Friday, April 30, 2010

Olomana Hike: Three Steep Peaks

The Legend of Olomana

Mount Olomana is one of the most spectacular hikes on the island of Oahu. The three peaks actually all have different names, but the whole geographical feature is commonly known as Olomana. The second peak is named Paku'i while the third is named Ahiki. In Hawaiian, Olomana means, "divided hill." According to legend, Olomana was a warrior over 30 feet tall, a giant. He ruled the lands on the Windward side of Oahu from Kualoa to Makapu'u. The king of Oahu at the time Ahuapau sent on of his greatest warriors Palila to take on Olomana. Palila being very powerful cut Olomana in half, sending his upper torso into the ocean leaving his lower half, where Mount Olomana is today. I myself have done the hike several times to the first peak. But only twice to the third peak. Once in 2001 with my friends Kim and Matt, and most recently in April 2010 with my brother Kurt.

Video I took at the tops of the 3 peaks Olomana, Paku'i and Ahiki. I made a mistake during the 3rd segment of the film when I called the first peak hidden behind the clouds the third peak.

On the way to the entrance of the trail

Hiking Olomana

If you drive to Olomana you should park off near the bridge next to Kalanianaole Highway off of Auloa Road. After parking, you will have to follow the road in, pass a guard shack for Luana Hills golf course, then keep walking until you see the sign below. I would give Olomana a 5 out of 5 for difficulty as it has vertical areas of rock climbing. Ropes may or may not be provided and you must use them at your own risk if they are there. So please keep the keiki (children) at home, and those scared of heights. Most people just hike up to the first peak. The first peak does have some rock climbing portions, but the second and especially the third peak can get quite treacherous. Exercise extra caution of you decide to hike those. Also, the hike will take approximately 2-3 hours depending on if you hike to the third peak or not, so bring water with you. A large bottle of water should suffice, or a full camelpak.

Sign Showing Start of Trail

Map showing where to park and the hike up to the third peak

View olomana hike in a larger map

Beginning of Hike

Ironwood Forest

Getting Higher

View of Enchanted Lakes (Halfway Point to the First Peak)

View of Aikahi and Marine Corps Base

Nearing Top of First Peak

Nice Plantlife

Vertical Area to First Peak

Cool rock formations you will notice up Olomana once you start nearing the top.

On Second Peak Looking at Third

Down the Second Peak to Get to Third

Almost to Third Peak, Wall-Like Structure

Pictures from the hole in Olomana. Take a look at Mount Olomana from certain spots in Enchanted Lakes on a clear day and look toward the third peak, you can actually see this hole.

If you get to the third peak make sure to log your name in this book. Hopefully it is still there when you get there.

My Chinese entry in the book

On the way back, up the second peak. Notice how small my brother is at the bottom.

Make the Visit to Hike Olomana!

I would say that this hike is well worth the time and effort it takes to climb. The scenery is rewarding, and if you are lucky, you will get to log an entry into the book at the third peak. Again most people tend to just climb to the first peak and go back down. However, doing so will make you miss the cool hole in the mountain, and all that fun rock climbing with steep drop-offs at both ends! You will burn well over 600 calories on this hike too! And if that doesn't wanna make you climb Olomana, then I dunno what will.

Also recommended: Kailua Pillbox Hike: Breathtaking Beauty

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kailua Pillbox Hike: Breathtaking Beauty

Come to See the Beauty

The Kailua Pillbox Hike is perfect for seeing a beautiful view of Kailua Town and the beaches of both Kailua and Waimanalo. Be sure to take the time to hike it. You will get to see different types of plantlife, a very pretty view of the Mokulua Islands, and a taste of history with the pillboxes.

Who Can Hike the Trail?

I would give the hike a 2 out of 5 for difficulty, 1 being the easiest and 5 being the hardest. The hardest part is on the makai side (ocean side) in the beginning of the hike. There is a pretty steep incline there but conveniently a rope is placed around trees to help you up the trail. So pretty much anybody can hike the trail.
What is significant about the trail?

At the top of the Kailua Pillbox Hike, lies the pillboxes. These were built during WWII as observation points to keep an eye out for a Japanese attack. The pillboxes are left on top of the trail as reminders of the past. You can actually climb onto the top of the pillboxes and go inside! The tops of the pillboxes make a perfect place to do Yoga during the dawn of the breaking day.

Where is the trail?

You can get to the trail two ways. You can enter on Kaelepulu street next to Mid-Pacific Golf Course or Kamahele Street right before Bluestone residential area.

Kaelepulu and Aalapapa

Keolu and Kamahele

Map of the Trail

View kailua pillbox hike in a larger map

When is the Best Time to Hike the Trail?

The best time to hike the trail is dawn before the sun and midday to sunset. During the period of time between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. the sun is directly in front of you and too strong. The sun will ruin the view of the Mokulua Islands if there are no clouds in the sky. Of course if it rains it can get dangerously muddy so exercise extra caution if there are wet weather conditions. It takes about 45 minutes to walk straight through from beginning to end. You might want to take a while to enjoy the scenery though, so plan on taking a total of one and a half to two hours to finish the whole hike.

360 View From the Top of the Pillbox

Other Pictures of the Hike

See the Koolau Mountain Range in the Distance

The Mokulua Islands... photo taken at around 8 a.m.

Notice the difference at noon

View of Enchanted Lakes (I can see my house from here)

One of the pillboxes

Earthen stairway to heaven

Trailing toward Kamahele Street

Cool plantlife. Does anyone know the name of this plant?

Hike the Trail!

Next time you're in Kailua Town make sure to hike this trail. It is an absolute must for people visiting Kailua. The hike is easy and the scenery is fantastic. So relax, clear your mind, and enjoy the nature. Oh and by the way, you will burn approximately 330 calories if you complete the whole trail. All the more reason to hike!

Also Recommended: Hiking Olomana: Three Steep Peaks

Monday, April 26, 2010

Finding Your Dō Spirit

What is Dō? And how can it help me?

Dō, which is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese character 道 literally means 'road'. From that original meaning it has expanded to mean, "The way of." We see Dō used in many Japanese words dealing with the martial arts, religious, spiritual, and philosophical doctrines. For example we have:

kyō: Taoism
toku: Morals
: The way of the warrior
: Tea ceremony (The way of tea)
: Judo (The soft way)
: Aikido (Meeting energy way)
: Kendo (The way of the sword)

These are only some of the many Dō we have in Japan and in this world. Analysis of the character itself is quite dreadful. It is a moving head! 道 is composed of 首 (head) on a character component 辶 (movement). Ok get that scary picture out of your head! Using Dō in its many forms can help you. In the Hindu tradition dharma has it that you have a special talent that you can do better than anyone else in this universe. This is exactly what your Dō is! Finding this talent or your Dō, cultivating it, and using it to give to the people, by law will create an abundance of wealth for you. And this wealth not only includes monetary wealth, but transcends it and includes wealth in so many different ways.

What is my personal Dō? What is my 'way'?

Since everyone's Dō is unique to them, you need to find it for yourself. A good way to find out what your Dō is, is to try to remember times when you got into something so much that you lost track of time. Moreover, you found pleasure in doing it, and you had excellent results. This is most likely your Dō. To help you find your Dō, list your strengths and what you enjoy doing. After that write down how you can use those strengths to help people get what they want/need.

How to cultivate my Dō, my 'way'

Use the following steps to cultivate your Dō into something spectacular. This is your personal Dō that could be in any form... physical, mental or spiritual.
  1. Establish and formalize your Dō
  2. Constantly repeat your Dō
  3. Master your Dō and create system where you can critically evaluate progress
  4. Perfect your Dō
  5. Become one with your Dō
Getting to step 5 is a success in itself, and your Dō will be able to be used to help people in more ways than you could possibly imagine. Doing that will create wealth in abundance for you.

Your Dō might be anything!

When I was in Japan studying abroad as an exchange student there were a number of students in the group from Finland that could have fun, party, and do it seemingly non-stop. We cleverly crafted the word 'Findō' 'the way of the Fins,' to describe their ways. They were fun and the trip wouldn't have been the same without them. They brought so much positivity to the group and represented their home country so very well. This goes to show that your personal Dō might be simply the talent to make others have fun till they drop. The possibilities of what your Dō may be are limitless. So what are you waiting for?! Find your Dō and become one with it now.

Here are some Dō examples:

Surf dō (The way of surf)
Cooking dō (The way of cooking)
Speech dō (The way of speech)
Humor dō (The way of humor)
Helping Others dō (The way of helping others)

Again the possibilities are limitless!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Stars for Health


Do you not eat any vegetables? Does your diet consist of mostly meat and starches? If you said yes to any of the two previous questions you may not be getting the nutrition your body needs.

The beginning of life...

Approximately 14 billion light years ago, the universe began with the BIG BANG! Back then the universe consisted of only hydrogen and helium... 2 gases not conducive to life. But then galaxies started to form, and in those galaxies huge stars. Some of these stars would supernova (or in other words blow up) and create all kinds of different minerals due to atomic fusion. Things like iron, potassium, zinc, magnesium, etc., which eventually played a huge role in creating life. That is why we (as living beings) need these minerals in our bodies. And it wasn't only minerals! Oxygen and water was created too! If the stars made us, then we should look at what they made us with to attain the greatest health.

How will this help you?

Protecting your teeth from decay? Fluoride helps with that. Need strong teeth with better blood clotting? Calcium will be good for that. Aid for digestion? Chloride will give you what you need. Minerals are wonderful, and are necessary for a healthy life. What you need to keep in mind though, is amounts. Too much or too little of any single mineral can be seriously detrimental to your health. The key is knowing how much is needed and maintaining that balance.

Foods that give you the minerals you need

Here is a link for a list of some minerals and the foods that they are found in and what the minerals can do for you. Vitamins are included also.

Remember that getting the right amount of minerals and vitamins is key for good health. That being said, having a diverse diet is very beneficial as it allows you to get all the essentials.

If you want to see the recommended amounts for each vitamin and mineral click here. It is a link to the highly respected World Health Organization (WHO). You will see the required amounts of vitamins and minerals broken down by age.

So what are you waiting for?!

Start eating a diverse diet rich in all of the vitamins and minerals that made us today! The stars gave us life. Let's stay educated on the benefits we can receive from the stars which created us! Remember to consume the right amounts!

Confused on what to eat?!

It can be very daunting to create a well balanced nutritious diet. That is why dietary supplements are so wonderful. The right dietary supplements (multivitamins etc.) will ensure you get the proper amounts of minerals and vitamins. Be careful when choosing multivitamins. You want vitamins that are of excellent quality as some manufacturers do not guarantee the contents of their vitamins. I suggest doing research to find what is good for you as well as choosing a company that guarantees the contents of their supplements. A good example of one such company is USANA. Their supplements are ranked #1 by The Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements (a third party publication).

For more information on how to get USANA products click here.

For more information on USANA benefits click here.

I personally take their dietary supplements and I've noticed increased energy and feel great. Science allowed us to study the stars, and we have found out that our bodies are composed of star material. Science can also tell us what kinds of foods to eat for a well balanced diet and what kinds of vitamins and minerals to put in dietary supplements. Make sure you choose what is right for you!