but because it was so satisfying, I did not feel sad when we left. We watched the sun set at Lawai Beach, then drove to the airport for a red-eye to the mainland. But before we left, we arranged a time share trade back to this place for next November, certainly part of the reason for my lack of sadness.