Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Koko Crater "killer" Hike! 1,048 leaps over railroad ties!

For the last couple of years, Richard and I have driven to and from Hawaii Kai area and passed by these intriguing stairs (in the photo, they rise from the top of Sam's head).

I have had a nagging desire to know more about them, and then to wonder what it would be like to climb them, and then remembered how old I am!

Alli and Dave did it a couple of weeks ago, and I started forgetting how old I am.

Then today, the call from Alli, "What'll we do today?  Maybe Koko Crater?" 

Here's where the trail begins.  1,048 stairs, steep stairs!  We're sitting on #1 -- see how deep it is?

Bear in mind that Alli is carrying a 50lb pack with Ben and complete supplies, including diaper change, loads of water, snacks, first aid supplies, etc.  She's wondering as much as I am whether I'll pull through, and how Sam will do.

The view at about 300' up.

About 300' up.  A patch of shade at the bridge where we guzzled water, snacked and then scrambled over a stretch of steep, loose dirt in order to avoid the "bridge".  The "bridge" is simply railroad track where the ground has collapsed.  Today we have bright sun, it's quite warm, and very little breeze.  Sweat drips off our sunglasses!  But not a peep of complaining the whole day!
Here's the so-called bridge.

From the "bridge", the last half of the hike looks like this!  Mostly, I just kept climbing and not looking up.  Click on the image for a better view, and when you do, you'll see little dots near the top --- they're people!
Again, from the "bridge", looking down at what we've already climbed, BUT, compared to what's ahead, this has been a cakewalk.  These are deep "stair"s and uphill, but ahead it's REALLY STEEP.  I started to stand up straight and quickly realized I'd topple over backward!  Imagine Alli with a 50 lb pack on her back which is holding a prized little guy named Ben!
We did it!  View from the top, looking north at Sandy Beach and into the crater.
Even Gramma made it!  And 5-year old Sam shined with exuberance, even offering to help us up at various times.

Hawaii Kai is on the right, and the well-known snorkeling place, Hanauma Bay is on the left.
What Alli looks like coming down with two kiddos. That was hard work!
Ta-daaaa!  We made it!  No wrangling, snarling or snipping anywhere!  It took concentration, yes, but it was an achievement for all of us.  Richard was surprised and congratulatory when he got my phone call, not realizing we'll probably go up again to recover a cute little penguin-shaped stone that Sam left at the top!  So . . . dearest Richard . . .  you can join us, can't you???
Gramma cleans up pretty well!  Richard and I are out with Judy and Mike from high school days, at the Halekulani Hotel, Waikiki, enjoying the sunset, pupus, and . . .
Hula with Kanoe Miller, a former Miss Hawai'i

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