The internet says the Kaena Point Hike from the Waianae side is roughly 2.5 miles one-way. This means our family’s feet and legs are pretty sore, but more importantly, our physical activity quote for the months of February and March have been fulfilled. And they call me a procrastinator. Pssh!
Initially the girls balked at waking up at 6 AM to leave the house by 7 AM to start the hike by 8 AM. Last night in bed, Lynnette did everything short of an actual rain dance in the attempt of slithering out of the hike. No such luck for Lynnette, though Madison got McDonald’s hashbrowns and parfait out of it, which might have been her endgame all along. Clever girl. Since we headed out early, we avoided the traffic into Waianae that plagued our drive the last time we made it all the way out there. Like the last time, however, we were met with high surf along the Leeward coast.
About 15 minutes into the hike we realized we left the Hydroflask in the car. About 20 minutes into the hike, Madison smeared mud all over her leg. It psychologically ruined her. She asked about getting it off for a solid 5 minutes before I told her to use her hands. That took care of that. About 30 minutes into the hike, Lynnette thanked me for getting her to come on the hike. It came out of nowhere and meant a lot to me. The sun was at our backs, the mud (from the heavy rains Friday) was at our feet, and the coastline roared to our left. It was the most scenic walk we’ve ever taken.
Shades of Fussy Madison began to creep out a little past the halfway mark. She tried to blame the lack of water for her lack of desire to continue the hike. When Lynnette and I pointed out the tower far off in the distance, we heard her groan. But then something happened. She silently decided to press on. She climbed up the side of the hill (above the eroded road) by herself and was excited to reach the gate at the bird sanctuary. “If you think about it,” I said to Lynnette when we slid open the door, “What we’re doing is basically the first two-and-a-half seasons of Lost.” You’re damn right I pretended the gate was a Dharma station.
The three of us stopped at the gate and pondered moving forward. We stopped for pictures along the way, and had taken nearly 2 hours to get to this point. We thought of turning back, but looked at the tower which now seemed so close. We decided to try for it, and I’m so glad we did.
The path to the edge of Kaena Point was lined with albatross nests. The large birds calmly walked around the protected area. A few of them flew out to sea only to circle back toward the land. I was lucky to catch this guy hover near us before moving back inland.
There were also three monk seals visible at the point. Two sunning and sleeping on the rocks off in the tide pools while a rather active one rested on the smaller rocks on the shore. This guy giving you the stink eye also shouted down a few tourists who got a little too close for his liking. Today was the first time Lynnette, Madison, and I were able to see both the birds and seals up close for the first time. It was the best payoff on a hike so far. Considering this journey was mostly flat, it’s going to be tough to top this adventure.
I told Lynnette that hiking is my new baseball. I despised the running and physical activity even back then, but I viewed them as a necessary evil if I wanted to play actual games. Likewise, these hikes have become my one source of exercise and I don’t mind because the end – like playing in that Saturday game – is the joy of experiencing new things with my family. Sometimes it’s a breath-taking view or a waterfall or monk seals, but it doesn’t really matter. I don’t get it either, but I must love it because I’m the one planning these things even though the mere thought of dragging my ass off the couch to get the remote 10 feet away makes me scream for my daughter so she can pick it up for me. I would never do these things by myself. It’s Lynnette and Mad.
Postscript: by the time we got back to the car, the sun was high in the sky and the three of us were super-thirsty. Madison grabbed the hydroflask first, but gave it up because the time in the car had made it took hot to hold. I took a quick sip before handing it off to Lynnette. We got in the car, jacked up the AC, and passed the hydroflask around as we drove back through Waianae. It probably would not surprise you to know that 40 ounces of water disappeared faster in that car than at any time in my entire life. The three of us have vowed to never let this happen again!