About two years ago, I went sailing with a friend from Ala Wai Boat Harbor to Kaneohe Bay. The voyage around the southeastern part of the island provided spectacular views of the coastline.
While I have been in the area many times since I was a child, including doing field work for my BMC senior thesis (geology), it was a real treat to see the familiar landmarks from the sea.
Hiking is one of my favorite activities, although I haven’t done much of it lately. When my friend (the same one I went sailing with) asked if I wanted to do the Koko Crater Railway hike, I thought it would be a cool thing.
Arriving at the parking lot in the Koko Head District Park and looking up at the top of the crater, I began to think that maybe it wasn’t such a cool thing after all. There already were a number of small specks of color moving up toward the summit, each speck being a person.
View from the parking lot:
The trail follows an old railway line up the side of the crater. The beginning of the hike isn’t too bad.
It’s what comes after that makes one question one’s sanity. The railway ties, turned steps, are irregularly spaced and rather tricky to negotiate for someone with short legs like me. To make matters worse, there are 1000+ of them (murder for someone who is out of shape and used to sitting in front of a computer all day). I’ll never complain about the 100 steps along the Diamond Head trail again.
So…was the effort (and current muscle pain) worth it? Absolutely.
Looking over Hawaii Kai toward Diamond Head and Honolulu in the distance (a bit hazy due to VOG):
Road along the coast:
For you POTC fans, part of the latest movie was shot in this area.
Looking over the interior of the crater to the coast just past Sandy Beach:
There is a botanical garden located on the floor of the crater.
Expensive homes on a ridge:
For the history- or mechanically-minded, there are old concrete bunkers and machinery from WWII still at the top.
Machinery inside a bunker:
It reminds me of a skull.
A rusty winch:
Although fairly modern, it would look at home on FOC!
I mentioned that senior thesis. Here are some photomicrographs of some thin sections I prepared from samples collected in the area (yes, I had a permit):