On this set of adventures we had more than I can fit on this page (reasonably). One of the highlight hikes we wanted to do was the Stairway to heaven. The unfortunate part is, that hike is illegal and if you get caught trying it you can get a pretty hefty fine. However after some reading we were able to find a back way up the Managua Ridge trail. This would bring us up to the radio tower 6 miles back from the ridge towards Tipler Army Hospital. This was a ways in to the hike right about the point when you started hiking nearly straight up!
![blogPics](/static/img/hawaii2/h0.jpg "Beginning of the stairway to heaven hike") Looking back down the trail you can see the way we came through the valley. The hike started off nice and clean, mainly dry. Not a big deal of a hike, once you hit somewhere near 2-3 miles in, it starts getting tricky! Mud starts to get thick and the trail starts to go up, and I mean UP!![blogPics](/static/img/hawaii2/h1.jpg "Hiking up the backside of the stairway to heaven") Once you hit the top of the Moanalua trail there is about a 300 yard distance between the top summit to the radio tower from the stairway to heaven. The traverse it a bit difficult mainly because at the top of the mountain, the clouds start rolling in and you may go from 100% visibility to 14% visibility and with a fair amount of moisture falling on you. It’s pretty common to get covered in mud so at this point Kristen said "I love mud!" and pretty much embraced that it would now be a part of her being. The stairway looked amazing though and would be one tough hike had you decided to make it up them!
![blogPics](/static/img/hawaii2/h2.jpg "Stairway to Heaven lookout") One of our next adventures was to kayak over to the Moke Islands. SO we made our way over to the Moku Nui Island. Here we found a seal chilling on the beach relaxing with the other folk who had beat us there. We didnt bring our shoes with us be we made our way around the island without them. Don’t do that. These rocks are mad sharp and if the water rushes in with some force you will get cut up pretty good. We were lucky to not experience this but on our way out the water was hitting pretty hard.
![blogPics](/static/img/hawaii2/h3.jpg "Kayaking adventure to Moke Islands") Around the back side of the Island there is a bit where the locals seem to jump from the cliffs. But when looking in to it, there is about an 18 foot diameter circle that you are ok to jump in and you need to wait till the water rolls in. Overall it looks really sketchy and we didn’t jump in this go around. Kristen did note that she had done it before though!
![blogPics](/static/img/hawaii2/h4.jpg "Cliffs at the back of Moke Island") Later on in the week we made plans to go to a luau with Kevin and Amanda. This was a pretty cool experience and gave us a pretty touristy vibe (probably the most from the whole trip). The show kept us entertained and the food was great! It was a whole evening of entertainment spent with fantastic company.
![blogPics](/static/img/hawaii2/h5.jpg "Luau with Kevin and Amanda!") On our next day of adventures we headed off to the north shore where we planned to hike to Kaena Point and maybe see some whales! We did get to see those whales from the shore without binoculars but they would have come in pretty handy! We actually didn’t make it to the point either because we got side tracked on what we thought was a trail up the mountain range that ran beside the trail to the point. Thinking we would get a better view we headed up the mountain and ended up blazing out own trail and literally climbed hand over hand up the mountain to get this view. It was a bit tough and even tougher on the way down since there was no trail there either. It was still a lot of fun though!
![blogPics](/static/img/hawaii2/h6.jpg "Enjoying a North Shore beach on Oahua") That evening we headed over towards Bonzai beach to watch the surfers and await the sunset. We grabbed some Poke on the way and enjoyed a bit of a snack on the beach while the sun was setting. This was another one of my favorite parts. Kristen and I just talked on the beach while enjoying the spectacular view and when the sun did set we did some stargazing. It was a fantastic way to end a superb day. On the way back home we stopped at the Kahuku grill (now called the seven brothers grill or something) which was recommended by Chad and Emily. Their recommendation was worth it as the macadamia nut shrimp was "life changing".
![blogPics](/static/img/hawaii2/h7.jpg "Hiking on the North Shore") On the last days of my journey I headed back towards Hanuama Bay to hike up koko head - which is an old tramline trail that goes straight up koko head mountain. This was as serious stair stepping workout but gave off some great views of the bay and the land on the other side of the mountain. There is even a trail that goes all the way around the bit and had I had more time I would have done it. This trip was such an amazing time. If you ever get the chance to go you need more than a few days or weeks even to take it all in - and this was just one island!