Hawaii became the 50th state to join the United States on August 21, 1959. The capital city is Honolulu (Oahu). The highest point is Mauna Kea at 13,803 feet (4207 meters) (island of Hawaii, aka The Big Island), a dormant volcano last erupting 2460 BC. Mauna Kea is over 33,000 feet (10000 meters) tall, making it the world's tallest mountain measured from its base to the summit; the majority of which is under water.
Shipwreck Beach DaybreakKauai, Hawaii So you return to a wonderful place on Earth after several years, realize there's a very unusual cold front passing through, then recover by witnessing a wonderful coastal sunset. What is your next move?
Of course, ignoring the 6-hour jet lag and setting up the alarm for really early to be on a beautiful Pacific beach before the sun. And it's a move well worth it! There are many places where being an early bird yields its fruits, Hawaii being one of them. It always amazes me, despite having witnessed it several times, how solitary one can be on a tropical beach in a place generally perceived as very touristy. And that is a good thing and I hope it will remain so for a long time!
Maybe it is thanks to the limited development on Kauai preventing hoards of tourists (Kudos!). Maybe it is because of people being lazy to get up that early. Or maybe it is a reason altogether different. And you know what, I don't really care as long as it stays that way as it makes for some very memorable moments.
And the storm? Well, we arrived from Buffalo, NY and while the winter jackets remained in the car at the airport parking lot the long sleeve fleece tops did not. Not everyone in the crew was happy about the temperatures, and I could understand, but for me as a photographer, the storm brought clouds and high waves making for more dramatic landscapes, loud surf, and fresh wind to intensify the experience even without the camera. Just sit down on a rock and watch the waves crash against the black lava rocks. What a wonderful contrast between the white water and the black rocks. What a great repetition, but an unpredictable one. You get lost in trying to figure out the wave pattern. Do they come in threes? Are the breaks between the groups about the same length? Other thoughts come and go and you forget about the sunrise, and the fact that clouds on the horizon pretty much obstructed it, and just soak it all in, in high dosage, ... and then the struggling sun almost pierces through and lights up the morning with a wonderfully choreographed finish!
Cloudy Shipwreck Beach Sunrise, Kauai, Hawaii
Enjoy the beauty that surrounds you! (#etbtsy)
References: Hawaii on 50states.com
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