LOST in the wilderness

I’ve been trying to commit a particular crime for some time now, and today’s efforts were foiled by circumstance yet again.

Today’s adventure involved Kate, Anna, Ben and I trying to climb the Stairway to Heaven, a glorious hiking path that is closed to the public.  Hiking such a path involves planning and forethought, namely arriving at the trailhead before a security guard arrives.  The guard’s sole purpose is to turn away eager hikers, thereby crushing their hopes and dreams for a gorgeous view from the top of a 2,400 high radio station.

My first attempt at this grand feat was a few weeks ago, when Anna and I very ambitiously woke up at 5 a.m. to go hiking with a friend who knows her way around.  But as ambitious as we were, we weren’t ambitious enough, being late to meet my friend and missing her altogether.  We instead went hiking at the Kailua pillboxes, where we proceeded to get lost on the back end of the trail and wandering about the hills aiming for Lanikai instead of Bellows, until we were forced to retrace our steps and managed to get back to our car.

In an act of Deja vu, the four of us wandered about in the forest of the Haiku valley this morning, searching in the growing light for the elusive trailhead.  We even lead other hikers we had met along the trail down false paths in our quest.  Not all who wander are lost, but we were.  Lighter and lighter it got, until we decided in favor of teamwork, and agreed to send the two other hikers going down one path and us down another after we had exchanged cell phone numbers.  Alas, turning down a road, we saw a figure in white.  He was no angel, but the dreaded security guard who had just arrived, and he turned us away with a stoic expression from the goal when it was finally within our sight.  We gazed wistfully at the trailhead, breathed sighs of disappointment, and left to plan our next attempt at stair-climbing.

Yet the morning was not over, and as we searched for our car and the most efficient way to return at a later date, we came across a helpful couple and a beautiful dog.  The party informed us that there was a sight to been seen at an old Naval radio station at Haiku Valley, which we had stumbled upon earlier in the dark.  We decided to return to explore a bit.

Despite our lack of vertical hiking, I cannot be disappointed with our morning because the radio station was FREAKING AWESOME!  It was the site of a filming of LOST, and still had the Dharma symbol painted on the building.  It was full of graffiti, a subject of many of my photo studies, and a rather interesting structure.  Best of all, one could climb to the absolute top of it and gain a gorgeous view of the valley.  I was thrilled at the finding and investigating of this structure which I had looked down upon from the H-3 and so often wished I could visit.

So though we suffered from disappointed hopes, we rallied and emerged victorious against the smoke monster, polar bears, and the others.  Yeah, we’re movie stars.