Different Perspectives

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.

10 04.07 Koko Head and coastline 04 sm

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.

Koko Crater:

10 04.07 Koko Crater from sea sm


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:

arrival at the park

The trail follows an old railway line up the side of the crater. The beginning of the hike isn’t too bad.

at the bottom of the trail

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.

looking back

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):

Diamond Head and Honolulu in distance

Hanauma Bay:

Hanauma Bay

Road along the coast:

road along 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:

over crater rim to beach

There is a botanical garden located on the floor of the crater.

Expensive homes on a ridge:

million dollar homes

For the history- or mechanically-minded, there are old concrete bunkers and machinery from WWII still at the top.

Electric pole:

old electric pole

Machinery inside a bunker:

skull like machinery

It reminds me of a skull.

A rusty winch:


Although fairly modern, it would look at home on FOC!

winch detail


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):

thin section basalt

thin section tuff

thin section stained limestone


3 comments on “Different Perspectives

  1. Buck says:

    For some reason I don’t think of limestone when I think of O’ahu, but that slide is very cool. The machinery up on Koko Head reminds me of the rusty Northeast, where I live.

  2. MMG says:

    How energetic of you, but what results for all your effort. Great photographs…. spectacular scenery.

  3. […] and places from various points of view. At the beginning of this year, I wrote a blog entry titled “Different Perspectives.” This entry can be seen as a […]

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