Friday, July 16, 2010

Haiku Stairs Camp

As I was loading up pictures to Facebook I came across this:
Stairway at night...catch the city lights, get some sleep, watch the sunrise. Sounds fr!ken awesome! But before committing myself I texted Vance a buco-billion questions: Camp or hike? Party Hardy all nighter? Tent? Beers or Hards? If I was going to be stuck on the top of the Koolau Mountains overnight I wanted to know what that entailed. Luckily Vance wasn’t trying to pull an all nighter with tons of booze. I don’t think it’s a good idea to get nuts on top of that mountain, he texted. I agreed! Shas said she was in and what a relief it was to know that my bestie would be joining me. Beimes was going too so that made me feel better. The more definitely the merrier.

The next day Shas and I went shopping to prepare for our mission. We walked around Walmart picking up the necessities, and as we debated long and hard about carrying a bulky sleeping bag to the top of the mountain Shas had the greatest idea, “Let’s take an inflatable raft and blanket.” Perfect! It’s not bulky, and it’s way more comfortable than sleeping on the hard ground. With that settled we finished up our shopping still unsure if everything would fit in a backpack. Shas went to Sports Authority to find a real hiking pack but I went home to squeeze in a nap. I got about an hour of rest, and although short, it was much needed for our midnight trek up thousands of stairs.
10:00 pm
The weather looked good so I started to pack my bag. Heavy jacket, jeans, blanket, poncho, headlamp, flashlight, bandaids, camera, tripod, water, booze, floaty, blanket, toothbrush and toothpaste, cell phone, snacks...I hope I’m not missing anything I told myself. 

12:00 am
Shas was running late, and to top it off got pulled over for speeding. I was beginning to have second thoughts about the overnighter but we made it to Vance’s, and not a surprise, Beimes was running late as well.

1:00 am
Vance, Beimes, Vince, Naomi, Shasta and I left for Haiku Stairs. As we parked, another car pulled up. I guess we weren’t the only ones with this great idea. What a mood killer it was to have two strangers intrude on our adventure, but that didn't stop us.

1:30 am
I took my first actual step, just one of many to come. The hike to the first platform is always killer but tonight with a twenty pound backpack, it was insane! I don’t even know how many times I took a break, but I do know there were several times I wanted to hurl my pack over the rails.

2:15 am
Platform one accomplished in the clouds.

2:45 am
Platform two completed in more clouds.

3:15 am
Satellite reached still in the clouds!

We were finally there, sitting in the bunker, trying to keep warm from the wind and blowing up our inflatables. Beimes even set up Vince’s hammock. With our sleeping situation set, we busted out the food or should I say candy. From chocolate to Sour Patch Kids to beef jerky to Won Ton Chips, we had it all! Everyone must’ve been on a sugar rush with all that junk. The sweets did come in handy though, especially to chase the hards or cranberry juice and vodka that tasted more like cough syrup..SPK (Sour Patch Kids) back! Fortunately, Vince had this cool gadget which boiled water in two minutes so there was even some cup-o-noodle going around.
4:45 am
Before we knew it the sun would be coming up. With less than an hour left of darkness we turned off the headlamps and tried to get some sleep. The inflatables were comfortable especially since Beimes was such a gentleman and let me use his sleeping bag. He even pumped up my floaty. I guess that makes up for leaving me to walk around with ferns in my hair on Puu Manamana
But it wasn’t long before visitors woke us up. They must have been surprised to see our ridiculous set up. I peeked out from the sleeping bag not wanting to miss the sunrise but all I could see was white. Still in the clouds! No view meant no rise and definitely no reason to get up. It was 6:15 am! I rolled over and tried to get more rest, but it was freezing. The wind and rain whipped through the doorway. Additional hikers came and left, and in our unsuccessful attempts to get some zzz's we finally began to pack up. Luckily there wasn't a line of twenty other hikers in front of us so the descent was quick. 

9:00 am
We were done!!! Exhausted but accomplished. Disappointed but happy. WE WERE DONE!
Although we left with no view of the city lights or sunrise, climbing Haiku Stairs at night is definitely something I've always wanted to experience and...
What an experience it was!

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