Hiking Diamond Head – Hawaii

“Beep beep beep,” she grabbed her phone from under the pillow, hit the snooze button, and tried to go back to sleep. Five minutes later the alarm started blaring, she turned it off and looked at the time: 0730. Sitting on the edge of her nephew’s bed, she took a deep breath and sighed. “Alright, lets do this, let’s conquer the day.”

It was the last full day of her two-month long holiday after graduation. She was about to head back to Charleston to pack her belongings to endure an even greater adventure. In one year’s time after moving back to Alaska, she will leave again to go on a journey that won’t only fill her heart with love and passion, but to assist her in finding herself around the world. She figured the best way to end her time in Hawaii was to get up early, conquer Diamond Head and lay there on the beach to soak up the sun.

Looking at the ground beneath her feet, she slowly got up, splashed cold water on her face, and got dressed. Within seconds she was out the door walking towards the bus stop. On the left corner of the street, there was a little hole in the wall market where she bought water and snacks for the long hike ahead of her.

With the bus in the distance, she slowly gathered her things and made sure she had her bus pass in hand. The bus stopped, the doors opened, and she hopped on. Sitting next to an old Japanese man, she started to look around the bus watching every person who boarded. Several locals hopped onto the bus. Everyone on the coach seemed to be on their way to work, tired eyes, hurried paces, styled hair, and neatly pressed clothes.

IMG_0456.jpg“Ala Moana Mall,” was announced on the intercom. She got off the bus to catch the next one, which would take her to the bottom of Diamond Head. Driving along the coast, eventually went to driving through a neighborhood, and then to her last stop. She got off the bus and started walking until she saw the Diamond Head State Monument sign. Walking through a dark tunnel, she desperately tried to reach the park entrance.

A flat concrete path led the way to the slight incline of the hike. Concrete turned into dirt, rocks, and large stones. Trees surrounded the path, the sun beamed on her cheeks; warming them. The rhythm of her breathing changed, they became quicker and shorter. The sight of the climb made her question why she decided to do this pursuit, but her doubt started to fade and curiosity filled her heart.IMG_0491.jpg

Stopped by the yellow long stairwell, she gasped for air. Her gaze got lost in the numerous stairs she would soon have to go up. One step at a time and with enough momentum she was able to reach the top. After she climbed the stairs, it led her into a little dark tunnel lit by dim lights. These tunnels eventually ended with light and brought her to a look out point where the US military kept their artillery.

Past that, the higher she climbed, the more she saw; the ice blue ocean glittering in the distance. Sailboats and cruise ships floating away onto their own adventure. Seagulls and para-gliders in the sky enjoying the clear warm air. The city of Honolulu resting along the sandy coastline, surrounded by brownish-green hills with patches of vegetation and homes.IMG_0492.jpg

Trying to enjoy the moment, she closed her brown eyes and listened; to the waves, the birds chirping, the laughter and astonishment of those who climbed along side of her. The aromas of grass, flowers, and salt water filled her nose. The cool breeze calming the warm rays of the sun.

Getting lost in the view, everything went black. The further she wandered into the simplicity around her, the less she could hear. Her sense of feeling went numb. The only thing she could do is be still and gently listen to her heart beat with the wind taking it away. Her eyes open and she was back; back to a place that made her feel alive.