Author Topic: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)  (Read 28553 times)

Offline benjie1305

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Re: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2017, 02:56:59 PM »
Tuesday, January 3rd - Part I

Tuesday started very similar to Monday; We woke up long before sunrise. We relaxed in the room for a little before heading to the Club Room for breakfast. After that we went out to play with the roosters that were causing trouble and chasing the kids around before it was time to head back to the room to get ready for my day.

The agenda on Tuesday differed greatly between my wife and I. A while back we had the discussion about the helicopter ride. After she had made her point more then clear to me, this was not going to be something she was joining me for. I know I know. Best part of the trip. Once in a lifetime views. She won't regret it. Bla Bla Bla. I know my wife best. I tried convincing her but even I know when to stop pushing and we were at that point. She would have had so much fear and anxiety that she wouldn't have been able to enjoy a single minute of the ride.

So here I was, left to decide what type of helicopter tour I wanted to part take in. After reading up on the various options and differences between them it became quite clear to me that Id want - what I felt was the truest of experiences. Jack Harter's door-less tour it was! The fact that you can take better pictures was certainly one part of it but the idea of being up in the sky and being able to breathe in the air, watch the scenery, smell the ocean was something I just couldn't pass up on.

I left with a packed backpack of stuff as my plan was to do some nice hiking right after. [Again, not the most appealing to my wife so I decided to combine those adventures into one day so I could get it done while she hung out by the pool that day.]

First off we all met at Jack Harter headquarters where we confirmed our reservations and were given basic instructions on what we can and cannot bring with us. The basic rule was: No bags of any sort would be tolerated. Any item you cannot attach directly to your hand or put around your neck would have to stay back. Thank G-d I had brought my phone case that goes around my wrist with me. In addition I also had brought my camera and my gopro with. I basically looked like the lunatic spotted in the last post. ;D

We then drove to the facility where Jack Harter has their helicopters. It is within Lihue airport next to the area where private jets roam around as well. While we drove over there, me and the family I was going with "listened" to all the safety rules the guide was giving us over. I won't lie, I am not a good example of someone that could have helped anyone or even myself once we were up there. I was way too excited about my first ever Helicopter ride. This stuff just went into one ear and out the other.  ::)

The family I was with was actually really cool. Husband and wife with their 15 year old child. The father owns a big cosmetic company in the US that manufactures everything in South Korea so he is over there 10-15 times a year. The parents vacation nonstop in very DDF like locations :) He was telling me which spots to hit up when in Tahiti (other then BOB), told me all about Brazil and the different areas, recently returned from a 5 country tour of Africa and is heading to the Maldives in March. For a moment I thought it was AJK "Sr." :D

His "thing" are helicopter rides. Ever since the first time he went on one 12 years ago, everywhere he goes he tries going on a helicopter tour of the place. Just feels like he really gets to know the place best that way. This was also his first off-doors tour and he hands down agreed that it was his best ride ever.

When it was finally time to get into the chopper, I almost got killed walking around the wrong side. Something about information going into one ear and out the other..  :o Finally in my seat though it was time to get fully adjusted. GoPro on my head, camera turned on and phone in hand. We then put on our headsets and learned how to communicate using those. I was adjusting my headset - somewhat tricky when also having a GoPro on my head - and how could it only be, my GoPro fell off and out of the helicopter. Phew. Happy we weren't in the sky yet. The worker came to pick it up and handed it back over. I strapped it significantly tighter and off we were.

I will let some pictures do the talking as words really cannot describe the feeling and the beauty of seeing this place from atop but I can agree that Kauai is not complete without a tour from the skies. One note though: If doing it doors-off, bring warm clothes. Not just a sweatshirt like myself. Long pants, sweatshirt and jacket. It gets cooooold up there. 




Pre-Departure


Zooming around the skies.


































Always Cloudy on Mt. Waialeale


Wailua Falls looks quite tiny from above
« Last Edit: January 31, 2017, 03:06:05 PM by benjie1305 »
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Offline davidmal

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Re: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2017, 03:05:41 PM »
Did the Gopro get blocked by helicopter ceiling?

most of those pics came from your Handheld Camera?
-DMC
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it ~Ferris Bueller"

Offline benjie1305

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Re: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2017, 03:07:56 PM »
Did the Gopro get blocked by helicopter ceiling?

most of those pics came from your Handheld Camera?

No. I have 45 minute footage on my GoPro of the ride. Most of it is fine and was not blocked at all.

Breakdown of pictures is: 80% iPhone to 20% Camera.
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Offline CZ60

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Re: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)
« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2017, 03:09:22 PM »
Wow amazing!! Looks absolutely beautiful

Offline davidmal

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Re: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)
« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2017, 03:10:39 PM »
No. I have 45 minute footage on my GoPro of the ride. Most of it is fine and was not blocked at all.

Breakdown of pictures is: 80% iPhone to 20% Camera.
I'm thinking of bringing my iPhone 7+ just for photos for future trips

but in general I find it too big for a day to day phone.
-DMC
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it ~Ferris Bueller"

Offline BarryLincoln

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Re: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)
« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2017, 03:13:12 PM »
Wow...great TR so far... incredible pictures...

Offline SSLPhD

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Re: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)
« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2017, 03:48:48 PM »
No pix inside Waialeale crater?
40/50, 42/63

Offline benjie1305

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Re: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)
« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2017, 04:07:55 PM »
No pix inside Waialeale crater?

This was from within what is referred to as the crater. Up top - as seen before - was just not doable on this day.





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Offline benjie1305

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Re: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)
« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2017, 09:21:37 PM »
Wow amazing!! Looks absolutely beautiful

Wow...great TR so far... incredible pictures...

Thanks guys!
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Offline sammy n

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Wow!! Unbelievable!

Offline sam28

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Re: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)
« Reply #30 on: January 31, 2017, 10:11:35 PM »
wow amazing pictures and the way u write u TR keep it coming . is it not windy up there with the door open ?

Offline benjie1305

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Wow!! Unbelievable!

Thanks! Appreciate all the great feedback.

wow amazing pictures and the way u write u TR keep it coming . is it not windy up there with the door open ?

Yep. It sure gets cold and windy which is why I mentioned wearing long pants and a jacket. Makes it a much more enjoyable ride.
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Offline benjie1305

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Re: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)
« Reply #32 on: February 02, 2017, 05:20:02 PM »
Tuesday, January 3rd - Part II

After this exhilarating helicopter ride it was time for part two of my day. I had read up on a whole bunch of trails and hikes that interested me and narrowed down my search to the longer and/or more challenging ones that I knew my wife would certainly not partake in. After further drilling down and looking for the ones that weren't too far away from the Jack Harter base I had found "the one"; the Sleeping Giant Trail (also called the Nounou Trail).

The trail is located in Kapa'a and got its name from its supposed resemblance of a reclining human figure (giant).

I get it. Kinda.


I followed Google Maps for how to get to the beginning of the Trail. Went down Highway 56 and then turned left onto Heleilio Road to get to the grass area used to park where the trail begins. Itll be important to note later on.  >:(


So I began the hike and it really was a beautiful sunny day. I had brought my backpack with me filled with my camera, some snacks and water and got started. In the first 5 minutes of the hike I ran into an elderly couple in their mid 70s that told me that they made it up there in under 40 minutes. I found that to be very impressive and took that as a general guideline as to how doable it was and what to expect time-wise.

The hike itself was very enjoyable and not too difficult. The trail is very well maintained and especially in the first 1-2 miles goes through a myriad of switchbacks. Along those 2 miles you will reach several nice lookout points to snap a picture. I was still surprised that some parents were up there with infants strapped to them or doing the trail with 3 year-olds. There are indeed sections that make for some maneuvering and holding on so I wonder how they got up and down those areas.

Views of Kapa'a




You then reach the picnic table area where you can rest and have a bite to eat. This is the end of the official trail and is considered the "Giants Chest".


It was time to venture into the second part of the trail that leads to the top of the mountain!

I read the sign as "Nice! Go Beyond this sign please" Amazing how they have modified this sign.  ;D


A short while later I had made it to the top and then went to my scenic overlook where I spent at least 30 minutes just gazing around and enjoying the views.



I then started my descent and with the good weather and the ease at which I had made it up there, was confident in my abilities and started racing down that mountain. I was hoping from rock to rock and was flying down. 15 minutes into my descent however, I started noticing how dark it had gotten. That was strange. I didn't recall any dark areas on my way up. I started worrying just a little bit as I had no idea what had gone wrong. I must have made a wrong turn somewhere but at this point I was far too advanced in my descent to really know where Id have to go back to to correct my turn. So I just continued walking down the hill hoping that Id just get out somewhere and figure it out from there.

Suddenly surrounded by Norfolk pines


After finally getting out of the woods and realizing that I don't recognize anything


I started going into hitchhiker mode and flagging down cars asking if they had any idea what I did wrong, where I was and how I could find my car. It wasn't helpful that my phone battery was at 25%, reception was mediocre and I had no idea what the name of the road was on which I had gotten to the beginning of my original trail head. No car really wanted to stop until Benjamin came to my rescue.

After explaining the situation to Benjamin he knew exactly what had gone wrong and told me exactly where I had made my wrong turn which led to me coming down on the complete opposite side of the mountain. I asked how long the walk would be to get back to my car and he ballpark'd it would be around a 4 mile walk.

[Aaaahhhh]


Actually is 5.1 miles


He offered me a ride back to my car but  first had to make a stop. He needed to pick up his 50 lbs. of steak from Wailua Meat Company.  :o

Me and my driver  :D


Tomorrow's dinner


My wife certainly didn't think it was as fun and adventurous as I did


After he warmed up to me a bit we actually started talking and turns out, he is the owner of the restaurant "Trees Lounge" in Kapa'a. Now the 50 lbs. of steak makes wwwaaayyyyy more sense. He is also an ultrarunner and competes in 50+ mile races. He is planning to do the H.U.R.T. 100 Mile Endurance Run in Oahu next year. OyVey. This sooo doesn't sound like fun. But he supposedly holds the record for running the Sleeping Giant Trail doing it RT in 35 minutes. He told me he once ran it up and down 7 times. In a row. Without a break.  :o

After talking to him for a while we had finally arrived back at the trail head I had started from and I was able to thank him and make my way home again. Thank G-d.

Finally back home, showered and clean we decided to hit up Poipu Beach for the sunset. I had gotten an insider tip about wildlife I can spot there during certain hours and so off we went and most certainly weren't disappointed with our findinds.

Poipu+Longboard






Sunset Kayak Tour



That was it for my action packed Day 2. It was a very long and tiring day and I pretty much collapsed into bed after we were back in our room. That night we had Chosen's Chicken and Veggie dish and Traditions chopped meat (basically a burger without the bread) and both were very good. We had at this point already moved into the Ocean View Suite and - as the name suggests - it really just provides a bit nicer views that the Garden Suite doesn't. I actually happened to have preferred the setup of our first Garden Suite to this one but Hey, Ill take it. :)

Ocean View Suite: Dining / Living Room





Stay tuned...
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Offline tageed-lee

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Re: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)
« Reply #33 on: February 02, 2017, 06:33:30 PM »
Amazing TR so far! Crazy installment..  Love all the pics! Thanks for sharing!

I don't know what i would have done because i never would have gone in no Benjamin's car...  :o

Offline efflpetzel

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Fantastic TR, makes me wanna go back to Kauai all over again, no matter how many times I've been there

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Am I a terrible human being if I burst out laughing when I saw this ;D?

Great TR and great pictures, looking forward to the rest.
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Offline benjie1305

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Re: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)
« Reply #36 on: February 02, 2017, 09:42:17 PM »
Amazing TR so far! Crazy installment..  Love all the pics! Thanks for sharing!

I don't know what i would have done because i never would have gone in no Benjamin's car...  :o

Trust me, Benjamin was more worried about having me in his car then the other way around. At the meat company, he insisted I come out with him and wait together with him. He always had his eyes on me. It was hilarious to be on the other side of that. He legit thought I might be some crazy person looking to steal his 20 year old car. Or maybe his meat. Who knows.

Fantastic TR, makes me wanna go back to Kauai all over again, no matter how many times I've been there

Thanks! Me writing it makes me want to go back. I just cant see how anyone could ever get sick of that place.

Am I a terrible human being if I burst out laughing when I saw this ;D?

That you are a terrible human being was established long before I started writing this TR :P Thus you are allowed to laugh. I do so myself when reliving this moment.


Great TR and great pictures, looking forward to the rest.

Thanks :)
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Offline mmgfarb

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Re: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)
« Reply #37 on: February 02, 2017, 11:02:04 PM »
Great TR so far! Having never been to Hawaii yet, reading all these TR's just makes me so antsy, I have to start planning a trip already.
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Offline CZ60

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Re: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)
« Reply #38 on: February 03, 2017, 12:44:21 PM »
Once again, amazing!!! The views from the top look incredible!

Offline benjie1305

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Re: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)
« Reply #39 on: February 03, 2017, 01:31:59 PM »
Once again, amazing!!! The views from the top look incredible!

Thanks! Even better in person :)
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