This past week has absolutely flown by! I knew that it would. I had a visit with my dearest and best friend in the world, and it’s the last week of summer. That’s OK, though, because there is always Photo Friday to look forward to at the end of what is often both a long and short week. This week, I’m taking you up Diamond Head with me, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Before we headed off to Hawaii for our vacation, we started making plans for all the things we wanted to pack into the 6 days that we had. We knew we wanted to visit Pearl Harbor, take in a luau, and go on a sunset cruise. The sheer number of activities quickly overwhelmed me. One of the things that I wanted to do was make sure that I was in position to take some beautiful photos. As I was reading about where I could do that, I kept seeing references to various hiking opportunities.
Because of a workplace accident, my Sner is not able to take advantage of things like going for a hike. Breathing in ammonia and exhaust due to a defective exhaust system so damaged her lungs that it is often difficult for her to walk. Hiking is out of the question for her. I wanted to do some hiking, but I also didn’t want to do it by myself. Enter my friend Brandy who was game to go with me.
Like I said last week, I try not to let my weight keep me from doing the things that I want to do. Before Brandy and I got up to go for our hike, I reminded her that I’m slow. And I might need to take a few more breaks than she’s used to but that I would get there eventually.
Because photography was my main goal, we got up and made it to Diamond Head before the gates opened at 6:00. We were in a long line with a seemingly a million other people waiting to hike up. Most of us got out of our cars and wandered around, taking in the beauty of the place.
Sadly, while the allure of Diamond Head is the fantastic sunrise and sunset views, the park doesn’t open early enough to catch the sun coming up from the summit and it closes before the sun sets. Brandy mentioned that it had been a really long time since she had hiked Diamond Head. There are so many other trails that are easier to get to and more importantly don’t cost. Those other places are often less-crowded. Because Diamond Head is iconic, tour buses pull in and off-load countless numbers of tourists.
When Brandy and I entered the park, we were in the middle of several buses of Japanese tourists. We fell into line behind an older couple and decided that as long as we kept up with the septuagenarians we would be good because after all, if a pair of 70 year olds can do it, so can we.
As I was preparing for the possibility of hiking up Diamond Head, I read that it was a fairly “easy” trail. There were cautions about the stairs, but I don’t remember reading about how awful the tunnel would be. Brandy tried to give me a warning about it when she casually mentioned that it was narrow, dark, and stifling. I should have paid more attention. The hike was good but the tunnel and the stairs were awful. Stairs can always be challenging, and I think these were even more so due to the the fact that you are going through a narrow tunnel where there is little to no ventilation and no light. It feels like the walls are closing in on you.
When we got through the tunnel and the stairs, I needed to rest a minute. To be honest, I was dizzy and a little worried that I might pass out. How embarrassing would that have been? We waited on a landing for about 10 minutes. I probably would have been good to go after about five, but there were all those people to get in line with. It was frustrating to get to that close and see that there were only 3 more flights of stairs to go. Had I known that, I think I would have kept going until I reached the top. I disappointed myself by stopping that close to the finish line.
The reward for making it to the top was definitely worth it.
I really wish I had my telephoto lens with me. I would have liked to have zoomed in on that lighthouse a bit. We were traveling light, though, carrying just my camera, our phones, and water bottles.
In the above photo, you can see some people sitting atop one of the “pillboxes” that dot the ridges of Oahu. Diamond Head itself was a military installation and the pillboxes provided look-out points for the defense of the island. Pillboxes are off-limits; they are aging and deteriorating. Not many people pay attention to those rules, though.
The views were certainly as advertised, and I’m glad that I made it to the top. It was a good way to start the day, and it was nice to spend that time with my friend. I might be willing to hike Diamond Head again. After searching through my photos, I realized nothing could be used to create a panorama. When you can see 360°, you ought to take a panoramic shot. Except I didn’t.
We were up and back down the hill in about an hour and a half. The hike made us feel like we earned having a treat like a coco puff.
I hope you enjoyed the view! Next week I’ll be bringing you photos from Pearl Harbor and our sunset sail. Until then, enjoy taking photos! I’ll be hanging on to the end of summer by my fingernails. I’m down to the final hours and trying to make the most of summer’s last gasp. What are you up to for the beginning of August?
Welcome to another edition of the Photo Friday link-up! I’m so excited that you are here and joining us this week! Last week our most viewed link came from Kathy at You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out. She shared an absolutely gorgeous baby shower for her Thing #2. If you missed it, check out the beauty:
Our final link last week came from Adela at The Black Tortoise who shared a summer storm with us. You can always find incredible photos shared in the later days of the link-up. If you missed them, go check them out!
As always, I can’t wait to see what you have for us this week! Thank you for visiting each other and supporting each other’s photographic journey. Without further ado, let’s get to this week’s link-up!