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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

PEARL'S ASHES: Chapter 15--Diamond Head

Pearl and I have never together walked to the top of the Diamond Head lookout.  She had been there twice, with zero for me.  So on 4 December 2011 I went mainly because I had brunch with Terry Surles at Hau Tree Lanai, located on the slopes of this crater, and I promised Pearl that I would someday make it to the top.  I had an $18 loco moco and indicated that the first such dish served 68 years ago was at Lincoln Grill in Hilo for 25 cents.

To quote myself:

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. 

On the way up I took a photo of a yellow ilima flower.  There are various colors growing from an assortment of ground plants and shrubs, but they are all related (Sida fall).  The orange version was once only for royalty, and a good one takes 1000 flowers.

Some guidelines say bring drinking water and a flashlight.  Nah, there are snack wagons at the entrance and it is lighted all the way.

The island of Oahu was formed roughly 3 million years ago and Diamond Head itself is only 300,000 years old.  Interestingly enough, it was reported only an hour ago that an early form of us, Homo sapiens, was recently unearthed 300,000 years ago in Morocco, of all places.

The Hawaiian name for Diamond Head is Leahi (forehead of a yellow fin tuna),  but the popular name was coined when British sailors found some calcite crystals along the slope and though they had found diamonds.

You start at the 200 foot level, hiking up to an elevation of 761 feet.  This is the north scene, but do not be too encouraged by the path and railing, for there are portions not so perfectly walkable.

The view from the top was spectacular:

That's skinny Waikiki Beach, and the tiny pink structure is the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.  Here is where I tossed Pearl's gel cap, #28, and lost my hat.  It can get windy up there.  

On the way down I passed Ron Paul's campaign headquarters.  In 2011 he was running for president.  Note the decal of the National Rifle Association also on the window.

When I returned to Craigside (my earlier home of 32 years, for I moved into 15 Craigside three years ago), an egret welcomed me home:

Next week, La Mer and House Without a Key.


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