Like Jeff (and Sujata), I'm in Honolulu this week for Left Coast Crime.
|Taking one for the team in Honolulu.|
It's been a wonderful, relaxing conference filled with friends, books, and mysteries. The location isn't too shabby, either...
|Wish you were here.|
Since this is (regrettably) my last morning on the island, I got up at 5am (everyone rises before the sun when on vacation, right?), met up with with fellow mystery authors Gigi Pandian and Diane Vallere, and headed out to hike Diamond Head -- also known as Lē'ahi, a volcanic mountain that dominates the coastline at Waikiki beach.
It takes a little over half an hour to hike from the park entrance to the top of the mountain, and we hoped to catch the sunrise, so we started early.
We spent the blue hour before dawn hiking upward along an earthen trail already fairly busy with fellow pilgrims:
|The hour before dawn, at the base of Diamond Head.|
After tackling the switchbacks we emerged at a small plateau.
|We weren't the only pre-dawn travelers on the mountain.|
And then continued up more stairs, through a tunnel...
|Not a hike for the claustrophobic.|
... and onto a second platform, which we reached just as the sun appeared above the horizon.
|Dawn on Diamond Head.|
From there, another, steeper set of stairs
|Right at the end. In case you thought the first part was too easy.|
which led to (and through) a World War II pillbox installation that remains at the top of Diamond Head. (Sadly, I didn't have the ability to stop for photographs inside.)
|World War II pillbox on Diamond Head peak.|
Although we didn't reach the absolute top before sunrise, the view was still spectacular:
|Waikiki from Diamond Head|
Although the pillboxes were a sobering reminder of the World War II-era history of O'ahu (which is also home to Pearl Harbor), Diamond Head is a lovely hike, and a beautiful place from which to view the island.
|Another view from Diamond Head.|
I'm not usually keen on rising before the sun, but for something like this I'll always make an exception.
|Dawn from the peak of Diamond Head.|
Especially when I can take the rest of you with me through photographs.