Moana Lua -> Haiku Stairs
People can experience the same thing at the same time, at the same place with the same people, yet actually experience something completely different from their pal next to them. This same concept can be seen in repetition, at least for me. Why would you do something more than once? Don’t you already know what is going to happen?
For myself, I have found joy in doing things multiple times. Typically I don’t go out of my way to repeat experiences, if they happen, they happen. This last weekend I found myself doing Stairway to Heaven again. On this adventure I had Julien and Conner by my side. Besides a general recognition of the layout, I wasn’t positive what to expect of this trek.
We met downstairs to catch our Uber. I was still finishing up an apple to jump start my day. The uber arrived and we made small talk for part of the way. After that, the driver was pretty quite. I mean, it was before 8 am so I guess I can understand why the Uber wasn’t super keen to talk story. However, he did have some nice music all the way up to the Moana Lua entrance where we parted ways.
Here we were standing at the very beginning of what looked to be a 6 hour and 10 mile day. Conner was running on 2 hours of sleep, Julien was hype for this long awaited journey, while I was just genuinely happy to be out in nature about to experience this incredible place once again. The sky was pretty clear, keeping us hopeful for a good day ahead. Usually the weather Windward side of the island is rainy and unpredictable so we just continued to hope for the best.
The first two miles of this journey is just a nature trail. Kind of like Chisholm Creek back home, but in a rain forest. The large trees canopied over head protecting us from the sun light. The major obstacles of this course would be walking on rocks, stepping in deep mud puddles, and avoiding fallen trees. During these two miles we crossed the river 17 times which brought us to the beginning of the middle ridge and the start of the incline.
Technology is pretty cool. Even with sketchy phone service in the back of the valley I was able to look at my pictures for times and locations. The start of the incline is pretty intense and called for many breaks. We ran into one guy, coming from the stairs, by himself!! He said the top was clearing up and brought a great view. With this great news, we kept trekking forward.
There were a few flat paths through the bamboo that reminded me of Snow White and the 7 dwarfs. Past these little parts we started reaching points we actually needed to use the ropes and climb up. Without the ropes, it would be soooo tricky to get up due to the mud and slickness. After one last break, which called for laying down enjoying a sandwich and the breeze, we kicked it into gear for the last stretch.
Arriving a lot quicker from the last time, we were standing on the top of the stairs. Julien first got on top of the radio tower for a better view while Conner and I scoped out the area. On our way down we stopped many times for pictures and to just take in the moment. The sky was clear and I could see places unseen last time. My mind and soul felt so ecstatic. We passed one group and continued down to an odd encounter.
As we were approaching the second or third platform, we noticed one of the normal helicopter coming our way. The thing is, the helicopter just kept coming. As Julien layed down on the platform, Conner and I stayed crouched down on the stairs. The helicopter, probably (&hopefully) just messing with us, hovered right over us before flying away. Julien even caught the encounter on his go pro which just makes me laugh. I can’t wait to watch it and see our scared faces as a helicopter is right above us.
As it went away, we continued down on an adrenaline rush. We reached the last platform where we met three people from Utah. They were anxious as the guard told them the cops were coming on their way up. But, if you talk to people and read stories you know it’s only a front. We exchanged stories and some pictures and let each other get on with the rest of our days.
As we were reaching the last stretch down, we crossed the broken part of the stairs. This is where a storm had taken out a couple sections of the stairs. It is completely doable, just carefully and one at a time. After this, we took a little break. Sitting on the stairs we saw the empty H3 highway that had been closed for the weekend. However, we saw one random car passing by. They stopped their car and got out to observe the stairs. Just to be safe we stayed down using the overgrown plants as shields. The person got back in and drove off. All clear? NOPE. Another car stopped and this person got out, for quite a while too. After about ten minutes they drove off, which is when we heard that first group coming down behind us. This wasn’t good as we needed to be as quite and discreet as possible to avoid the guard.
We picked up the pace and got down to the spot set up to get us to the bamboo forest. We go within the trees and began to follow the ropes down. Staying quite we let the group pass without seeing us. Their “getaway” was hopping the first fence and not even trying to duck from the guard who was now standing outside his car watching them. As they crossed the creek and heading up into the forest, the guard got in his car and drove to meet them at the forest exit. We used their unlucky encounter with the guard to our advantage to cross the creek unseen and booked it up to the top of the forest. We stayed posted here waiting for the guard to return to his post giving us an all clear to get the heck out signal. Once we heard the car pull up, we quietly made our way through the forest, reached the road, ran down the road and hopped the fence into the residential. Luckily, we didn’t run into the neighbors either. Nothing ticks them off more than Haiku Stair hikers. They’ve even added extra barb wire and sharp stuff to the fence. Nothing we couldn’t handle after this adventure.
So here it is… Stairway for my second time. If you’ve read my two stories you can see the differences, which I think is pretty awesome. Enjoy these pics!!
Until my next adventure -