I hiked Koko Head Crater Trail and lived. And you can too!
Granted I’m no longer a 20-something, and haven’t been a 20-something for several decades, so this ole gal’s bod is not in the shape it was years and years ago.
Add to that recovering from a one and a half year stress fracture and you have an out of shape, blob hiking a trail that was meant to be traversed by rail car.
Yes, you read that right. The original path of Koko Head Crater trail was for a train. Not human feet locomotion.
And when you look up the slope of the trail you can understand why.
Think vertical lift, think I’m getting neck pain just from straining my head back so far to see to the top of the mountain.
Why then did I decide I needed to hike this thing?
In a word, pride.
And yes, pride comes before a fall. Thankfully I didn’t fall down Koko Head Crater Trail.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Everyone hikes Diamond Head but the best views are from Koko Head. From a 1,200 foot elevation Koko Head looks down upon on the paltry 721 foot elevation of Diamond Head.
The die was cast, forget Diamond Head, Koko Head was and is the trail to hike for the best views in Oahu.
The hike started easy but became progressively harder as the incline and the distance between the railroad ties increased.
No longer was it a fun game of hopscotch from one railroad tie to the other but it was a life and death decision. Do I stay upright or get down on my hands and knees?
I got about halfway through and, with the blazing sun shining down on me, felt a gut wrenching pain in my belly aliken to childbirth.
I couldn’t go any further. I was toast, spent, had no reserves.
Around me, little children scampered up the mountain like billy goats.
My boys were already 50 feet in front of me and charging like the hard chargers they are.
The Big One told me, “It’s okay, Mom. You can go back down.”
But I saw that look in his eyes, a reflection of his thoughts…shame.
Had I let my children down? What would they think of me? They still think I had a life before I was their mom. They think I’m joking when I share stories from my motorcycle riding days.
All they see now is a sad mom wearing mom jeans or sweats.
That’s all it took. There was no way I was going to let my kids down. I would reach the top of Koko Head Crater Trail if I had to crawl every last step. I didn’t care how long it would take but I was going to make it to the top.
I had almost made it to the top when my family came scampering back down. But there was no way I was turning around, I was 25 feet from the summit. I would continue.
But I made it!
Going back down was quick and easy and took about 10 minutes.
Was it grueling? Yes.
Would I do it again? In a heartbeat!
Visiting Oahu? Are you planning to hike Koko Head Crater?
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