Monday, December 5, 2011

Makapuu Ridge (Night Hike)

Two nights before thanksgiving a group of us had hiked at night to Puu O Kona.  After this hike, which took us late into the night, I had no plans of hiking until after Thanksgiving but as I was sitting and watching tv at around 10pm on Thanksgiving Eve when I recieved a call from one of my buddies who had joined me the night before on the Puu O Kona adventure.  He was inquiring to see if my wife and I were interested in hiking that night at about 11pm.  I could do nothing else but laugh and merely told him that I just didn't think it was going to be possible for us to join him.  To my amazement, my wife quickly jumped up and said "lets go!"  After seeing my wifes enthusiam about hiking on this night, I figured why not.  We finished what we were doing and waited for my buddy to pick us up.

My friend arrived at my house shortly after 1030pm and we quickly headed down the highway and off to his other friends house, who would always be joining us on the hike.  After picking her up we drove past Hanauma bay and shortly afterwards reached the Makapuu lookout where we parked the car.  We wasted no time in starting.  Instantly after parking we all ran across the highway and headed straight up the hill, following the fence line to the top.  Once at the top, we veered right and continued to follow the ridgeline along its edge.  This was probably the hardest hike i've done at night.  It was not very strenuous (I actually hiked it in sandals) but it was very hard to find the trail and to follow in a few spots.  The views were not all that great because we were not at a very high elevation and there were not many houses or city lights in the area beneath of us.  Looking at the lighthouse beaming directly in front of us was pretty neat however.  Our goal was to hike to the puka along the ridge and then hang out there and get some pictures and then to come back.  Doing this would take a few hours in itself but for the really good views and pictures we would have had to hike up the mountainside another hour or so to get to the hang glider launching pad where the views to the city beneath open up.  Since it was alreay late we decided against this.  No reason to do that long trek when we could just go hike the shorter Kamehame ridge to the hang glider launching pad on other night.

We continuously weeved in and out of brush along the mountainside, trying to avoid the cacti plants that would present themselves every so often.  After emerging from the brush, the trail stayed true to the cliffs edge the rest of the way with a few easy rock climbing parts before we eventually reached the puka above Sea Life Park.  The four of us spent an incredible amount of time taking pictures and just goofing off and enjoying each others company.  The wind was not blowing to hard so me and my buddy took turns climbing in to the puka for photo ops.  This was maybe the funnest night hike i've done as of yet.  We did get some views of the city lights on the other side of the mountain and the clouds were lit up on that side.  We all sat in awe of the beauty and took as many pictures with the tripod as possible.

After an extraordinary amount of time spent at the puka, we all packed up our stuff and began our journey back down to the lookout and our car.  Unfortunately, on the way back I missed our junction and we ended up scratching and pawing our way through thick brush to reach our car.  Not even this mistake and my scratched up body could put a damper on this night.  Not even the fact that it was after 3am could bother me.  There is nothing like a good hike on thanksgiving night or morning to remind one of what you are truly grateful and thankful for.  Nature, family, and friends.  I could not have asked for a better start to my Thanksgiving holiday.

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