Saturday, January 10, 2009

Koko Head Hike

So the first day of winter break, Dec. 19, 2008. It's about lunchtime and i get a text from Mits: Hey u wanna do koko head today? Sure, i was down for that so i texted him back and we decided to just go down right then. I grabbed my camelbak, phone, and wallet and drove off to pick up Mits down at Kahala. Then we proceeded to Koko Marina side. So we drove around for a little while, looking for a way to get into the park linked to the entrance of the Koko head stairs. We took a right before the fire station and ended up at Kaiser, only to find out that the turn was one street earlier. So we turned around and took the supposed correct turn. Sure enough, we came upon the sign to the entrance of the park. Down in the parking lot i realized I didn't have any shoes. There was no way i was gonna go home without hiking that trail so i went up in slippers. Mits had tennis shoes on, but he had shoes so he was kinda more prepared. There were clouds everywhere overhead, and it seemed like it would be a cool day. And finally we made it to the top in about half an hour. It was pretty windy up there. We checked out all the stuff at the top for another half hour and then started back down. We were basically running down, and we didn't get too far before it started pouring. There were puddles of water in the steps and we had to slow the pace down to avoid tumbling down. Finally, carrying a pound of water in our clothes, we made it back to the car. My car has cloth seats and i didnt want to ruin the car with a day old wet smell. I went through the trunk and found a trashbag and a poncho. Mits had a towel so he let me use the towel and he sat on the poncho. We looked back at what we just did in about 3 hours and what i did all in slippers. What a way to hike.

Recently, I went up Koko Head again with Mits and Kendall, and a little while later, with Mitsuo, Jared, Kaci, Robyn, and Keri. Those times, i did wear some good shoes, and i could go up a lot faster. 1000-something steps and it's pretty repetitive. There's a bridge about 600 steps up that everyone is afraid of, and the bridge really isn't that bad. There are some loose wood blocks on the bridge but we had no trouble running up the stairs and the bridge and running back down on our return. But, if its raining, the steps get slippery and you'll need to be careful. Also, there are concrete blocks that keep the rail in place, but you can slip on them if you're going fast up or down so watch out for those.

I've never been hiking up the koko crater hike because usually take the railroad tracks, or "stairs" up, and it's a huge stairmaster so you get some good exercise. Compared to the other places we've hiked, it's boring to go up koko head now. Even if we went up the koko crater hike, we'd still see the same old stuff at the top. Which reminds me, there's an old, run down world war II radar staion at the top. Everything doesn't work anymore and a lot of the stuff are just completely broken and/or gone. There's an old rail cart that's overtaken by grass and plants at the top. Apparently, it used to take people up even more, to the summit, but we just found a path to hike up to there. There's even some pieces of metal scraps and stuff on the other side of the mountain in the valley that probably fell because of the wind. There's and old winch that doesn't work, as well as a helipad, a concrete base where the radar used to be, and some buildings. There's a passageway behind the building right when you reach the top and Mits said he'd go with me through there to see what's in it the next time we come prepared with some flashlights, if we ever go up again.

Places like Wiliwilinui and Kuli'ou'ou are twice the height and have a good view of the other side of the island. The plan was to go hiking, take pics and post them that same day, but since i dont think we'll be going up anytime soon, I'll just put up the pics from the other times we went up.

Oh and i didnt have a camera the first time we went up so these pics are the 2nd and third times.

Koko Head
Down at the beginning.

koko head
Stairmaster

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The bridge

Koko head