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Welcome to week 8.

This photo of Sonya was taken at the top of Nounou, or Sleeping Giant. The mountain range is found between Kapaa and Wailua, and the hike is a tough but short climb that gains 1200 feet of elevation on the 4 mile round-trip trail. Scrambling over rocks and following the red-dirt switchbacks rewards you with an amazing view of the east side of Kauai and Mt Waialeale from the Giant’s head.

The mountain got its name from its shape – it looks like a sleeping giant. The legend tells us about a giant tricked into eating rocks hidden in his meal of fish, he became sleepy, laid down for a nap, and never awoke. (One definition of no`u found online is “to eat greedily with great mouthfuls, even when no longer hungry,” and while it fits the legend, Hawaiian words have many meanings and are a bit tricky for someone like me who cannot speak the language.)

The most popular route to get up the Sleeping Giant begins at a trailhead with parking off Halelilo Road, but there is a back route as well. Shortly before getting to the head, a picnic table provides a nice spot for a break and a snack. After that point, the trail becomes rock climbing, and although it is not technically difficult, it could provide some anxiety to those with fears of heights. The end view is worth it, though.

This hike is best done early in the morning before the day gets too hot, but remember to bring plenty of water regardless of the time of day you plan to go. It is also a great trail for trail runners; the footing is normally firm and the elevation gain makes for a great workout.


Sleeping Giant


The photo was taken with a GoPro 4 (after dragging my Nikon up the trail with a dead battery).

Check out the previous weeks of the photo challenge, beginning with Week 7. Leave a comment, or share your own photos.

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