Saturday, February 28, 2009

Swamp Romp

I don't have any pics from the swamp romp, and I'm sick so i wanna sleep soon so I'll just put a little about the swamp romp. I could have done better today, but i got sick on Friday, so i was mad at myself. The romp was down at Kaneʻohe Marine Corps Base and we had to get up at around 4:30 today. That's four in the morning. Mits got up at 4, and he was making food. There was eggs, rice, sausages, and some pizza, all part of a balanced breakfast. Good thing Matt let us sleep over if not we would have gotten up earlier.

Six of us make a team so we took two cars, three and three. Ryan's car has the best bass in the world, but his speakers are gonna blow up someday. As we went along the pitch black highway at 5 in the morning, we went up a hill, and on the other side were lots of cars. They all came for the swamp romp too, and it took about half an hour just to get to the parking, which was only about a mile away from the entrance. 5 in the morning and we had the windows down, blasting the music and getting pumped up.

After we parked, we followed the crowd and went to the race area. We had to wait in lines again for a race chip, to record our time, and a number. There were separate lines for each, so we split up. But in no time, we were getting ready to start. I had clif bloks so we all had one each on the way to the start line. Team 308.

We were off. We came upon the first of many mud pits and just went through it, passing as many teams as we could, but everybody had to wait when we came to a 4 foot high wall that was giving others trouble. Our clothes covered in mud and our faces splattered with mud, we were anxious to keep on continuing, but we had to wait for 10 minutes before it was our turn to go over the wall. The wait ruined our time, so we just sped up. The 5.5 mile course was a test of endurance and had many mud and clay pits. The mud didn't taste that bad when you fell in it, but the clay was salty and bitter. The mud and clay were gritty, and lots of people still had some stuck in their teeth after the race was done.

The course went all the way to the beach, and it took us into the water. After more pits full of mud, we finally made it to the home stretch and passed about 4 teams. The rules are that teams finish together, so with linked arms, we sprinted into the finish.

Soaked in mud and clay, we got a shower from army trucks nearby and went to dry off. I don't know where to find our time yet, but I think it was around two hours. We started at around 8 and got back at 10. It was a fun race, and we would all do it again, but everyone is leaving for college so we'll see about that.

RACE RESULTS ARE UP-Ok it's monday and i just found the race results. Check them out. Our team got 70th overall and third in the young mens' division. We did better than i thought and actually took 1 hour 25 minutes. And the 2nd place team was our friend Tyler and his team. They were fast.

UPDATE-3/15-Tyler's team actually came in first, and it turns out we actually got 69th place.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Kuli'ou'ou Ridge Trail to Pu'u O Kona Hike

Today I wanted to hike, and no one else could go, so I decided to go hike Kuli'ou'ou and go along the ridge to Pu'u O Kona. I could also see if it's possible to hike from the Kuli'ou'ou summit to the Konahuanui summit. The hike is fun and I didn't think it was that hard, but other sites say it is. Pu'u O Kona is the summit the middle of the Kuli'ou'ou ridges, and the trail to it is harder to get up than the Kuli'ou'ou state trail, so I started off at the Kuli'ou'ou trail and just went past the end of the trail mark to Pu'u O Kona. There were a lot of people on the trail today, but only two of them went past the end of the trail mark. The rest went back after they got to the end of the trail mark.

When I got to the end of the Kuli'ou'ou, it was cold and windy up there, and I continued on. The first rope section had no rope anymore because someone moved the rope. The rope was useless where it was, so they did some helpful stuff by moving it to a more useful place, a climbing part along the hike. The rope part with the electric cable had a landslide, so there's a huge crater-like hole that made it a little harder to get up. The dirt around that part of the hike is really loose on dry days like today, so watch out because you can slip when climbing up, and it's a long way down.

After I got up, I found my favorite hiking fruits, thimbleberries. I found about 10 of them so I got to have a little snack along the way. Mits and I turned around at that part before, so I continued on, finding more and more thimbleberries on the way to Pu'u O Kona. The path to Pu'u O Kona can get pretty narrow and have straight drops on the right side, so it's not a good trail for people afraid of heights. Eventually, you come upon a narrow dirt path that has drops on each side, and a landslide had recently narrowed the path even more. Then, there is a steep climb with no rope, and after those, the path is overgrown, but easy. Apparently, there was a rope on the steep climb, but I guess someone took it off, oh well, I made it up anyway. You finally reach Pu'u O Kona after the climbing, and you can see the path continue along the Ko'olau summits or a path that goes back down. The path that goes down is the path that could take you up to Pu'u O Kona, but it's in the middle of Kuli'ou'ou and it's hard to climb, from what I've read.

The point of the hike today was to find out if it possible to hike along the Ko'olau summits, and it is, so I'll be returning with Maxx and maybe others to hike to Konahuanui. On Google Earth, I found out the hike would be about 15-20 miles, lots of fun to be had, so next saturday we do the swamp romp, and then in the coming months we'll hike Kuli'ou'ou to Konahuanui.

Since no one else was there, it's all scenery and no people. I got some good pics though.

You could see the other island today. I never saw it before, so today was a pretty clear day. Click for the full size and you can see the island of Moloka'i in the distance.


The Ko'olau summits, with Konahuanui far away at the right.

A nice steep drop

That's Pu'u O Kona in the middle of the picture

Ohi'a Lehua. Pretty.

That dirt part is the narrow and landslide part.

Looking back

This part may not look steep but it was, and there was no rope anymore, which added to the challenge.

Panorama-this one didnt come out too good. i guess i need to go back and get better pics

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Another China Walls day...

...but today we got opihi! They taste like salt, but they have a nice chewy texture. Everyone we called was busy or just out of it so it was me and Royce today. We jumped in at the walls until Royce found an opihi shell and we decided to look for live ones. First, I used the old shell to pry the opihi off the rocks, and those things were stuck pretty good, so it took some effort to get em off. Then, we went back to the car to get something to use to take the opihi off the rocks. I had a metal stick that's originally for hitting the triangle in band, so we used that, and it turned out to be pretty effective in getting those opihi off the rocks.

According to Royce, we got about $25 worth of opihi that day. We got about 15-20 opihi, and they don't get fresher than that, right from the side of the rocks. They were all about an inch wide. It was fun, yet dangerous, because the opihi are on the edge near the water, and the waves were bangin today, so we had to move away before the waves swept us out.

Here some pics, and also another thing we found and pried off the rocks at china walls:

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tilt Shift

Ever heard of it?
It's a kind of technique along with a special lens for photography and it makes certain pictures seem as if someone took a picture of mini toys or something. Don't get it? Check out the sample pics in the tutorial.

It's pretty cool, but I didn't wanna spend money on a new lens when I found out I could do it with photoshop. Good lenses are at least over $400 so I'd save up for a fisheye instead. The tutorial is here along with the sample pics that the guy made.

I tried that with some of my pics and came up with these. Not as good, but it was worth a try. I guess you need the right angles and distances too.