2013 has been an insane year of adventure and growth for Exploration: Hawaii. We spent a significant amount of time this year exploring the neighbor islands of Maui, the Big Island, and Kauai. We hiked, we camped, we backpacked, but most importantly, we had oodles of fun. As a group, we explored Haleakala Crater during a 4-day backpacking adventure. Backpacking through Haleakala proved to be one of the most memorable experiences of my life. We also had a few individual highlights, including Ahnate’s completion of the Koolau Summit Trail, from Pupukea to Makapuu. He tackled and completed the most treacherous sections of the trail, including the dreaded Kalihi Saddle, and survived to tell his tale. Marvin embarked on a solo, 3-day tent-less hike from Pupukea to Waiahole.
If this footage from photographer and videographer, Fred Rackle, left you wanting more, well, I’ve got more for you. I stumbled on this great, vintage film from the 1960’s, titled Hawaii’s Spectacular Valcono Eruptions, by photographer Art Carter. In fact, Rackle is credited with helping with the video. The narration is great, but the video is even better. At one point, they show video of Kilauea Iki spewing a fountain of over 1,900 feet in height. Try to imagine lava being spewed over 1900 feet in the air. I’d love to see that in real life. The final six minutes shows video of the eruption in Puna, Big Island. There’s one aerial shot of the town, and you can see not too far behind (probably less than a mile), the volcano erupting. It’s an unbelievable sight that has to be seen to be believed. What an amazing time to have lived in Hawaii.
Although I have seen a lot of Haleakala National Park, I have not seen it all. In fact, it is likely that I will never be able to see all that this Hawaiian volcano has to offer. But I can try. I was eager to return to Haleakala after having hiked through the volcanoes most prominent hiking trails on a four-day backpacking trip. This time, though, I would be exploring upcountry Haleakala by hiking through the Pipiwai Trail which leads to the spectacular Waimoku Falls. This hike was also special because we did it on my wife’s birthday. I though that it would be cool to give her a 400-foot waterfall for her birthday.
I should have kept driving. My initial plan was to hike through the Honolulu Mauka Trail System by spending a lazy Saturday hiking the Pauoa Flats, Nuuanu, and Judd Trails. I would use the Manoa Cliff Trail to access Pauoa Flats. The Manoa Cliff Trail was wet and muddy, but nice as usual. I was the only one on the trail, I guess everyone else was at the Dead Man’s Catwalk. Better for me. The bench along the Manoa Cliff Trail is one of my favorite places. It faces Manoa Falls, and on a good day, you can see it flowing from a distance.
My vintage Polaroid collection is quickly growing. What began as a curiosity is quickly turning into a new hobby. The Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera is probably my favorite vintage camera that I own. In fact, it was the vintage camera that I decided to bring along with me on a recent trip to Maui. It is now common for me to lug both a digital and film camera when traveling.
No trip to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is complete without a visit to the end of Chain of Craters Road. Many times, visitors will check out the Holei Sea Arch, but completely skip out on fully venturing to the end of the road. Don’t be one of those people. The hike to the end is relatively short, though at times it feels like it is never ending. The National Park Service says that it is a one-mile roundtrip hike, but it feels much longer than that. It’s probably because the hike in and out is on a flat and monotonous paved road. Doesn’t matter, I’d suggest that you tough it out.
Dominic Boudreault captured the island of Maui beautifully in this short film, so much so that I want to book a ticket to Maui. Wait, that ticket is booked. And I leave this week. Awesome.
Located on the southern flank of Kilauea is one of the largest petroglyph fields in the state. Puu Loa, or, “hill of long life,” contains over 23,000 petroglyph images. Michelle and I decided to check out the petroglyph field after a visit to the end of Chain of Craters Road and the Holei Sea Arch. The hike in is about a one-mile trek on uneven, rocky terrain. However, once you reach the wooden planks at the end of the trail, you are awarded with a unique opportunity to view ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs carved hundred of years ago.