Waimea Wow

by Lindsey Stein

Waimea Canyon was a bit of an afterthought. We’d heard it can get cloudy and wanted to use the morning before the wedding to see if the fog would cooperate. The other couples we’re staying with weren’t as interested in an early morning, so Andrew and I were left by ourselves and out the door by 7:00am.

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As luck would have it, we stumble upon a chalkboard sign outside of an old warehouse en-route for coffee. Dark Roost is a small trailer humorously situated inside a oversized warehouse. We order lattes and listen to the Hawaiian roaster cooly tell us the story of how they came to be. Inspired, we buy a mug. Obviously.

The Canyon itself is very beautiful. We give each lookout the appropriate amount of oohs-and-ahhs before proceeding to the next. A Hawaiian guide shares some history. (Add facts about the wettest place on earth, Grand Canyon etc.)

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Satisfied, Andrew and I lace up our sneakers and grab our backpack of Cliff bars and water to start our canyon hike. We’d found a quick out-and-back the night before, figuring we’d have only a few hours before the wedding. The eucalyptus dense woods smell of Tiger Balm and the single-track trail reminds me of training in Vermont. Unlike our hike along the Napali Coast, the ground is dry and the elevation gain minimal. We respond energetically with a pace that feels like we’re skipping through the woods.

An hour in, the trees clear, leaving us with the most breathtaking view of Waimea. We at once want to slowly appreciate the beauty surrounding us and excitedly race to see it all, as if beauty like this can’t possibly stay.    

Together, we let the trail lead us the top of the falls marking the end of the hike before turning back to prepare for Drew & Kara’s wedding.

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