Over the last few days Hawaii has been experiencing moderate to very heavy rainfall. The weather seemed to be at its worst on Tuesday with heavy rain and flash flooding throughout the state. On Wednesday, Governor Abercrombie declared a state of disaster for the islands of Oahu and Kauai. Some areas on Oahu saw more than 15 inches of rainfall, while Kauai saw 35 inches. Many schools and golf courses closed due to the severe weather. The state even shut down Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve because of the surface runoff from the heavy rain.
With the rain falling like crazy, Joel and I decided to set off on Tuesday to see if we could catch a peak of the many natural waterfalls flowing down the Koolau Range. We decided that our best bet would be to jump on the John A. Burns Freeway or, as it is better know, Interstate H-3. The H-3 runs along a viaduct through Halawa Valley for about 6 miles. This particular stretch of the freeway was entirely socked in. It was as if we were driving through the clouds. However, things cleared up a bit and we had amazing view of the Koolau Mountain Range just after the Tetsuo Harano Tunnels. We pulled over on the side of the freeway and proceeded to admire the many waterfalls surrounding us.
I came prepared for this moment (sort of). I donned my surf shorts and decided to jump out of the 4Runner to snap some photos. We brought along my Sony NEX-5N, Joel’s Canon EOS 50D, my GoPro HD HERO, and of course our iPhones. Unfortunately, the only waterproof camera we had (the GoPro) was dead (including the spare battery). For a good 15-20 minutes it was just drizzles with intermittent rainfall. We took advantage of this by taking as many photos as we could, however, because of the rain we had to get creative in order to protect our cameras. I flexed and contorted my body in ways that I never knew I could.
The view from the H-3 was unbelievably beautiful. I had never seen the Koolau’s flowing with this much water before. A few moments after we pulled over, another car pulled up in the back of us. We thought he was going to yell at us for being dangerously stupid. Instead, he pulled over and came up to our car and talked to us about how awesome the waterfalls flowing down the Koolau’s were.
After about 20 minutes on the side of the H-3 the heavy rainfall appeared again. We decided to leave the H-3 and headed to Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden in Kaneohe. I had been there a few weeks before and knew that the waterfalls should be flowing there since the garden was tucked away close to the Koolau Mountain Range. The views from the Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden were just as stunning as the views from the H-3. Hoomaluhia was empty during our visit leaving it very tranquil. We ran into maybe 3 or 4 other people. We were able to enjoy and have the Koolau waterfalls all to ourselves.