Monday, March 21, 2011

Makapu'u and Sunrise

One of the hardest things to get used to after leaving law school is entering the work force.  Sure, you don't have homework and finals anymore, but you also have to be somewhere for 8+ hours a day, everyday.  You don't get to take multiple hour-long breaks whenever you want.  You don't get to skip work just because your boss is boring and the case you're working on won't be on the final.  Drinking until 3am on a Wednesday is no longer as socially appropriate as it used to be.  And you have to wake up early...every weekday morning.  You also can't stroll into work in your sweats for that 1pm meeting.  Nope, this is the real world.

Well, just because I'm used to waking up with the sun now doesn't mean that I was prepared for our 4am wake up call this Saturday morning.  While my roommates were undoubtedly still awake and drunk, I was waking up to go for a sunrise hike to the Makapu'u Lighthouse.  Makapuʻu Lighthouse is a 46-foot-tall, active United States Coast Guard lighthouse established in 1909.  Makapuʻu is the extreme eastern end of the Island of Oʻahu in the Hawaiian Islands, comprising the remnant of a ridge that rises 647 feet above the sea. The cliff at Makapuʻu Point forms the eastern tip and is the site of a prominent lighthouse. The place name of this area, meaning "bulging eye" in Hawaiian, is thought to derive from the name of an image said to have been located in a cave here called Keanaokeakuapōloli. You'll remember that the last time I hiked the Makapu'u trail, I quit after doing the Dragon's Nostril's hike because I didn't have water and felt like I was going to die.  This time, I am pretty sure I was still asleep when I made it to the lighthouse.

4am was well worth the view
I did, however, discover that driving in Honolulu is not nearly as dreadful when people aren't on the road, which, at 4:30am, they are not.  So we woke up, drove over to Makapu'u on the Windward side of the island...past Hawaii Kai and Hanauma Bay and Halona Blowhole.  When we got there the parking lot was still closed (it doesn't open until 7am).  So we parked up the street at the scenic point just beyond the parking lot and walked down.  The trail to Makapu'u Lighthouse is full paved and only takes about 20-25 minutes to reach the top, so it is VERY easy.  It's more of an uphill walk than a hike.  Nonetheless, we got to the top and watched the sunrise.  If you're looking for a cool story and some very pretty scenery, I definitely recommend finding the energy to wake up that early.  The view at sunrise from Makapu'u is regularly called a Hawaii "best bet" in all the magazines and guide books.

Sunrise at Makapu'u
Just take H-1 East and follow it all the way around the coast (you never have to turn).  The entrance to Makapu'u is across from the Hawaii Kai golf course.

View of the Other Side

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