Friday, July 16, 2021
Adventures on Oahu
On my first full day on Oahu, my friends and I decided to be super adventurous at the beginning of my trip so that we will have the energy to do things we have never done on this island before. The family friends I am staying with here have lived on Oahu for several years, but have not really ventured out to do many touristy things until I come visit. This is my third visit with them in four years, and we try to do something different each time.
Hiking Mā‘ili Pillbox
The eldest son of my family friends made the suggestion we go hiking to Mā‘ili Pillbox to watch the sunset. This sounded like a pretty tame but fun idea, since the things we have done in the past such as scuba diving with sea turtles, jumping out of airplanes over Oahu, or getting matching tattoos, were fun but pretty extreme in comparison to a hike. At least that’s what we thought. We looked up the hike that was approximately two miles, and zigzags uphill to three decommissioned military pillboxes on the top of the hills of Nānākuli, on the leeward coast of Oahu. The reviews suggested the hike was moderate and takes about 30 minutes one way, they were very wrong.
Seeing Our Second Sunset
We had a feeling it would take us two hours to hike two miles up a mountainside, so we packed a picnic, put on our walking shoes, filled our water bottles, and got to Mā‘ili Pillbox Hiking Trail about 5:30pm, with the sun expected to set around 7:17pm. The younger part of our group hiked up ahead of the slower two and flew a drone around taking neat pictures of our trek up the hill to the pillboxes. We stopped several times to rest, drink water, and snap some evidence of our adventure, and it only took us 70 minutes to get to the top! We looked around while standing on the roof of the first pillbox, saw a bunch of mountain goats, people climbing up the hill and on the pillboxes, and watched our second sunset in a row on my first few days on Oahu celebrating Jaime in Hawaii in July. The hike down only took 40 minutes, but we had to use our cell phone flashlights to light up the rocky trail downhill. I am so happy and grateful for the amazing experiences with my friends, as well as excited we all were healthy and able to complete such a breathtaking and memorable adventure.
Thank you for reading and viewing,
Dr. Jaime Brainerd, Ed.D.