Before we even got to the ranch I knew that we were in for a special experience. The ride that we had scheduled for the day was at Silver Falls Ranch, which is located deep in the jungle, on the north side of Kauai. We had just had some rain the night before our ride; all the foliage seemed like it had become a brighter shade of green then it was the previous day. We turned off of the highway right before the Kalihiwai bridge on Kahiliholo road. After we had passed the 4th or 5th house on the road my girlfriend Simone turned to me and commented:
When we got to Kamookoa Rd I turned to the left and we followed the signs towards Silver Falls Ranch. We passed the main corral where we could see our guide saddling up our horses. The beauty of the grounds of Silver Falls Ranch were beyond comparison with any of the estates we had seen lower down the street. I kept driving until we got to the barn where we parked the truck and made our way inside.
The check in office was located at the end of their central barn building. As we walked in, the ranch receptionist greeted us, then gave us a clipboard with some paperwork to fill out. She also gave us some helmets (if we wanted them, or an extra waiver to sign if we didn't). After completing our forms, we had a couple minutes to kill before the ride started, so we decided to walk around a little bit.
As we were mulling around the barn area I looked into one of the stalls and saw a newborn horse and it's mother. Unfortunately, the newborn had a cast on it's leg that went all the way up to the hip. One of the ranch hands explained to me that the horses' leg was broken during birth. Sometimes, when horses break their legs they have to be put down because of the injury. However, because this one was so young, the local veterinarian thought that it had a better chance of making a full recovery then an older horse would. After hearing this, the ranch decided they would do everything they could to save it. We observed the baby horse for a few minutes before we wandered outside. We took some pictures of the peacocks that were mulling about in front of the barn. Then just after 9:30 we saw our guide begin to round up the members of our group by the corral area, so we made our way over to there to join them.
We met our guide who explained that he had been working as a ranch hand for Silver Falls for over fifteen years. He went over the basics of how to control the horses before he called each member of the group up to the mounting block to get on their horse. Once we were all mounted up, he took the lead and the group moved out of the corral and onto the trail.
The trail that we went on was absolutely beautiful. There are over 1,500 palm trees planted around the ranch. There were so many Hibiscus flowers, Lahala bushes, Bamboo trees and other different species of tropical plants around the property that I had a hard time keeping my eyes on the trail. Our route circled far back in the valley, over the ridge and into an ancient crater. This crater stopped erupting over five million years ago. Since the final eruption here, the mountain had been eroding into the thick soil that covers the entire area today. The nutrients in the soil provide the vegetation with everything needed to thrive. After journeying through this section of the ranch there is no longer any question in my mind why Kauai has earned the nickname of "The Garden Island".
Eventually we arrived at our destination, a calm jungle pool underneath a gentle waterfall. There was a small pavilion that the ranch constructed nearby where we ate lunch. After our meal, we journeyed down the stairs to take a dip in the pool. From the shore it looked like it was going to be cold but when I jumped in I was happily surprised that the pool was actually a much more refreshing temperature then I had anticipated. The falls were beautiful, and made a perfect backdrop for our jungle swim.
After everyone was done at the waterfall, we got back on our horses and made our way back towards the main barn where we had initially checked in. Once we got back, our guide posed us for some pictures with the mountain in the backdrop before we dismounted. We thanked our guide and made our where back to the barn, where we stopped to see the baby horse with the broken leg one more time. All in all we had a great time, both Simone and myself thoroughly enjoyed the horseback riding experience we had at Silver Falls Ranch.
When I woke up this morning and looked out the window, I couldn't help but smile when I saw that it was an absolutely classic sunny Hawaiian day outside.
Today we did something very unique, that I have never done before in the Hawaiian Islands (or anywhere else for that matter). We went fishing for Peacock Bass.
Today we did something that I've wanted to do for a while, we went on the "Movie Tour" with Polynesian Adventure Tours. The movie tours' concept is simple, they have a TV screen in the bus that plays a movie they edited together.
Throughout my life I have had many opportunities to experience helicopter flights around Hawaii. I have been on helicopters on all of the major islands, so I feel that I can legitimately say that the flights on Kauai pack more into them then they do anywhere else in Hawaii.
This year my girlfriend Simone and I decided that we were going to celebrate Valentines days a little bit differently then we have in the past. We decided that we were going to go up to the North Shore of Kauai and try out the zipline at the Princeville Ranch.
Today I got to take my Mom to see something very special. In the 1400+ years that the Hawaiian Islands have been inhabited by humans, an amazingly rich culture has developed here.
Yesterday we took advantage of the flat summer ocean conditions on the North and West sides of Kauai and scheduled a trip up the Napali Coast with Captain Chris and the Napali Riders.
I remember for my 12th birthday, the only thing I wanted to do was get certified to go SCUBA Diving (12 is the minimum age you can be to get certified).
Today we did one of my favorite activities in the state, a helicopter trip around Kauai. Kauai is one of the most amazing places to do a helicopter ride on the planet.
Hawaii is an equestrians paradise! The rich Paniolo (cowboy) history of the islands dates back well over a hundred years. There are still many large ranches located throughout the state of Hawaii and if you're interested in getting out for a horseback ride while your here then we can easily make that happen.
This excursion, which includes a picnic lunch and the opportunity to swim at Silver Falls, is for the explorer. You will go deep into Kauai's interior on hidden trails, through an ancient volcanic caldera and to the base of Mount Makaleha.
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