Diamond Head Crater

Firecracker and I have two hobbies that the other doesn’t enjoy much. Mine is hiking; hers is horseback riding. I like riding, I’m just not any good at it. Hiking is a lot easier, it just takes conditioning so your feet and legs can handle climbing rocky trails for hours. Riding requires a similar commitment, but usually costs $60 or more, so that’s my excuse.

The crater from near the rim.

Diamond Head is a crater visible from Waikiki and surroundings on Oahu. It’s also the “Black Mountain” on Lost. It got its name from British soldiers who mistook calcite crystals for diamonds. Mark Twain got to ride around it on horseback when he visited the islands, but since then it’s been a military installation and now a park, so no more horses. It’s a 271-step hike that gains 560 feet in elevation, which is challenging on a hot and sunny day.

Waikiki

The stairs are real concrete stairs, not stones like the “Stairway to Heaven” part of the Appalachian Trail that Darth Milk and I have climbed. It’s kind of cool, getting to climb all over an abandoned military site, but it’s less enjoyable as a hike because you’re fenced away from nature.

The tunnel to the trailhead.

The hike to the top is worth it, with spectacular views of Waikiki. At the top, you climb out of a camouflaged bunker to the viewing spot. With the Japanese tourists everywhere, it reminded me a little of clearing the bunkers in The Thin Red Line.

Abandoned bunker sites are the same everywhere- graffitized.

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