Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ka'iwa Ridge Sunrise

January 25, 2011 Ka'iwa Ridge Sunrise

Dawn breaking over Wailea Point
It's a story longer than I wish to tell but instead of hiking across the Ko'olaus as planned, I'm having lunch with some relatives from out of town.  I woke up to an almost perfect day in Kailua.  Clear skies, no wind, and cool temperatures.  At just before 6am I jumped into my truck with my Nikon and headed to Ka'iwa Ridge behind Lanikai.  This trail and I go way, way back to my childhood when I lived on the road the trail starts from.  Later we moved to Blue Stone, the condo complex at the foot of the ridge.  I can still remember walking along this ridge with my dad all those years ago as a little kid.  I used to gaze in wonder at the runways of Bellows AFS as we looked down on them from the trail.  Funny the things you remember from so long ago!  In high school I climbed this ridge almost every Friday night to... well... nevermind what I was doing.  Let's just say I've been up this ridge hundreds and hundreds of times.  

Amazingly, I was the first one up the trail this morning.  I knew that because I was the lucky one who got to remove all the spider webs that had been built overnight.  It was still dark when I passed "Stay-Puft Rock" so I didn't pause, just kept climbing up to the first and then the second "bunkers" or "pill boxes" as they are called.  Part of network of coastal artillery, Fire-control station "Podmore" was built in 1942 to direct fire from the 3 and 5 inch guns of former Battery Wailea.  Each held optical range finding equipment to target the artillery in the event of a Japanese landing during WWII.

I arrived well before sunrise and took off one of my slippers to serve as a mount for my camera.  Thoughts of the scorpions that live here were not far from my mind.  In forth grade I got stung by one up at the second bunker on my birthday and I set an unbroken world speed record down the mountain thinking I was going to die.  I snapped a couple pics of the sky lightening up as the sun continued it's steady rise below the horizon.  A short time later the first voices floated up from below and soon the first of about a dozen people appeared.  I talked for a while with a guy from California who was renting a place in Lanikai who had just come from a pretty extensive tour of Normandy Beach and the Pacific.  He was happy that I knew what the emplacements were for and he told me about all the fortifications and battle sites he'd been visiting on his trip.  Turns out he was a private pilot too so we had a lot to talk about waiting for the sun to rise.

Soon enough the sun made it's grandiose rise over Moloka'i and officially bought in the new day.  I grabbed more than a couple shots and lingered as the tourists and a couple locals left.  I considered heading down the trail towards Enchanted Lakes but decided I'd better get home and take care of the chores that I usually do on Wednesday so I could hit a trail. 

Sun rising over Moloka'i
 As an added bonus I got to do a little climbing because about half way down I dropped a lens cap over the edge of the ridge. They're about twenty bucks (learned that a couple weeks ago when I lost one near Hawaii Loa on the KST) so I put down my camera and my other lens to scramble about 10 feet down the steep ridge to look for it.  I found it!  On the way up I surprised the heck out of a guy coming down who thought I fell off the ridge.

Uneventfully I returned to my truck and headed home.  Three hours later I have yet to start any of my chores!

More pictures of this trail and others I've done are can be viewed  Flickr.  Aloha and mahalo for reading. 

No comments:

Post a Comment