Sunday, July 06, 2014

Makapu'u Lighthouse

We did it! We finally did it!! We've been talking about going to this lighthouse since we moved here 3 years ago and this week we finally got around to doing it. It was so worth it.

A short walk from the parking lot and we got our first view up the eastern shore of Oahu. On the other side of those hills is Waikiki and downtown Honolulu.

Our entertainment for the hike (and for the 3 weeks surrounding the hike) was our friend Daniel Tomlinson visiting from Washington state. Fun to have him around for the summer.

There are a lot of little lookouts along the way from which to view the vast expanse which is the Pacific Ocean. Nothing makes you feel smaller than standing on the edges of these cliffs and knowing that you are 2500 miles of water away from everything!

The path up to the top is all cement road like this and though steep at times, fairly easy. We have a friend that pushed their grandfather's wheelchair up to the top. Not something I'd want to do but possible nonetheless. The weather was perfect for our adventure: comfortable temp, a few clouds in the sky and a nice breeze.

This is our first view towards to Eastern Coast of the island. That is the parking lot down below.

There are some neat little lookouts aka "pillboxes" along the way that were leftover by the military from WW2. The kids had fun exploring these. The biggest kids I think had the most fun.

Did you know that Oahu has Cactus? Yep! And there was a lot of it here on this hillside. I'm not sure but I think this is the same kind of Cactus that people would eat in Fresno. I have to do some research.

Not really sure what this is but it was a whole tree that looked just like this: a big mess of sticks. There weren't any flowers or leaves or anything. I don't know if that is because of the season or if it always looks like this but another thing to research.

Our first peek at the lighthouse! There is a little path down below (by the white fence) that leads directly to the lighthouse however it is marked OFF LIMITS and is blocked off. I guess they don't want anyone down there.

The other side of the mountain, the other side of the mountain, the other side of the mountain, was all that we could see! Looking up the Eastern Shore of Oahu. That is MCBH Kaneohe in the far distance and our beautiful Cora in the foreground.

Afton can't resist and takes a few minutes to sketch on the edge of the cliff.

On the very tip top is a lookout and on the railing around the lookout are hundreds of locks with dates etched into them. In an expression of love couples come up and put their lock on the gate and then throw the keys over the cliff.

A little freaked out after getting a bit too close to the edge the boys quickly scamper back to the safety of the main trail.

From the top of the cement path the trail extends even further up onto a rocky path. Of course we took the trail but yeah, a wheelchair wouldn't make it.

More interesting plants I haven't seen before. I think these are cacti also but I have no idea what kind. They sure look cool though.

And this super cool flower is from the cactus. I love all the little lines like a maze.

Perhaps a boring picture to you but I think Lichen and Moss are beautiful. Not sure which this is.

Heading up the trail there are moer cactus, pillboxes and lots of slippery rocks. Watch your step!

Cacti close up

More super awesome strange plants to research. This one looked like it had octopus tentacles and suckers.

The nice breeze was pretty gusty on the very tip top. That is Heath leaning into the wind. We had to hold on tight to Cora and Afton.

Peek a boo lighthouse, we can still see you! I was surprised at how low on the hill the lighthouse is situated.

King of the Mountain. Dave makes his claim!

One more peek at the East Shore and the highway. Down there is Sea Life park and then the observatory.

More of these awesome Cacti. I can't get over this super cool flower. I want one at home!

This is what the unopened blossom looks like.

Back to the other Cactus and it's beautiful golden blossoms.

I think these may be what are called prickly pears. That's what I told my kids at least. I think you can eat the yellowish pink ones.

Time to head back down the treacherous terrain to the concrete path below.

And I find another plant that I don't know the name of. I haven't ever seen this one before either. Those berries sure look like they might be tasty but I'm not a fan of stomach aches so I'll wait until I know for sure. We'll save that treat for next time.

And it is time to say goodbye. or maybe hello?! In the distance there is another island! Aloha Molokai! Can you see it under those beautiful fluffy clouds? I promise it is there. Aloha!

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