If I had to sum up Puu Hapapa in three words, those three words would be: short, thrilling, and exhilarating. This actually was not my first attempt at Hapapa. Last February I was scheduled to hike it with a few other people. However, it ended up pouring rain within the first 15 minutes of the hike. Due to the unforeseen circumstances, Joel, Ahnate, and I decided that it would be best to pass on the rest of the hike and instead go, ummm, bowling. Hey, bowling, beer, and comfort food is a nice alternative to wet hiking! Four months later, we returned to Puu Hapapa. Fortunately for us, the skies were clear and the trail was nice and dry. Today’s crew would be Exploration: Hawaii regulars, Joel and Ahnate, plus my good buddy John, who just returned from a stint in Afghanistan. John was game for an epic hike and so were the rest of us. Hapapa was on like Donkey Kong.
It’s been years since I last did Maunawili Falls Trail. To be exact, it’s been 6 long years. This was one of those of hikes that I never forgot because I did it on a random summer day with a close group of college friends. One of them was even convinced to skip out on lab after being promised that he would be back in time for an important lab meeting. He was assured that the hike would last only 30 minutes. Of course, it didn’t last 30 minutes. And of course, he missed out on his lab meeting. Since then, two of us have completed PhD’s (myself and the friend that assured the other friend that the hike would last just 30 minutes), one of us is on the brink of completing a PhD (the one that got suckered into thinking it was a 30 minute hike), and one will soon be a licensed pharmacist. A lot happened over the last 6 years.
To me, holidays are all about fun, food, and friends. Memorial Day 2012 was no exception. A handful of close friends and I made our way to the most popular snorkeling spot on the island of Oahu – Hanauma Bay. The bay is the neighbor to what a friend of mine has called “The Stairway to Hell.” That stairway being the tracks at Koko Crater. As we were driving to Hanauma, we noticed that a lot of people were climbing up and down the Koko Crater tracks. From a distance, the little humans specks could be seen making their way to the top of the crater. Hanauma Bay was busy as well. Fortunately for us, security re-opened the gates to the parking just as we approached the entrance and quickly closed the entrance off not too long after we entered. Yes, our hunt for fish was on.