Download Exploration: Hawaii iPhone Wallpapers (Series 1)

Some of you may have noticed the new Exploration: Hawaii logo. Yep, we’ve got a fresh new logo! And now, we’ve got some fresh iPhone 5 (and 4/S) wallpapers for you to use. Each of the four designs are super fun, featuring the iconic views from the Kahekili-Manamana trail, a totally stoked Hawaiian turtle, and of course the Happy Face Spider. We’ve got two versions of the Happy Face Spider wallpaper, one of which features the Exploration: Hawaii motto: Stay Rad, Hawaii. Download links are at the bottom of the post. I hope that you enjoy!

Continue Reading

Say Hello To The Happy Face Spider

The ever elusive Happy Face Spider (Theridion grallator). Ah, I finally got you to smile for me on camera! On a recent hiking trip to the Palehua-Palikea trail, I spotted two very happy looking Happy Face Spiders. They are known as Happy Face Spiders because the array of colors on the back of their abdomens make it seem as if they are, well, smiling. Hawaiians gave these spiders the name Nananana Makaki`i, which simply means face-patterned spider. It’s Hawaiian name sort of reminds me of that Steam hit from 1969… sing it with me… “Na na na na, hey hey-ey, goodbye. Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey-ey, goodbye!”

Continue Reading

Puu Pia: An Easy Stroll In The Back of Manoa Valley

Puu Pia, a short hike located in the rear of Manoa Valley, has been on my list of to-do hikes for a while now. This trail is one of the many hiking trails that make up the Honolulu Mauka Trail System. With a free Saturday afternoon and the onset of a nasty seasonal cold rearing it’s ugly head, I decided to knock out one more hike before I would be relegated to the bed. Puu Pia turned out to be the perfect choice.

Continue Reading

Searching For and Photographing The Milky Way

Night photography is something that I only just recently became interested in. And it took a little nudge by Ahnate, who suggested that we spend a Friday night on the east side of the island, in the cold darkness, and try to take pictures of the Milky Way. I didn’t think that it was possible to take photos of the Milky Way without the use of expensive photography equipment and super fancy lenses. I was wrong. And Friday was awesome.

Continue Reading

Should The City and County of Honolulu Reopen Haiku Stairs (Stairway to Heaven)?

There has been a lot of chatter, lately, about the City and County of Honolulu reopening the popular hiking trail known as Haiku Stairs, or Stairway to Heaven. This comes after the recent citation of two visitors from Florida, who needed to be rescued from the trail. According to the Honolulu StarAdvertiser, a 32-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman spent the night on the Moanalua side of the mountains while en route to the summit of Haiku Stairs. Just a day later, recently elected Honolulu Mayor, Kirk Caldwell, stated that he would eventually like to see Haiku Stairs eventually re-opened (see video) and made accessible to the public again.

Continue Reading

Maakua Ridge (Papali) Trail: A Quick Loop Trail North of Punaluu

The last time I was in this area was over a year ago when I did the Hauula Loop Trail with Joel and Marvin. Since then, I’ve done many trails throughout the island, but never had the chance to return to do the second half of what Stuart Ball calls the Hauula-Papali Loop Trail. I finally found the time to finish the larger portion of Ball’s double loop, but unlike last time, I would be doing the hike solo.

Continue Reading

5 Great Day Hikes on Oahu

A fan of the Exploration: Hawaii Facebook page recently asked for day hike suggestions for an upcoming trip to Oahu. I gave the question some thought and came up with what I think are five exemplary hikes. Each of the suggested trails offer very unique and differing views of the island. One could easily spend 8 hours or more on each of these hikes. Each hike also comes with its own set of dangers and can be very taxing for even the most veteran of hikers, especially those who are not familiar with Hawaii’s volcanic and often times crumbly terrain.

Continue Reading