Thoughts on the ocean, the environment, the universe and everything from nearly a mile high.

Panorama of The Grand Tetons From the top of Table Mountain, Wyoming © Alan Holyoak, 2011

Friday, February 10, 2012

Why do they call Kauai "The Emerald Island"?

Each of the Hawaiian islands has its own unique climate.  The youngest island, the big island of Hawaii, is the most arid of the islands, while Kauai, the oldest of the large Hawaiian islands is the wettest.  In fact, it can boast the wettest place on earth.  Some of the mountain peaks on Kauai receive more than 400" of rain a year.  Yep, you heard that right, FOUR HUNDRED INCHES OF RAIN!

Because Kauai receives so much rain, it is the island that also sports the most luch tropical vegetation of any of the islands, and it is GREEN, GREEN, GREEN!  It's so lush and so tropical-looking that Steven Spielberg chose Kauai as his location for filiming "Jurassic Park."  Also, the opening scenes of "Indiana Jones and The Raiders of the Lost Ark" were also filmed there.

We also stayed on the north shore...the "wet side of the island."  Fortunately, we had only one day where it really rained, that was for only an hour or two.  The rest of the time we had great weather.

Here are a few photos that let you know why it's called the "Emerald Island."

This photo shows the backdrop we had for our vacation.  The rugged, vegetation-covered mountains were impressive and memorable.  No wonder "Jurassic Park" was filmed here.  We took this photo while we were on a beach walk not far from our rental house.

The vegetation grows right down to the edge of the beach.  Palms and all types of tropical vegetation grow all over the island.  In fact, if you owned a place on Kauai, the challenge isn't to get things to grow, but, rather, to keep vegetation from engulfing your property!

This shot shows the hillside above Ke'e Beach, which is literally at the end of the road on the north shore.  On Weds of our trip Kat, Katie, Scott, and I hiked the first part of the Kalalau trail, and on up to the Hanakapiai Falls (an 8-mile round trip).

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