Posts Tagged ‘hiking’

Fave Friday: Sports

April 9, 2010

First thing’s first. As an MMA fan, I would be remiss if I did not mention tomorrow’s big UFC card that will showcase two of our very own, local, Hawaii boys: Hilo’s BJ Penn and Maui’s Kendall Grove.

World Wide Ed
Local Boys: Lightweight Champ BJ Penn (left) and Middleweight Contender Kendall Grove (right)

Lightweight champ BJ Penn (remember him?) will be defending his belt against top contender Frankie Edgar, while middleweight standout Kendall Grove will take on wrestler Mark Munoz. See bottom for all the details.

A-ight with that outta the way, let’s get today’s Fave Friday show on the road. Now I know the title says “Sports”, but for those of you who aren’t big fans of the stick and ball kine games, feel free to list “Activities” like hiking or swimming, etc. Here’s my list:

Fave Sports to Watch:

* Baseball – Sooooo happy the 2010 season is under way again! Go “pills” right uncle jimmy? 😛 Don’t know what it is, but I could just sit there and watch a whole game without getting bored at all.
* MMA – I used to be all crazy widit and watch every second of every event, but now, with limited watching hours in my day, I pretty much just focus on the UFC, WEC and some Strikeforce events with spot watching of the other ones like Bellator. Even then, I fast forward through the boring fights. I really do miss HDNet and their MMA coverage, especially with Dream. BTW, while we’re on the topic of MMA and local boys, don’t forget to support Brad Tavares who is reppin’ Hawaii on this season’s cast of the Ultimate Fighter, Wednesday nights at 7PM on Spike TV (Oceanic Cable 559 or HD 1559).
* Basketball – Orlando’s my team, but I’ll watch good matchups sometimes. UH is fun watching live, but it’s been really depressing the last few years. 😦
* Football (I guess) – only to follow my fantasy players. LOL! Live games at UH are fun too, but I like the tailgating more! 😛
* Boxing – used to watch a lot, until MMA came along and killed it! RIP. 😉

Fave Sports/Activities to Do:

* Snowboarding – snowboarding is life. Period.
* Jiu Jitsu – don’t get to roll as much as in the past, but the cognitive part of it is soooo interesting to me.
* Baseball/Softball – my first sport ever = my first love.
* Basketball – played a lot of hoops in high school and college, but kinda slowed down later in life. I should get back into it again.
* Swimming – ever since training for the Tinman, I’ve been itching to get back in the water on the regular. Not only is it a good workout, but you get a mean tan to boot.

So what sports or activities do you like to watch/play? Holla!

In other sports-related news, what do you think of Nike’s new commercial with Tiger Woods, using his dad’s voice as the narrative?


Tiger Woods’ Nike Commercial

UPDATE:
Just got shown the new 3-D Channel on Oceanic Time Warner Cable channel 1217 and, lemme tell ya, it looks pretty mean! If you have a new HD 3-D television set, pop on your 3-D specs, turn them on, and tune to channel 1217 to watch some cool, On Demand content – including coverage of the Masters – in crystal clear 3-D. I sound like an infomercial don’t I? 😛

World Wide Ed
Masters Content in 3-D from Oceanic Time Warner Cable

UFC 112 Details

UFC 112: Invincible is being held on Yas Island all the way in Abu Dhabi so it will actually air live at a strange 7AM hour for us here in Hawaii, on Oceanic Time Warner Cable’s channel 701 or HD 1701. Hurr’s the official poster:

World Wide Ed
UFC 112 Poster

… and here’s sistah Bel showing some love for our local boy BJ Penn:

World Wide Ed
Bel Kissing the UFC 112 Poster

If you’re not a fan of waking up early on Saturdays, Oceanic will be re-airing the fight card at 10AM, with an afternoon airing at 4PM (re-aired at 7PM). Just select the time that works best for you. Click here for streaming UFC 112 content or here for ordering information.

K, pau! Sorry. Commercial ova. Have one awesome Friday and weekend gang, and I’ll see you on Monday K!? Shooooots!

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Diamond Head Is Forever

January 1, 2008

Bye bye 2007, Hellooooo 2008! If you were anything like the rest of us, you probably made a New Year’s resolution of getting back in shape. Well, lucky for you, World-Wide-Ed’s got ‘cho back! We’re going to start off the year right by taking a break from all the eating and instead, going on a little hike up one of Oahu’s landmark treasures: Diamond Head.

Diamond Head State Monument Sign
Diamond Head State Monument Sign

Diamond Head, also known as Le`ahi, is believed to have been created about 300,000 years ago during a single brief eruption of the southeastern end of the Ko`olau Range. Since the winds were blowing the volcanic ash towards the west during the eruption, the southwestern rim is the highest point, forming its now famous shape.

Diamond Head got its name in the late 1700 when the Western explorers visited it and mistook the calcite crystals in the rocks on the slope of the crater for diamonds. Previous to that, it is said that Hi`iaka, sister of the fire goddess Pele, named it Le`ahi because the summit resembled the forehead (lae) of the `ahi fish.

The rich history behind this gorgeous range led it to be recognized as a National Natural Landmark in 1968. Today millions of tourists and locals alike, enjoy both the legendary view from afar, as well as the breathtaking view from atop the summit, culminating its 0.8 mile historic trail hike.

We start our journey by driving into the State Monument off of Diamond Head Road (optionally, you can find street parking nearby and walk in). Not long into the drive off Diamond Head Road, you’ll approach the Kahala Tunnel,

Kahala Tunnel on the way to Diamond Head State Monument
Kahala Tunnel on the way to Diamond Head State Monument

which you’ll drive through to get to a clearing…

Sign to Diamond Head Park
Sign to Diamond Head Park

that directs you to the parking lot area.

(Note! – The admission fee is $1 per person on foot or $5 per non-commercial vehicle. If you’re looking to save some paper, consider walking it from Diamond Head Road as suggested earlier. If you’re looking to save your energy for the hike itself, drive on in. You may have to wait in line for a stall, but the wait usually isn’t too long).

At the admission’s gate or Information Center, be sure to pick up the green brochure before you hike the trail. There is a handy map, some history of the park and tips on having a safe hike. It will be an even better idea if you download it ahead of time here from the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Hawaii State Parks web site.

Speaking of the map, let’s show it to you here. We’ll try to follow the 12 Points of Interest (endearingly renamed by me to POI) listed in the brochure with the images I took. Should be fun times, let’s see what happens…

Diamond Head Trail Map courtesy of the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of State Parks
Diamond Head Trail Map courtesy of the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of State Parks

Just past the comfort station, POI1 (Point of Interest #1) is the Trailhead Kiosk and described as follows: the trailhead at the parking lot is on the crater floor. Elevation of 200 feet (61 m).

Trailhead Kiosk
Trailhead Kiosk

The brisk 0.8 mile one way climb to the summit is said to take about an hour to an hour and a half. This is usually in the scorching heat, and not always on a paved path, so be sure to bring water, good footwear, and lather yourself up with sun tan lotion. Some other trail notes to adhere by:

Trail Notes sign
Trail Notes sign

This leads us to POI2: the Concrete Walkway – the concrete portion of the trail was recently installed to reduce trail erosion. The former pistol ranges are marked by earthen berms visible along the lower section of the trail.

Concrete Walkway
Concrete Walkway

Once the concrete walkway turns to dirt,

Concrete walkway turning to dirt

you’re well on your way. POI3 consists of a multiple switchback trail that zigzags its way up the interior slope. Historically, it was designed for mules that hauled materials up the trail for the construction of Fire Control Station Diamond Head located at the summit. Following are some neat shots I took from POI3: The dirt trail conforms to the 1908 trail alignment and consists of numerous switchbacks up the steep interior slope.

Scenes from the switchback trail
Scenes from the switchback trail

Scenes from the switchback trail - Stay on Trial sign
Scenes from the switchback trail – Stay on Trial sign

Scenes from the switchback trail - Looking up towards the lookout
Scenes from the switchback trail – Looking up towards the lookout

Scenes from the switchback trail - You know I had to do it!
Scenes from the switchback trail – You know I had to do it!

Scenes from the switchback trail
Scenes from the switchback trail

Scenes from the switchback trail - Looking back from the lookout.
Scenes from the switchback trail – Looking back from the lookout.

Upon completion of the zigzagging portion of the trail, you’ll hit POI4: the Concrete Landing/Lookout. This foundation held a winch and cable to lift materials from the crater floor to a point on the trail.

Enjoying the view from the lookout
Enjoying the view from the lookout

Don’t get too relaxed! The toughest gluteus maximus workout is yet to come with two daunting stair sets, the first of which is 74 steps and POI5: Steep stairway of 74 concrete steps leading into the first tunnel.

74 Step Staircase - View from below
74 Step Staircase – View from below

74 Step Staircase - View from above
74 Step Staircase – View from above

Scary isn’t it? You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. Once you burn your legs for those 74 steps and pass through the POI6 tunnel – Passage through a lighted 225-foot long, narrow tunnel,

225 foot long tunnel separating the two staircases.
225 foot long tunnel separating the two staircases.

you’re faced with 99 additional big ones at POI7: Second stairway consisting of 99 steep steps. The cross-beams above the stairway supported camouflaging.

99 Step Staircase
99 Step Staircase

99 Step Staircase
99 Step Staircase

99 Step Staircase - Elevation 703.556 feet
99 Step Staircase – Elevation 703.556 feet

99 Step Staircase - Looking down
99 Step Staircase – Looking down

(Note!: After the tunnel separating the two staircases, turn left to take in another lookout point not mentioned in the brochure. This will also give you a good place to take a break before taking on the 99 step behemoth.)

My second cousin Teppei enjoying the view as well as the break between steps.
My second cousin Teppei enjoying the view as well as the break between steps.

You’ve done it! One hundred and seventy three steps of glory! We’ve GOT to be close to the summit eh? Well, not quite. At the top of the 99 stepper, we hit the POI8 tunnel – At the top of the stairs is the entry to the lowest level of Fire Control Station Diamond Head which housed the observation equipment for Fort DeRussy at Waikiki.

Teppei happy to be done with the stairs... for now!
Teppei happy to be done with the stairs… for now!

Just when you thought you were safe from stairs for the rest of your life, you’ll hit a spiral staircase originally used by the Fire Control Station, which is also POI9: This lighted spiral staircase accessed the 4 levels of the Fire Control Station. Go up to the third level where the mounts for the observation equipment are still present.

Spiral Staircase
Spiral Staircase

When you get to the third floor, you’ll approach POI10 to exit the crater: Exit to the exterior of the crater through slits once covered with metal shutters.

Exiting the crater
Exiting the crater

Note the rock and concrete that camouflage the structure on the seaward side.

Note the rock and concrete that camouflage the structure on the seaward side.

As you work your way along the crater path, POI11 comes a-callin’. Something you haven’t seen in quite some time… MORE STAIRS! Don’t fret, this is the last you’ll see until you hit the summit: The 54 metal stairs replaced the ladder to the summit in the 1970s for hiker safety.

54 metal stairs to the summit
54 metal stairs to the summit.

Alas, you’ve made it to the summit of Oahu’s answer to Nepal’s Mt. Everest: Mount Diamond Head. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back. But before you get too excited, you may want to brace yourself for the cockroach-like crowd up top. Agoraphobics/Claustrophobics/Demophobics/Enochlophobics/Ochlophobics, consider yourselves warned.

The crowd at Diamond Head's Summit
The crowd at Diamond Head’s Summit

Once you make your way through the crowd, you’ll get to our final Point of Interest, POI12: The Observation Station – The summit of the crater and the uppermost level of the Fire Control Station are at an elevation of 761 feet (232 m). Bunkers along the crater rim were built in 1915.

With its panoramic view from Koko Head to Waianae, the summit of Diamond Head was once the ideal site for the coastal defense of Oahu and, as such, was purchased by the Federal Government in 1904 and designated for military use.

East view
East view

Today, we can enjoy this beautiful panoramic view, as citizens, thanks to the Division of State Parks from the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

South view
South view

West View
West View

North of Crazy View
North of Crazy View
(Teppei and I showing how happy we were to have made it)

Mahalo to the Department of Land and Natural Resources, DLNR’s Public Information Officer Deborah Ward and the Division of State Parks’ Diamond Head Park Coordinator Yara Lamadrid-Rose. They would like to let everyone know that the park will be open for regular park hours (6AM-6PM) on New Year’s Day, so why not fulfill your New Year’s resolution from day 1 and start the new year right?

Diamond Head Summit Trail
4200 Diamond Head Rd, Honolulu, HI 96816 (map)
(808) 587-0285
Open daily 6AM-6PM
$1 Per Person, $5 Per Vehicle

For further information, contact:
Department of Land & Natural Resources Division of State Parks
1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 310
(P.O. Box 621)
Honolulu, HI. 96809
Phone: (808) 587-0300

We made it! (and you can too...)
We made it! (and you can too…)