Am I there yet?

I look extremely happy in this photo.

I look pretty happy in this photo too.

In one of those photos, the smile was forced. Can you guess which one? It was the first photo. With my arms open and the sun setting in the background, you'd think it was legit. But to be honest, what you don't see is the thousands if not millions of Red Ants that called that beach, their home.

When in Hawaii, me, my brother and his co-worker went to the most west point of the island to watch the sun set. We had to go off-roading, to get there, which in it of itself was a harrowing experience... Never again...But when we got there, we realize the beach was smothered in Red Ants aka Fire Ants, you know the ones that if they bite you will cause excruciating paint and in some cases death.... So the entire time we had to keep moving, marching in place if you will. Tiresome ordeal. But a awesome sunset none the least. It was definitely a forced smile under some not so pleasant circumstances. Cool place though. If you ever do it. Bring a flame thrower...

However, the second picture... It's pure Bliss. Koko Head was one of the craters i planned to climb during my time in Hawaii and like Diamond Head, i knew i had to do it myself. What i didn't know was how crazy it was going to be. I wanted to see the sunrise, so i set out early for the climb. Woke up at 4 in the morning, hopped in the car and went. Too bad i had my GPS set for the wrong destination. Ended wasting a half hour going the wrong direction. When i finally got there however, it was still dark and there were no lights what so ever. But luckily i found my way.

Now you have to understand something about this crater. It's not a regular hiking path with dirt or gravel or what have you. Much like every other hiking experience in Hawaii, it has something to do with WW2. The trail to reach the top was a old railroad that some points reached a 90 degree angle. It's 1208 ft high. A long and most gruesome hike indeed. I probably stopped 20 times to catch my breath and rest, sweated buckets and definitely missed the crack of dawn... But i kept on trecking, being encouraged by all the soldiers who hiked it every morning. Probably ran into 50 of them coming down from the top. Some running down, which was ridiculous, some coming down bare foot on the rocky dirt and deteriorating wood planks on the railroad. There was also a bridge, midway, on the climb. It was still a railroad, steel beams and planks, but if you fell from it... You'd either crack your head open on boulders or most certainly break a few bones. It was kind of a tall drop...

Anyways, i'm certain that an hour had passed before i reached the top... And i could see it... I could see it all. I had made it. Me and God. I can't describe the feeling any better than that photo. It was pure happiness, minus the Red Ants. I stayed for probably 15 minutes at the top taking it all in, talking to other people who had made it up and it was nice. But like any thing, it had to end... I'd like to say the walk down was easy breezy. But that would be a lie. It was just as bad. My legs were dead for the next 3 days. lol.


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