A friend of mine sent me a text. It read, "... about .25 mile hike and then you are sitting on a rock in the middle of the canyon. It was quite magical." Forget that she didn't say where the .25 mile long trail began nor did she mention the size (or lack there of) said rock!
The search was on, and it coincided with our recent off road camping trip in The Na Pali-Kona Forest Reserve. Day one was all about finding the trail, and after two false paths and a little more off roading we finally found it. Next came the hike, which was really easy and really quick. You start at the Poomau Canyon Lookout Trailhead and sure enough, .25 miles away lies the "END" marker, and beyond that sits the rock.
Now, between the END marker and the ROCK lies a narrow and eroded shrub-lined trail that may leave you more comfortable resting at the END marker. Being adventurous souls, we took our chances and carefully scurried down the trail to the safety (?) of the ROCK where we found the views to be quite magical.
But the mid day light was not. So successfully reconnoitered we called it an afternoon and went back to camp to relax in the hammock and plan the next morning's sunrise shoot.
Up at 5am and in the FJ by 5.30. On the trail by 5.45 and sitting on the ROCK at 6, where we sat for 2 and half hours. It was a small rock and a hard rock. And when Naomi dozed off and almost fell off the ROCK it scared the shit out of me! I still don't know how I managed the tripod and at what angle I sat at in order to peer through the viewfinder. All I know is that my back and butt hurt for two solid days after our sunrise vigil to the photography gods.
After two days at the lookout, I'm still unsure as to when the best light would be. Sunrise was a little weak. But once the sun came up, the shadows were strong. Midday saw a lot of overexposed clouds (time for a graduated nd filter???) and sunset you would be shooting directly into the light, and once the sun went behind the western wall of the canyon, i'm sure a lot of shaded areas would be hard to bring up. Yes, I still find Waimea Canyon one of the most difficult places to shoot on Kauai.
I loved this section of the trail. Giant cedars (Japanese Sugi) in the morning light.
And on the way back to Koke'e these other scraggly trees under radiant blue sky.
Mahalo mama Kauai!