Kaua'i and its sister island of 'Ni'ihau are the most isolated of the main Hawaiian islands. From the next island of O'ahu, they lie across the powerful Ka'ie'ie channel, whose storms and swells are legendary. These ancient islands pierced the sur- face of the Pacific five million years ago. Wind and water have worn them down and, in the case of Kaua'i, left it a green wonderland. Wai'ale'ale, at its heart, is known as the wettest spot on the planet and, from the dense mountain forests of this upland, rivers flow out in every direction.
The island has an old culture and a modern one. It has natural ecosystems unique in the world, along with noted botanic gardens. It has an evolving economy that in recent years has transformed from large plantations to a more diversified base. The core of the economy, though, is tourism. This is an island people want to see and, once they've come, many return year after year.
Doug Peebles, one of the state's premier photographers, has flown over, crawled through, paddled along and slipped beneath the island's many landscapes to capture its soul in these images. Writer Jan TenBruggencate has covered the island as a journalist, a paddler and a hiker to capture a bit of its life in words.