Koko Crater Rim (Extended)

Destination: Somewhere
DATE: September 4, 2010
PARTICIPANTS: “Rambo” Jeremy, “Bloody” Jean, “FOB” Hope, Me

I’ve done the crater rim twice before, both with different approaches. I decided to see if it was possible to navigate the terrain to the stone arch bridge from the Lanai lava tube without using the road, so this was an experiment, much to the dismay of our group’s brand new addition, Hope, from Montana. Welcome to 173Hiking! Congratulations, you’re an involuntary guinea pig.

Instead of donning his usual sombrero today to shade his hairless beacon, Jeremy brought along a very obnoxious wig. One that looked like it was scalped from Little Ritchie in the later years, or Adam Sandler in the “Wedding Singer.” It would just freaking crush Donald Trump’s unwieldy hairdo in a Rogaine audition. Very nice.

Left to right:  Hope, Me, Jean, Jeremy
Little Ritchie called; he wants his hair back
I won’t talk much about the rim as I’ve already done so for the previous editions. The “unknown” portion from the lava tube to the natural bridge was … interesting … to say the least. Actually, it was extremely annoying and was more technically difficult than the straightforward approach from the Haluna Blowhole. Hence, the “medium” rating. There was no path. As far as terrain navigation was concerned, it was a case of pure dead reckoning. My lab rats were pissed.

We had to find our way over four crumbly spurs, facing pretty steep terrain all the way. We did find another cave of some sort tucked away in the side of one spur, but our priority was to get to the natural bridge. I have to give mad props to Hope for making this her first hike with us as it would be pretty hairy to any newcomer, especially one who had only just moved here five days prior. I’m just spreading some Aloha. E komo mai.

Lots of crumbly and lots of steep
Making a trail through dry and arid
In strict terms of completion, this extended version of Koko Crater Rim was a success… to the extent that I’ll probably never do it again. There was no real sense of accomplishment, unless you’re Hope (good job!). The consensus feeling after making it to the natural bridge was a lot of “thank God that’s over!” or “what was the point of that?” or my favorite, “there better be hot chicks on the top of Kokohead.” Surprise, surprise, there WERE good looking women at the top. VERY good looking women. Lots of them. And a bunch of USC fans (Fight On!). Of course, in true Bang Daddy fashion, I took an extended break up top to, um, “network.” Pretty productive day.

Over the bridge
Nothing is impossible
The world is for the taking
Caution and concentration
Within the sandbox

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