by Nelson Price

Nelson L. Price
Column 4/1/90

Recently I had the exhilarating pleasure of visiting one of the
most unique places on earth. While in Hawaii we took a
helicopter tour of the scenic island of Kauai, the Garden
Island. This hour-ong odyssey offered no cheap, mechanical
thrills. They weren't needed. The comfortable craft was equipped
with high-tech headphones which offered classical music
synchronized with the terrain and live narration.
Whether skimming over the valley floors or skirting the edges of
the mountains beauty was everywhere. The first breath- taking
moment occurs in a flash. As the craft cruises just feet over
the tree tops of the Kahili Mountain Range, it suddenly bursts
over a peak and the Hanapepe Valley floor droped out 3,000 feet
below. In less time than it takes to draw a breath the elevation
changes by over a half mile.
All along the steep walls of the valley are towering waterfalls.
Many of these fall hundreds of feet into large pools from which
they then fall great distances further. The magnificent falls
are everywhere. Slowly the skilled pilot maneuvered his craft
into narrow-walled canyons to hover only feet from the falls.
Artistically he would turn the copter and at the same time
descend the fall very gradually while pulling away. Those moves
you don't forget.
Next is the spectacular beauty of the fertile Olokele Canyon and
the tiny town where the explorer Captain Cook first landed on
this island to open it to the world. It is but aprelude to the
Waimea Canyon that awaits yo ...

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