Friday, March 23, 2007

Day 3 in Hawaii and Luckily, Not Our Last

Sunday was the best weather day so far so we decided to try Waimea Canyon again. We were contemplating trying another attemptat the helicopter tour and see it by air without the waterfall landing. We know longer had the warm and fuzzies since we had passed the easily visible wreckage of Thursday’s crash on Saturday that was about 40 feet off of the road heading to Ke’e. So when we came to the turn off for the heliport, we decided that we would just hike the canyon instead since it was such a beautiful day.

The place was huge and unlike the Grand Canyon in Arizona, it is very lush and colorful. Our main objective was to see the Waipo'o Falls. You can see it for miles while driving to Koke'e State Park. We did Canyon Trail, a really cool hike that was about 5 miles round trip. It is shorter if you have a 4 wheel drive to get to the trailhead instead of walking down a rough dirt road with some huge puddles. The trail took us to the top of the waterfall. You can see the end of the trail on top of the ledge in the second picture. It continues down the other side of the ridge to a big pool and the top of the higher tier that is in the first 2 pictures. We spent the whole day walking and driving around the canyon. We should have started earlier, because the visibility is best in the morning. We could still see things, but the pictures turned out hazy.

When we were having dinner that evening, we were wondering if we would regret our decision to pass on the helicopter tour until we overheard a couple at another table say another tour chopper had crashed during the day. When we watched the news, we saw it was the same company, helicopter (Hughes 500 with doors off), and probably the same flight that we decided to pass on and hike instead. I really wanted to fly in this helicopter because it was what my Dad flew in Vietnam and it was his favorite. T.C. also flew this same kind in Magnum P.I. The 500 is a safe aircraft and very protective in the event of a crash since it is shaped like an egg. I’m sure pilot skill and the protective design are the reasons only 1 person was killed in the accident. Oddly enough, I still wanted to do a helicopter tour when we got over to the Big Island. I believe it is the best way to see the volcano, but more on that later.


At 9:31 AM, Blogger iamhoff said...

I don't know. Sure seems like somebody is trying to tell you not to do a least from teh gravity "friendly" one! GL and enjoy the rest of the trip! I am way jealous!


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