I have always loved writing, and now that I am retired I thought I would be able to find time to write, but it seems that I still manage to fill my days with activities. I have however found that while I travel, I enjoy writing about some of the interesting things we do. I hope you enjoy reading of our adventures as much as I like writing about them.
Thursday, October 6, 2016
Climbing Into a Volcano
At Diamond Head
Now I admit that the title is a bit
dramatic . . . We actually visited Diamond Head State Monument but 300,000
years ago this crater WAS formed by a volcanic eruption. This site is the most
recognized landmark in Hawaii, and was designated a National Natural Landmark
in 1968. During the war the strategic location and panoramic views of the
surrounding area from of the crater walls made this an ideal location for
island defense, so observation posts, gun emplacement, and fire control
stations were installed.
The infrastructure built by the military
provided the basis for the current facility. There is a 1.3 km hike up the
crater walls to the top. Although not a long hike, it involves a climb of 560 ft,
173 steps up, a 52 step circular staircase climb, two tunnels (one 225 ft
long), and then 82 stairs back down to the original trail. All this is
connected by a steep switch-back trail up
Through the Tunnel
the crater wall. All of this is part
of the original military installation.
The trail is popular. There was a steady
stream of people making the climb to the 761 ft observation tower area. There
were at least three school groups and hundreds of tourists in a steady line all
the way up and down the hike. We were properly outfitted for the adventure, with
good shoes, hats and water, but there were many people struggling up the
slippery trails in flip-flops or dress shoes, and I saw one woman in heels. It
was a sunny hot day, with 28° temperatures and many people did not have water
with them. I was surprised at how easy I found the climb. I listened to people
huffing and puffing and breathing hard where I was fine; I guess I am in better
shape than I thought. My knees were feeling it on the way down, but I found it
a very pleasant morning adventure.
Wear Appropriate Footware?
I do think we will take it easy the rest of
the day however.