Kauai

Last Sunday (November 3, 2013), I returned from a nine-day trip to the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. Quite frankly, the trip was awesome. Kauai is an amazing place with a perfect combination of awe-inspiring scenery, lush, tropical foliage, nearly perfect weather, endless recreational opportunities, and a laid-back, relaxed atmosphere devoid of the seedy party culture you’ll find on many other tropical islands (in the Caribbean, for example). And then there are the smells. Kauai smells! Sometimes it’s the pungent odor of fermenting fruits, but mostly it’s the sweet aroma of whatever tropical foliage happens to be prevalent in that particular area. I’ll never forget all of Kauai’s different smells.

While I can certainly continue to wax poetic on Kauai’s amazing characteristics, instead I’ll dive into some details about the trip. We kept ourselves very busy. In fact, I didn’t see the beach in front of the hotel (Kalapaki Beach) during the daytime until the fourth day of the trip because we were always out exploring the island.

We visited beaches (Lumahai, Kalapaki, Pu’u Poa, Lawai, Ke’e, Kekaha, Shipwreck and Hanakapiai), hiked 22 miles of trails (Awa’awapuhi and parts of Kalalau twice), went on a Na Pali Coast sunset dinner cruise, visited roadside attractions (Waimea Canyon, Kalalau Lookout, Pu’u o Kila Lookout, Wailua Falls, Opaeka’a Falls and Kilauea Lighthouse), visited resorts (Kauai Marriott, Grand Hyatt Kauai and St. Regis Princeville), golfed (Kauai Lagoons), visited towns (Lihue, Kapa’a, Poipu, Waimea, Kilauea, Princeville and Hanalei), watched sunsets (from Kekaha Beach, Ke’e Beach, the Kalalau Trail, Shipwreck Beach and the Pacific Ocean), ate at cool restaurants (The Beach House, Duke’s Barefoot Bar and Bubba’s Burgers), and even fell asleep on a beach one night (Kalapaki Beach).

There were certainly plenty of things we wanted to do that we did not do (Kayaking, more hiking, possibly a helicopter tour, perhaps surfing and paddleboarding, et al.), but I have no regrets. This trip was about as perfect as a vacation can get. Enjoy the photos!

Stanford at Utah

The fifth-ranked Stanford Cardinal football team took on the Utah Utes this afternoon at the University of Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium. Both teams played well, but I would say that Utah controlled more of the game. Utah’s defense never really let Stanford get in a rhythm on offense, and Utah’s offense repeatedly ran the same few plays (draws and wide receiver screens) because Stanford simply could not stop them. A goal line stand with less than a minute left gave Utah the upset victory.

Fall in the Tetons

Despite a cold forecast for Friday night (temps were to drop down to the 20s overnight), Mindy and I went ahead with our plan to go camping in the Tetons for the weekend. We were prepared for the cold night on Friday. We were not prepared for the entire weekend to be rainy/snowy/cold, however, because the forecast called for mostly sunny weather and temperatures in the 60s for Saturday and Sunday. Instead, the weather was blustery cold in the 40s with scattered rain/snow showers.

Our main purpose for this trip was to use our new cameras to re-take (i.e., improve upon) a lot of the same photos we’ve taken on prior trips. We planned to photograph all available sunrises and sunsets, at least. To start, Friday night’s sunset wasn’t very good. Saturday morning’s sunrise turned out to be a complete waste. We gave up on Saturday’s sunset to spend time with some friends we met up with in West Yellowstone. Sunday’s sunrise actually revealed the peaks of the Tetons to us for the first time, but cloud cover made it a mostly monochromatic affair.

The weekend was enjoyable nonetheless. The weather was annoying, but it was great to meet up with some friends, and we still managed to get some good shots, despite the weather.

Check out the time lapse video I made of Sunday’s sunrise. And I will be posting many more photos (for better or worse) in the coming days/weeks. Enjoy!

It’s Almost That Time of Year

Salt Lake City is a major destination for the pre-season ski movie tours. Warren Miller usually does their world premiere here, and PowderWhore Productions is based here, so Salt Lake City is usually one of their first tour stops. If you live in Salt Lake City and you haven’t been to at least a couple ski movies by the end of October, then you’re not paying attention. Up this week: PowderWhore Productions’ “Elevation”.