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Travel Blog #86 - 4x4ing Kauai with Aloha Kauai Tours

Today we went out with Aloha Kauai Tours on their Kauai Backroads 4x4 Tour. We met the group at the Kilohana Plantation where we parked my truck and jumped in their customized 4x4 van. We became acquainted with the other members of the tour as our soft spoken driver eased the van back onto the highway. Our driver explained that he was born and raised on Kauai and that he was over seventy years old. He told stories of his youth, and the many changes that the island has gone through since that time. As he turned the van off of the highway and onto a dirt road, he gestured towards the dense jungle and told the group

"I used to work in a sugar cane field that was once here, where these trees are now."

The group was silent as they took in the amount of change this man had witnessed that was evidenced in the height of the foliage alone. Luckily for us he had the keys to the many gates that divided up the large section of pasture that we were traversing in the van so he was able to take us to areas where we wouldn't otherwise have been able to go.

The trail turned uphill and we eventually made our way to the top of the Kilohana Crater. We spent some time observing the views before we got back in the van and made our way back to the highway. Once we reached the highway, we turned right and headed to the old plantation town of Koloa. Our driver shared an excellent historical narration throughout this section of the tour. He seemed to be able to time his speeches perfectly, so at the end of every story he would stop the van point out the window and say:

"All that happened right....Here"

We continued through Koloa and on to Poipu where we journeyed to a section of Maha'ulepu beach at the end of a long dirt road, quite far down the Maha'ulepu coast from Poipu. Here we spent some time walking around as we tried the various snacks and beverages that our driver had brought for us. The cliffs on the left side of the beach over hung extremely far, and looked like they could collapse into the sea at any moment. I got some cool pictures of this area.

After we were done at the beach we loaded back up in the van to make our way home on a "shortcut" the driver knew of. We drive up a wide dirt road up into what seemed like a sheer wall of foliage. As we got closer to the top, a small hole with a pinprick of light at the far end could be made out in the distance. Our driver explained that when the sugar cane industry was in its prime one of the main producers named "Wilcox" owned the area we were on. His fields were split by this large mountain range, and for years he was forced to drive around it using the regular county roads. This was a great hardship on his production because he had to use "street legal" sized trucks and the loads would cool down by the time they got

to the factory because of the distance around the hill (I didn't quite understand why, but from what he said it seems that the quality of the sugar was lowered if it was allowed to cool too much after the field was burned). In addition to the longer distance to the mill, he was also racking up fines with the county for over use of the road. To remedy this situation Wilcox brought in laborers from China to dig a private tunnel large enough to fit one of his sugar cane "super haulers" that were on a similar scale to modern day monster trucks. Our guide told stories of the amount of wind these machines would create as they raced their haul back to the factory passing by the field workers at sixty plus miles an hour. As we were dropped off back at the Kilohana Plantation I couldn't help but to feel like I had a much greater understanding of the island of Kauai.

Travel Blog - Articles #80 to #89

This morning I woke up to very wet and rainy weather at my house in Lihue. My girlfriend had to work and I really wanted to do something more exciting then messing around inside on my computer all day.


I remember the first time I stood up on a wave. It was a sunny day at a break near Oluwalu on Maui. It was in the middle of one of the summertime adventures with my uncle Dennis that were commonplace during my childhood.


Today we had something happen that was slightly out of the ordinary. We were on an air tour around Kauai with Airventures Air Tours, when out of the depths of the ocean underneath us appeared a pod of massive Humpback Whales.


I love the sunset sails on Kauai. I really appreciate that with these sails, there is an actual destination to the whole adventure. You get to sail all the way to the Napali coast while you watch the sun go down.


I remember passing by the sign for Kauai Photo Tours in Kapaa when I first came over to Kauai in January and thinking to myself how much I was looking forward to going on that trip.


I had an idea of what we were getting into when I showed up at the headquarters of the Wailua River Guides in Kapaa, but I had no idea how much I was going to really enjoy the kayak and the hike up the river that we did today with Wailua River Guides.


As we checked in at the Blue Dolphin store in the shopping village of Port Allen I looked up at the grey threatening looking sky and thought to myself:


We showed up at the Outfitters Kauai office in Poipu at just before 6AM to check in for their downhill bike trip. The ride goes down the road along the rim of the Waimea Canyon.


When I was a kid, my family lived in Kihei on the island of Maui. During the 1990s when I was growing up, Kihei was one of the fastest growing towns in the nation.


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