Sunday, October 23, 2011
This past Saturday (10.22.11) Sommer was away visiting her sister in Utah, so I had a free day for hiking! I had planned on hiking Laie Summit with my brother and my friends, the Daw's. But...it rained hard all day Friday and looked like it wasn't going to stop all weekend - so the Daw's bailed on slugging in the mud and opted to sleep in, instead. Disappointed Kai and I discussed some other options (Kuli`ou`ou West to Pu`u O Kona loop), but decided against anything "fun" because of the stormy weather drenching the island. We finally settled on a sunrise "hike" up Ka`iwa ridge to the Lanikai pillboxes. Something short, not dangerous and something Kai's kids could do. We pushed off from Kai's house in McCully at 5:30 am and got to the trail head at 6:00 am. Within 20 minutes Kai, his eldest daughter Ana, and I, were at the first bunker, just as a new day dawned.
We got to the first bunker just before sunrise. I set up my GoPro to film the sunrise and enjoyed another great sunrise!
Watch the time lapse video of the sunrise above Lanikai:
Despite forecasts of rain all weekend, the sky was clear up and down O`ahu's windward coast. We were blessed with a rare nearly cloudless sunrise. I never see the sunrise directly over the horizon; usually the sunrises above clouds on the horizon. Not so today.
As usual, we were not alone on Ka`iwa ridge. A group had even set up camp right in the middle of a lower part of the trail, 10 minutes from the trail head.
The sunrise was incredibly beautiful!
The Moke's were bathed in the dawn's light.
Soon the sun rose into the clouds and we contemplated what to do next.
We headed up the short ridge to the upper bunker. It was bone dry, not a rain cloud in the sky. From the upper bunker we decided to continue along Ka`iwa ridge. Like Koko Crater, Ka`iwa ridge had recently suffered from a brush fire. The fire came right up to the ridge crest trail.
The Ka`iwa ridge trail is a nice leisurely hike, especially once you reach the bunkers. There isn't much in the way of shade - luckily the sun was still low in the sky.
We came across a deck chair sitting on the top of concrete and rock marker along the ridge.
Kai and I decided to continue on the ridge trail and make a loop of the hike. We spotted a trail heading down a ridge at the back of Lanikai. That would be our destination as we would walk back to my car on the road to complete the loop. The views of Kailua, Waimanalo and the Ko`olau were stunning.
Kai was able to take some rare pics of me on the ridge trail. Here's me and Ana.
Soon we reached the ridge that would take us down to the backside of Lanikai.
From the final ridge you could see the ridge we traversed, Mt. Olomana and the Mokes.
After a brief scramble down the semi-steep ridge, we were deposited on Luika Place.
From there we made out way back to my car walking along A`alapapa Drive, then on to 7-Eleven for some Dr. Pepper and snacks!
Rest of the pictures:
Where the ridge loop ends at the back of Lanikai:
Lanikai Loop GPS track:
Sunday, October 16, 2011
On Saturday woke up early and got to the Koko Crate trailhead at around 4:45 am. It was pitch black and no other cars were in the parking lot. For a few minutes I had to mountain all to myself.
About two-thirds of the way up the trail, once I passed the "bridge" section, a car pulled into the parking lot. The morning traffic had begun.
About an hour after I started (yes...very slow) I reached the top of Koko Crater. Not a soul was there. For about 20 minutes I had the summit all to my self. After topping out on the metal grating at the summit and taking in the lights of the southern coast of O`ahu I set up shop to film the sunrise.
The end result:
Sadly, my solitude on the summit came to an end and strings of early morning hikers started arriving at the summit. Fortunately, despite more and more people milling about at the top, the view was beautiful.
Before I knew it...the sun poked its shining face above the clouds, and another day started.
I spent a few more minutes basking the start of a new day.
Saw an interesting piece of graffiti on one of the concrete pads on the top.
The morning moon was beautiful!
By the time I made my way down Koko Crater the tracks were a highway.
I stopped and checked out the damage from the recent brush fire.
The fire got right up to the tracks (notice the hikers on the tracks in the background).
Considering how dry Koko Crater is, I'm surprised HFD got the fire under control so quickly.
The view from the bottom.
Looking back...another Koko Crater super-highway.
Looking up towards Koko Crater from the parking lot.
Rest of the pictures: