Ragnar Trail North Shore Oahu

Ragnar Trail OahuLast weekend (April 21–22), I participated in a Ragnar Trail race on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu.

The setting on the North Shore near Turtle Bay was very nice. The weather, however, was not nice. It rained the whole time (off and on). Sections of the trails were covered with puddles and ankle-deep mud, especially the yellow trail. Although the conditions weren’t at all what I was expecting when I signed up, the event was awesome.

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Trip to the Big Island

Last October, I visited the Big Island of Hawaii. Some highlights from the trip included hiking in Waipio and Polulu Valleys, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and a round of golf at the Mauna Kea golf course. I compiled some of my photos and videos from the trip in the video below. I hope you enjoy it. (I’ll publish photos from the trip and, perhaps, a more in-depth article sometime later.)

Oahu 2014

Last Thursday (October 30, 2014), I returned from a vacation to the Hawaiian Island of Oahu. The trip was very fun, but–make no mistake–Oahu is not a paradise. No paradise should be as crowded as Oahu! Kauai is a paradise. Oahu is more like an awesome playground, which is not a bad thing.

Over the course of my week-long trip, I hiked, surfed, kayaked, drove around the entire island (except for a 10-mile stretch west of Hale’iwa) and visited a lot of the major sites. I stayed very busy.

My only complaint about Oahu is in regards to the hiking. Oahu’s hiking simply cannot compare to the hiking on Kauai, in my opinion. It was difficult for me not to compare the two islands during this trip. For example, the biggest hike I did on Oahu was a portion of the Maunawili Trail. The trail did have a few excellent front-row views of the Ko’olau Range’s steep cliffs, but, overall, I was mostly bored by the scenery. The best parts of the Maunawili Trail were not even as good as the worst parts of the Kalalau Trail on Kauai. Oh, well. The hike was enjoyable, nonetheless.

Oahu does, however, seem to have more accessible water activities compared to Kauai. Waikiki is a perfect spot to learn how to surf. Kaneohe Bay is a calm bay great for a kayaking novice like myself. Hanauma Bay is a very inviting snorkeling area, although I do regret that I never made it back there to do some snorkeling on this trip.

Overall, this trip to Oahu went very well and I have very few regrets. So, now I’ve visited two of the six main Hawaiian Islands. I look forward to visiting the rest of the islands someday. Enjoy the photos and video!

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!