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Monday, June 23, 2014

Stairway to Heaven ... Conclusion

Climbing down (Charter School below)
I climbed down slow and steady, the stairs were wet and slippery , It was starting to get light when  I  popped out of clouds and saw the first platform .  I decided rehydrate, rest and wait  ,  As the sun began to rise  I started climbing down the steepest sections being careful to follow the 3 points of contact rule.   At about 900 ft. there is a flat section where I saw the  sunrise on the Ko'olau  Mountains and the famous  Hawaiian double rainbows over the valley ,    I climbed down  the rest of the way   facing out enjoying the vista  .  As I neared the bottom I could see the Security guard standing by his truck. I  read that he's good natured and will congratulate you  and has posed with hikers for  pictures .  When the stairs ended and I couldn't support my weight with my arms I promptly fell in the mud and tree roots , my good leg felt like a wet noodle , so I baby stepped down to the road.  You know that  friendly security guard , well it must have been his day off  cause this guy took my picture and glared at me .   No time to rest I needed to get off this property and out of the neighborhood,                                                                                                                                             The Hikers from the night before were all coming down now , I fell in behind a group of 5 Hawaiian kids  after hearing one of them say  "I know the way  "  great news  If I could keep up I would offer them money for a ride to my car.  We went through a hole in the fence into a steep dark and muddy bamboo forest   I was  right behind the leader , soon I saw  what looked like some one's back porch , Oh well too late now, I would  just apologize and keep moving  .  From behind one of the kids slipped and it had a " domino effect"  next thing I know I'm on the ground  in pile of Hawaiian kids covered in red clay  .  I looked up and   realized to my horror we had landed on to The School property                                                                

this view is why people climb

                                                                                                                                                               Ke Kula  Ľo Samuel M. Kamakau School is located near the foot of the stairs and the Parents were in the process of dropping their kids off. The  Teacher's and Facility were  very upset with us.   Two teachers were taking video of us and 2 other's were on the phone to the  Honolulu Police Dept.  Fifteen minutes ago I was wondering where I was going to eat lunch, now I was pretty sure I was going to jail.  I  moved as quickly  as I could the 60 yards to the exit the, (the Hawaiian  kids took off running down the road),  as soon as I hit the road I made sure the coast was clear and tossed my pocket knife in the brush . The  road was a wet & slippery down hill run of  200 yards then make a right  another 100 yards to get off  private property.  I accepted that I would probably  be caught and cited or arrested  , I would have to suffer the consequences . I can imagine how insulting  it   would sound if I was to say "I didn't see the signs".                            I cleared the last fence and but still had to go 1/2 mile out of the neighborhood  , I just kept on moving .suddenly I saw a group of hikers loading into a car I ran up and offered $ 40  just to take me 1/2 mile across the Hwy. The driver said to me " Sir. you are going to have to call a cab" , he was holding in his hand a yellow citation from HPD.    I turned down the street and took off .   Around  the next corner I spotted the same Hawaiian kids from the  School , They were standing next to an SUV trying to   clean off red clay.   I ran up and told them; "We had to get out of here , and that the school had called the cops". They seemed unmoved, but when I told them the kids on the next block were cited  the driver said "get in" . We all piled in. I told the kid I would give him $ 40 to clean his truck  as my muddy clothes destroyed his back seat.   We hit the light and crossed the Hwy. just as 3 HPD cruisers surged in the Neighborhood , "wow did you see that" said the kid next to me . yes a close call indeed.             Happy to see my rental car in Kaneohe, I thanked the kids for the ride . As I drove down Hwy 83 towards the North Shore I looked for the message( Even though bad decisions make great stories ), I guess the message  would be ;,  Try to limit the amount of dangerous and  illegal things you do , because one day you're dumb luck will run out . The End                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

No alien land in all the world has any deep, strong charm for me, but Hawaii, no other land could so longingly and beseechingly haunt my sleeping and waking, through half a lifetime, as Hawaii has done. Other things leave me, but it abides. – Mark Twain

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Stairway to Heaven part 2

One thing I knew from watching TV, don't break the law in Hawaii  
One of Hawaii's most popular tourist destinations is illegal . Make no mistake it's   clearly marked with threats of prosecution  by dozens of signs on tall fences. For the most part  laws  go unenforced, some hikers will return to their car and find a parking ticket, or if they block a driveway or fire hydrant the car might be towed . The hikers number 40-60  on week nights and 100+ on the weekends   The upscale neighborhood of  "The Haiku Village"  is besieged nightly and the residents;
loathe, detest, despise, dislike, abhor, execrate; hikers ! However the cops will respond to and then enforce trespassing if ;  #1 People climb the stairs, freak out and call 911 on themselves. In some cases the Fire Dept. has to use a helicopter to rescue them.  #2 There's a charter school  near the foot of  stairs and hikers sometimes end up on school property , the teachers call 911 and the cops are compelled to respond and arrest hikers.                                                                                                                                                                             I could see the cloud ceiling about 60 ft above me and  decided to continue climbing.  It was much easier, a few steep areas but nothing like the climb to the first platform  and I could use both legs and arms. in the end the stairs teased me to the top, every time I would think about giving up the stairs seemed to get easier with more rest stops and flat areas .Climbing through the clouds was surreal you feel the moisture and water vapor  but you really don't get wet  after about 40 minutes I could see all the lights from the other hikers and hear conversations . One more steep section then  you cross a flat section to the summit .  I  could make out the groups huddled together for warmth. From my reading the Summit is cold, damp and windy 99% of the time , this was certainly true, the hikers all seemed miserable.    For watching the sunrise the first platform is recommended . I did not plan to stay long, I was the slowest climber on a 1 lane stairway and didn't want to cause a traffic jam and  I needed to be down  to try hitch a ride out of the hostile neighborhood to my car parked in Kaneohe .  Most of the other climbers had worn T shirts and shorts and were now very uncomfortable,  I had brought 2 " Dollar Store" rain Poncho's and decided to trade for water . I walked up to the first group of Hawaiian kids and asked if the wanted to trade. And before you could say  Pu'u'Ma'eli'eli I has 2 pints of water.                                                                                                                                                                                       What is the Summit you might ask ? to make a long story short the 2800 ft summit was a secret weapon during WWII , The old building on top once  housed radio transmitter that  sent signals  Submarines could pick up all over the Pacific Theater  as far Tokyo Bay.               I had reached the summit,  had it been a 1% day that promised a spectacular sunrise I would have stayed longer   , just like that I started down,   it was a great relief that going down was much easier .  My confidence grew  , I could use my arms on  the narrow steel railing  and put less pressure on the tired legs ,  All the while mindful of climbing rule #2   most accidents happen on the way down .  end of part 2                                                
Anticlimactic Summit , Cloudy/ foggy, cold. windy and damp.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Stairway to Heaven 
Did you every just feel like just getting away from it all ?

.    Since my motorcycle accident in 1978,  I have led a normal life and  not let my physical handicap slow me down . However I avoid stairs and ladders because I'm slow and unstable. As a matter of fact in 2004 I fell off a 12 ft. ladder and broke my knee cap, and I haven't left the State in 23 years either . So how did  I end  up  holding on to a steel ladder with one hand 1200 ft. over Oahu's  H-3 Freeway ?                                                                                                                                                                        The story begins at my work place in early March 2014 . My mind, body , spirit (and coworkers)  all said to me "you need a vacation" .  After I decided on Honolulu Hawaii,  and my mental health stabilized then improved , every day after work I would look at "Things to do in Hawaii" websites, blogs and videos . It was at this point I found "The Haiku Stairs" and became intrigued. after a dozen blogs and videos on it , the climb turned in to an obsession   . I would disregard good judgment , personal safety, fear of heights and  travel 4900 miles, jump over numerous "No Trespassing" signs and illegally climb 3922 stairs into the clouds in the middle of the night .                                                                                                                                                                                              Homestead , Florida ( elev.5 ft.) is not the best place to train for a steep up hill hike , I made the best of it and loading 36 lbs. of steel into a back pack and holding 5 lbs. dumbbell's  in each hand   hike tomato and okra fields for 2 hours on my day's off .  My research continued every night on the computer  reading dozens of blog posts and news articles  studying pictures and Google   maps for hours.   With all the  research  the question remained would I really go through with it ? there was some doubt ? Climbing is a really selfish pursuit,  friends and family worry about your health,  welfare and safety and don't want to see you injured or worse all just so you can tell a boring  story over and over  .                                                                                                                                                                           With  the long work days  time passed quickly , soon the alarm clock chimed at 4 am for my Delta flight ..  I arrived in Honolulu exhausted , I had not slept much the night before.  I was on about 8 hours sleep for the past  48 hours.      Driving  the rental car I realized what a road hazard I was,  thankfully I soon  found my room, check in and proceeded to pass out about 7pm local time.   Three hours later  I woke up  full of energy I decided to" just do it" and  not  procrastinate , " load the wagon and whip the  mule". . I figured at worst I could gain valuable  knowledge  for a later attempt  . In the parking lot of the 24 hour "Saveway"  I ate 2 boxes of sushi  drank 1 qt. of Gatorade and 4 Red Bulls . double checked my backpack and  climbing equipment.                                                                                                                                                                        One of the blogs I had read said;  The TV series "Lost"  was filmed in the Haiku/ Kaneohe area, that was Ironic because I was Lost  most of the next 3 hours .  At about 1:30 am I was standing at the foot of "The Stairway to Heaven"  with no   security guard  around  I quickly ducked around 2 security fences  started climbing. The plan was get up about 100 yards then stretch, rest and rehydrate, I didn't want  "Five-0" to roll up and stop me after all I've gone through. . I had read the climb to the first platform ( 1643 ft.) was the hardest, this certainly was true. Yeah it was about 1200 ft. "shit just got real"  I think the moment my ears clogged up do to elevation. I took 1 hand off the ladder , hold my nose and blow to equalize the pressure, Dear God  I must really be high up ! I realized  I was laboring so hard  my 56 year old heart might fail , I could only see endless stairs above .  The last 450 ft. was pretty much strait up 80- 90 degrees . I just hung on for dear life and climbed 1 step at a time .                                                                                                                                            Reaching the first platform was a great relief, a safe place  to sit down and rest. My legs and arms were exhausted I sat down and drank a qt. of water.  I quickly went from over heating to shivering cold . I stripped off my sweat soaked shirt and put on a new one, still cold I put on my windbreaker and rain gear .  The first platform is  on the windward side of Oahu  it's cold windy and rainy up there. It was near 2:30 am and groups of hikers continued to arrive. Lots of Europeans,  healthy young people from Norway,  Sweden and The Netherlands  as well as groups of young Hawaiian kids.  we would chat, they would rest and continue climbing,  after about 30 minutes I tried my legs  they were sore and weak and I had gone through 3/4 of my water . Once you summit you're only 1/2 way there is the climbers rule .  would I continue ? could I continue ?  did I even have the legs to climb down and then hike another 2 miles to my car ?  End of part 1

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

December 21 2012 , the world ends !

"You People" are on your own
I've been so busy playing Farmville and keeping up with American Idol  I completely forgot  we have 2 days to live ...Doh    Don't get me wrong I'm totally stoked that Mariah Carey is the new Judge  , but December 21 2012 is the end of the 13th b'ak'tun  !  wow   time flies . Yesterday  I picked up a  Mesoamerican Long Count calendar  at the Dollar store ,   no doubt  its over !   I was on the back porch smashing a few cold ones , pondering how does a person prepare for the end of the world ??  and even if you do survive good luck getting internet or an  iced caramel macchiato !   I can't disclose my secret  plan for survival , but I can  give you a few tips. 
If you find my Dog , please give her a good home . she had a dysfunctional childhood

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Purple Haze, Physical Graffiti, L.A. Woman and David Bowie

 You have to love the names given to Dragon fruit  varieties  .  I have  4  varieties in my side yard;  Vietnamese Jaina, Natural Mystic, Dark Star and Halley's Comet.
The Vietnamese Jaina is the large white fruit. I got  3 cutting's from a   neighbouring farm , The plants flower on the same day as the parent plants . The texture is similar to kiwi fruit with crunchy little seeds
Propagation is easy ; cut on and angle and stick in a pot. you don't even need root hormone . These are the easiest plants to propagate . Even if you just drop it on the ground it will likely  root  !
I always use  a premium potting mix , Tall pot and moist soil . I don't use any  fertilize for about 6 weeks ,  then light Organic 6-6-6
I get best results putting the pot's under the shade of an  Oak Tree
The  first bud's appear  in mid June
The plant produces large beautiful night blooming flowers   
I pick the fruit  after it turns this pale red. There is no benefit to leaving it on the plant longer it will not become any sweeter 
The plant is Cactus like and makes a great place for birds to nest 

Friday, July 6, 2012

weather or not

    This year the weather has been different ; We had one night January 5th very cold, frost and near freeze with selective crop damage but over all it was warm and mild . Spring was about 3 weeks early and our rainy season was early as well, I have never detected a pattern  .     We are seeing Record heat in the South and Northeast , Record Drought is killing Corn crops in 6 States and Wild fire rages in Colorado and we are having an early and active Hurricane season . I have also seen more Tornadoes this summer than ever before, The Tornadoes seem to pop out of storm clouds in the late afternoon then struggle to form , rarely touch down . Some suggest an above average Hurricane season and trouble for South Florida . What does it all mean ?  I dunno 

Thankfully these are not the F 3 or  F 5 Super cell monster  storms seen on the Oklahoma and Kansas plains 

These Tornadoes are called by some "Landspouts". . They generally are smaller and weaker than supercellular tornadoes, though many persist in excess of 15 minutes and some have produced F3 damage. They bear an appearance and generative mechanism highly similar to that of waterspouts.