Monday, April 1, 2013

Stairway to Heaven

There's this little hike on the windward side of Oahu called Stairway to Heaven, or Haiku stairs and yesterday was the day to attempt to conquer this beast. 

 To start the hike you've got to walk through some residential areas and a bit of private problem, we heard the guard has been leaving around 4pm everyday so we got there right about 4:45 and just our luck no guard on duty...score! I've known about this hike since I moved here four and a half years ago (it's been that long really!) but never quite got the courage to attempt it. The hike is basically a ladder up the side of a huge mountain and I'm not so good with the whole height thing, but Aaron has wanted to do this hike for a really long time and Rachel called us up and said she was going yesterday, so we were in!
Stairs up the side of the mountain....and that's not even all the way to the top
see my face...totally not scared at all
The hike starts out pretty mellow, some stairs and you're pretty protected with the railings on either side of you...if someone wants to pass you either way going up or down, you've got to do some serious shimmying to get out of the way, read the path/stairway is not very wide at all. 

Once you're going for about ten minutes or so it starts to get a little dicey, if I was by myself, I totally would have turned around, thanks Aaron for keeping me moving forward, or in this case up. There are points on this that you are literally climbing a vertical ladder up the side of a mountain and if you slip or lose your grip you would fall very, very, very far and the outcome would not be good (I might be being a little dramatic, but that's what I was thinking the whole way up!). Also, I'm pretty sure some of those railings would not pass a welding inspection if they needed to, but I couldn't think about that as I was getting higher and higher into the sky! 

check out these views! 

High...that's the H3 waaaaaaay down there....and I think
 that's  pretty high up when I'm driving over it in a car!

The first landing, about half way up the stairs
I hate when pictures don't come out facing the right direction, but I couldn't fix this, sorry!
It's a good shot though so I needed to include it. 
I was super stoked when we made it to the first landing, there were points that I thought I was going to be stuck on this mountain and have to be rescued, but there was a lot of positive encouragement and support from Aaron along the way and that got me to the first landing and eventually the top! I learned a good lesson today....There's a lot I can do in both sport and life that I didn't think I could when I have someone supportive, helpful, caring and kind standing beside me and encouraging me all the way (and if I don't let the mental demons get in the way. Sometimes you/I need to remember there are people that believe in you/me and know what you/I are capable of, so you/I just need to keep pushing forward and you'll/I'll get where you/I need/want to be!).

Almost to the top with our friends Anna and Kevin

 After the first landing, when you look at how far you still have to go it's a bit daunting, I really almost just stayed right there and didn't continue, but this was something I never thought I would be able to do and I was already half way done, I had to keep going, I was going to do this thing! Physically this was not a difficult task (don't get me wrong, I was sweating the whole way up, but it wasn't anything I couldn't accomplish), it was all a mental game from here on out. Aaron, Kevin and Anna rallied me and we left the first landing and headed up!

The second half of the hike is much less scary than the first half, I don't know if that's because you are half way done and there's a light at the end of the tunnel, or it really is easier, more protected and less scary. Either way, the second half was much better than the first. This shot is from the second half, almost all the way to the top.
again, great shot, couldn't flip it, but check out how high up we are!
All-in-all, I'm super happy we went on this hike, it was beautiful, amazing, peaceful, fear-conquering, mentally taxing and an amazing experience! We couldn't have asked for better weather, conditions and company! I did something yesterday that I never thought I would be able to do and that's something! I'm so grateful for Aaron and Kevin and Anna who made this hike successful and something I won't forget.  Couldn't have asked for better people to spend a Sunday afternoon with! 

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