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Pihea Trail & Alakai Swamp Trail

soaked right to the undies.

rain 24 °C

Like every morning, at 5 am, we are urged out of bed by about 8 or so roosters marking there territory. Some of them seem miles away and others are right outside the tent. Not sure if we mentioned that after Hurricane Iniki in 1992 the island of Kauai has been overrun with an ever growing poultry population. As we are heading to the start of the Pihea Trail it starts to get a little misty out, no big deal. We are in the clouds, and when they clear, there is an amazing view of the Kalalau Valley.

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Eventually we reach the Alakai Swamp trail. This swamp is highest and largest high elevation swamp in the world at 4000 feet. It is home to an array of birds and indigenous plants, many of which are found nowhere else on the island. The bird population thrives here because there are no mosquitoes at this high elevation and so they are not exposed to diseases spread by mosquitoes.

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We trek in, up and down through slippery red mud, as the rain fall increases. Soon we reach the boardwalk, and the trail becomes a cakewalk to navigate, but we are slowly starting to take on water. We trudge on through the lust, mossy undergrowth. Tree ferns are everywhere!! The fiddle heads are almost as big as my fist. As we slowly gain elevation and enter the open bog area, the rain and wind really hit us hard. We decide to head back to camp short of the lookout point of Hanalei Bay (which was impossible to see due the dense rain clouds).

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Our picnic lunch in the swamp isn't doable (unless we are into water logged pita bread) so we save it for when we get back to camp. The Alakai Swamp is one of wettest places on earth, receiving hundreds of inches of rain each year. As we head out of the swamp the rain slows, and the sun is blazing at our camp. All of our muddy gear gets rinsed off and hung on the line to drip dry.
Total Hike: 8 miles

Posted by ontarions 10:43 Archived in USA

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Are you learning the names of all these gigantic plants? Those fiddle heads look like a meal.

by dadnmom

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