Happy 2nd Birthday, To Us!

Before we say goodbye to the month of August, I’d like to thank all of our wonderful and dedicated readers. Exploration: Hawaii has made it to see its second year anniversary of existence on the Interwebs. Since our inception in August 2011, we have documented over 160+ different hikes. That’s a lot of hiking. That’s also a lot of sweat, mud, laughs, bumps, and bruises. Most of these hikes are based on Oahu, but, we’ve also began exploring the outer islands, like Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island. Our 2nd year culminated with a 4-day backpacking trip through Haleakala Crater. We’re stoked, and we’re excited to continue exploring this wonderful state.

I had made a few goals when we celebrated our 1st birthday, such as a new logo (check), filling the gaps on our hikes page (ongoing), more outer-island content (check), and guest posts from other Hawaii adventurers (working on this). For year three, I’d like to set a couple more goals. I really would like to complete all of the accessible hikes listed under the Oahu section of our hikes page. I’d like to get a regular guest writer, preferably from the outer-island. Finally, I’d like to start a weekly newsletter with exclusive content and photos.

Again, thank you to all of our dedicated readers and supporters. If you haven’t already done so, we would appreciate it if you like us on Facebook, tweet about us, and link back to Exploration: Hawaii. Tell your friends about us and we’ll love you forever.

Haleakala Backpacking Adventure Day 2: Kapalaoa Cabin to Paliku Cabin

Day two of our Haleakala backpacking adventure started off very early for me. I had a hard time falling asleep between the symphony of snores and tossing and turning in my bunk. When I did fall asleep, it didn’t last for very long. I awoke just as the sun was rising, to the sound of John rearranging his backpack and Mike boiling water in the kitchen. For breakfast, I had one of Joel’s famous Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies, hot chocolate, and some almonds. While preparing for the days hike, I made sure to apply some moleskin to some problem areas on my feet that I noticed the day before. By 9am, we were all packed and ready to leave Kapalaoa Cabin.

Continue Reading

8 Exposures Vol. 1: Above The Koolau Summit

Note: [REMOVED] is a closed trail and is not open to the public. As our disclaimer partially reads: “I’m not your daddy, these are dangerous as sh*t hikes, even the simple ones, if you got [insert applicable disorder, disease, or physical impairments] don’t even think about it yo.” Also, consider these tips on Hiking Safely In Hawaii. Because of this, many of the photos from this post have been removed. Mahalo.

On a recent trip to New York, I had the chance to stop by the Impossible Project Space New York City, to check out their stock of vintage Polaroid cameras. I ended up leaving the shop with a refurbished Polaroid Cool Cam, circa 1988. I was seven when this camera was released. Essentially, the Cool Cam is a rebranded model of Polaroid’s Sun 600 line of cameras (originally released in 1983; I was just two then). I had originally wanted to pick up a rainbow striped OneStep SX-70 Land Camera. However, I found the striking red hardware on the Cool Cam very attractive. It’s like Polaroid had the foresight to do a (Product)RED product before (Product)RED was even a thing. Nonetheless, I had left New York City with a 25-year-old camera, one pack of color film, one pack of black and white film, and a vintage Polaroid carrying bag. I was ready to shoot Hawaii, with Impossible film.

Continue Reading

Beyond Waikiki by Gavin Beck

Very cool video. My one hope for first-time visitors to Oahu: get out of Waikiki. See the island without all of the tourist distractions. It’s a great feeling to turn a corner without having see an ABC store. If you’re exhausted from seeing too many ABC stores then you know that it is time to get out of Waikiki.

“We were recently given the awesome opportunity to a free vacation on O’ahu for 5 days. We aren’t the resort-type, so we rented a car and went exploring. This is a tribute to the adventure found when you leave the resorts, the people, and the beaten path and get lost in exploration and wonder.” -Gavin Beck

Yes, the island has so much more to offer than ABC stores.

Haleakala Backpacking Adventure Night 1: The Sunset, The Milky Way, And Shooting Stars

As soon as the sun disappeared into the horizon, our entire group just gravitated to the outside of Kapalaoa Cabin. The cold air was nice and crisp. A jacket and my slippers were enough for me. Mike needed even less. While we (Ahnate, Allison, Coty, Janice, and Joel) were busy clicking out shutters, trying to capture the night sky, Mike simply lied flat on his back on the lone picnic table and watched as Mother Nature did her thing. And he did it all in his tighty-whities. We learned a lot about Mike that night.

Continue Reading

Haleakala Backpacking Adventure Day 1: Keoneheehee (Sliding Sands) Trail to Kapalaoa Cabin

What started out as a discussion over beers a few months ago has finally come to fruition. The Exploration: Hawaii crew can now proudly say that we have completed Haleakala, visiting all three Haleakala cabins, over a span of 4 days. The entire trip went smoothly, until, that is, one of our 10 member crew ended up on a stretcher, in an ambulance and then the emergency room of Maui Memorial Hospital. But, I’m jumping ahead of myself. There is so much to share about Haleakala, that I will be breaking up our backpacking adventure into a couple of detailed posts. Let’s start with Day 1, which brought us from the summit of Haleakala at 10,000+ feet to Kapalaoa Cabin, via the Sliding Sands Trail.

Continue Reading

The Luxurious Grand Wailea At Night

For my 32nd birthday, my wife Michelle swept me away to Maui’s luxurious Grand Wailea. The Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, is known for its winding paths, world-renown collection of art, and open-air architecture.

We arrived in Maui late in the evening, and by the time we reached the the Grand Wailea, it was already dark. The first thing that catches your eye is a large sweeping waterfall to the right of the main lobby. To the left, is a large statue of King Kamehameha by local legend, Herb Kane. Both Michelle and I were eager to jump out of our Dodge Charger to check out what the resort had to offer. I was especially excited to see what our room looked like.

Continue Reading