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Sunday, December 4, 2011


I had breakfast this morning at the Hau Tree Lanai located at the foot of Diamond Head with Terry Surles, #2 man at the Desert Research Insititute of the University of Reno.  As usual, we solved most of the problems of the world and each enjoyed a Bloody Mary and a glass of cabernet sauvignon.

My selection was a loco moco, something I try here and there to determine which restaurant makes the best.  I cannot recommend this dish for it has about the highest cholesterol weight of any meal known to man.  Sure foie gras has a higher concentration, but loco mocos are known for humongousness.  When various meats are grilled, a huge amount of waste oil is collected.  Guess what is used to make the gravy for loco moco?   For the price and taste, Cafe 100 in Hilo still makes the best, for this is where this concoction was perhaps invented...or more probably it was at Lincoln Grill, also in Hilo, where the charge in 1949 was 25 cents.  It cost $18 at Hau Tree Lanai, but corn beef hash, a sausage and some kind of cutlet augments the hamburger.  You can still "dine" at Cafe 100, but Lincoln Grill closed almost half a century ago.  The spam loco moco below is a more recent enhancement to further exacerbate your cholesterol level:

Oh, why is this called loco moco?  George Okimoto was one of the first to try it and he was a crazy football player.  Loco means crazy, and moco was just a convenient rhyme.

Terry then had to rush to the airport to return to Reno as the #1 is in the hospital.  Terry's wife, Sally Benson, is Director of the Global Climate and Energy Project at Stanford University.

My trek to the top of Diamond Head began with a brisk walk of an hour to get from the Kaimana Beach Hotel to the Diamond Head Crater entrance, all uphill.  Then the real hike began, about another 45 minutes, which was not as easy as I thought it would be.   There is a steep stairway of 74 concrete steps, a 225-foot long narrow tunnel, a 99 step steep stairway, and worse, interspersed was a series of rough trail walks.  Most definitely, you would not want to do this when it rains.  What kept me going was a sufficient number of sweaty morbidly obese people returning down the same trail.

I took a photo of a yellow Ilima.  There is also an orange Ilima, which is made into a Royal Lei.

A few don'ts:  slippers are a no-no, water is not required as there is a snack wagon at the beginning of the climb, and a flashilight is not needed for everything is lighted.  Wear a hat.  Unfortunately the wind tossed mine down the slopes at the top, where I had come to toss Pearl's ashes.  She kept telling me that the view was spectacular.  YES, I'VE LIVE IN HAWAII SINCE 1940 AND THIS WAS MY VERY FIRST TREK TO THE DIAMOND HEAD LOOKOUT!  And my first view was, indeed, breathtaking:

I show the photo immediately above because that is the Ala Wai Golf Course, where I will play tomorrow.  For the record, the shot below is towards the north, showing a nice concrete walkway, which is not a common convenience:

You start at the 200 foot level and get to the summit, which is at 761 feet.  Oahu is roughly 3 million years old, and Diamond Head was formed around 300,000 years ago.  The Hawaiian name is Leahi, probably meaning forehead of an ahi (yellow-fin tuna), but British sailors found some calcite crystals in the rocks along the slope and thought they found diamond:  thus, Diamond Head.

You see some interesting sights when you take a hike.  Here is, I guess, the campaign headquarters of Ron Paul, and if you magnify that decal to the right, it has something to do with the National Rifle Association:

Upon my return to Craigside, an egret welcomed me home:

Just another Sunday in Honolulu.


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