Us Hire a Guide? No Way

I never thought  we would hire a hiking guide to take  Mike and I out, however sometimes you have to do the responsible thing and be safe out on the trails.  While in Kauai we wanted to see Kauai in its natural beauty, not  beaten down touristy hikes (which are still beautiful, just crowded). How could we do this in a safe and responsible way?  Give in and  hire a guide.  We lucked out by finding Eric of Hike Kauai With Me.

Eric provided us with just the hike we were desiring.  We wanted the Waimea Canyon area and he delivered that.  We knew that we could do the hikes listed in the Kauai hike books ourselves, but wanted something a little more remote that the guide books didn’t know about.  Eric introduced us to the Mokihana Valley and the Waimea River.

Our adventure began with crossing the River  with his four-wheel drive monster.  We parked at a hunter’s check in station and started hoofing it on a dirt road.

We crossed the Waimea River a few times, rock hopping and finally just walking in the river.

We entered a grassy forested area, where the grasses where sometimes taller than me.

As we ambled along, we all fell into a  comfortable rhythm of conversation and admiring the gifts of nature.  We were blessed enough to see the Hawaiian Owl a few times on this journey.  It was reassuring to know we had a guide who appreciated those moments, who was willing to stop and appreciate the wonders of nature.  He wasn’t on a time schedule and didn’t rush us.

We wound our way up and out of the valley, making our way to the hunter’s camp up on a plateau.

All around the scenery kept changing and the views just grew more stunning at every elevation change.

Once we reached the hunter’s camp, we rested, chatted and re charged our bodies for the descent.

With Eric, it felt like we were with an old friend hiking along.  He wasn’t pretentious, but easy going and personable.

It was a two and half hour hike to reach this point, but it only felt like an hour had expired.

Both Mike and I found ourselves repeating “wow” and “amazing” throughout the day.  You know it is a grand hike when you are still saying those words on the way down, the way you just came up.

I was really hoping to see wild goats on this hike. Early on I had mentioned to Eric, that I have a slight goat fetish.  I adore goats.  Eric was ever vigilant to find me goats and he did.  As we entered the valley he spotted them high on a ridge.  I was ecstatic.  Could this hike get any better?

Fresh passion fruit awaited us further on the trail.  Eric went ahead and when we met up on the trail, he was holding freshly picked passion fruit for us.

We came back to our last water crossing. How refreshing it is afterward to reward yourself with a good sit down in the water.

So was the money we spent worth it to hire a guide? You betcha.  Eric knew the area, knew the terrain, knew the property boundaries and knew our wants.

When Mike and I travel again,will I try to find someone local to take us out hiking? I will, but know the bar has been set very high because of Eric.  All other guides will have to live up to the standard he set.

The details: 8.25 miles 5.5 hours.  Hot, dirty hike but worth every minute of it.  Not giving the details on the location.  If you want to go hire Eric

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