Thursday, July 23, 2009

This is where I live

Alright, as promised I am updating today. Some of you are new to my blog, so welcome!

I had been planning an update to show you all my new place and everything like that for a bit now, and what better way to show you where I live than by taking pictures from the highest mountain I can climb?? Welcome to my Koko Head hiking journal / "this is where I live" thingy.

Why climb a mountain? You may be asking yourself... My answer to you is: Because it was there! So for a little history of the "trail" it was actually made when the army was here and had to make a lookout on top of Koko Head mountain. Doing what the army does best, they built a rail pulley system straight up to the top of the mountain. When I say straight up, I mean just that...

Not kidding

To describe the climb, I have to tell you there are two major parts to it. The first half or so is at a pretty steep grade and it's pretty tough going. There are a total of 1048 "steps" or in my definition "railroad ties" to the top. How do I know this?

Silly question

They are not exactly spaced like steps. Remember this was build to haul stuff, not so much for tourists to climb. Each "step" is about 3 feet apart. By about the 300th step, I had to take my first breather. Keep in mind that this is still the first, easier half of the climb. Once you get to the halfway point or so there is a pretty little bridge!

Once again, this was not built for tourist hikes. Luckily someone was nice enough to space the ties a little closer together so you only have about a foot and a half or two feet between them...

Did I mention the rotting ones?

I did in fact walk over this thing on the way up, but by the time I was coming back down I was exausted so I took the path on the side that no one seems to know about. With the first half of the hike out of the way, it is just smoooth sailing up to the top now right?....

Just kill me now

Now the hike turns into what I would call a ladder made of loose dirt, rocks, and rotting railroad ties. But hey, I'm over halfway now and I didn't just walk over that stupid bridge for no reason! Time to get climbing. The going is REALLY slow at this point and I had to take a breather after every 50 ties or so. Pay no attention to the marines with their 70lb packs on running up and down for a nice cardio program.... I will work on that another day. The hike is really rough. Kinda like climbing straight up a 1200 ft mountain might be. At any rate, I made it to the top!

Actually, this was just where the pulley system had ended. There was another 25 feet of rock steps to hit to actually get to the top of the mountain. Once I got there though, this is what I saw:

Hawaii Kai

This was the marina area. There is alot more residential space tucked into the valleys. In fact, I couldn't even see my house because it was tucked behind anothe mountain. I could see the other side of the mountain, which had a calderra and a great view. I hear you can see other islands on a clear day!

Not a clear day

The wind way really strong up here, but it felt soooooo good at this point because I was sweating like crazy! It also made it really difficult to hold the camera steady, so I couldn't take the best of pictures. The view was awesome, I could see everything around and even the Honolulu skyline over one of the ridges in the distance! It was definitely a great feeling conquering this mountain, and I reccomend it to anyone who visits and considers themselves to have decent cardio. Now all I have to do is make it back down...


That was my climb. For whatever reason I forgot to take pics of my actual place and the valley that I live in. I will have to upload some quickly for you.