|Here's where the fun starts|
We parked at Koko Head Regional Park and headed for the base of the tracks. I could tell Mrs. XJ was having second thoughts as we approached the bottom of the old rails but she continued onward. There's no tricks on the trail, it's all laid out for you to see.
|1048 steps to go!|
This trail is BUSY. I can't imagine what this place is like on a weekend considering the number of people here on a Wednesday morning. Locals and tourists all sweat their way to the top. This looks like it get's even more traffic than Kaiwa Ridge in Lanikai. About midway up there's a section where the tracks are elevated to cross a small gully. Mrs. XJ is deathly afraid of heights but toughed it out on the tracks instead of taking the bypass trail on the way up. There was a moment when she froze up a little but she got passed it.
The Koko Head Shooting Complex is just off to the side of the trail. Like yesterday, gunfire filled the air. This sounded a lot tamer though and it looked like it was mostly on the police side of the range. The soft little pops of their pistols was nothing compared to the heavy machine gun fire at Schofield. Every so often you could hear a ricochet's whine as a bullet found a rock down range.
|Start of the trail after the tracks|
The last part of the tracks is the most brutal and you could see it taking it's toll on everyone. We certainly didn't set any speed records on the way up! At the end of the tracks there are some concrete buildings that were associated with the radar. A short trail leads to the summit and the grated platform that once housed the radar antenna.
Upon reaching the summit we enjoyed the great views of the Hawaii Kai area. Looking east into the crater is the botanical gardens, to the south Hanauma Bay, and west is Diamond Head.
It was scorching hot but the breeze kept us cool. I was getting fried in the sun though after spending two days in it. My neck was starting to get really burnt. I really need to wear some sunscreen. We lingered and I posed for more goofy photos. We had a quick bite to eat, Mrs. XJ a musubi and I a ham and cheese sandwich, then headed back down the trail.
|About the top of the tracks. The wide angle masks the steepness.|
|Koko Marina and Hawaii Kai|
|Mrs. XJ updates her Facebook Status|
|Looking down into Koko Crater|
The trip down was much quicker and on the way out I spotted a kiawe-banyan tree. I have a feeling the banyan will win eventually. Arriving back at the car safely we completed the hike. I learned two things from this trail. First, I should really wear sunscreen because I'm completely fried, and second, after being married for over a decade Mrs. XJ can still surprise me...
Aloha and thanks for reading!