Friday, February 6, 2009

Climbing Pu`u O Kaimuki

Click on photos to enlarge! Path up Pu`u O Kaimuki.
"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature." Anne Frank

Once up da hill, you can see Maunalua Bay with

it's 2 (Lua) Mountains (Mauna): Koko Head (pointy one)

and the "other one."

You can look right into the lip of Diamond Head.

"Learning how to operate a soul figures to take time." Timothy Leary

"They deem me mad for I will not sell my days for gold; I deem them mad for they think my days have a price."
Kahlil Gibran

This is the vintage (but still used) tower of a Fire House. The Spanish style tower is for drying hoses! See the houses going up Whilemena Rise?

Punchbowl Crater, site of the National Memorial Cemetary of the Pacific - Military heros including President Obama's Grandfather, Stanley Dunham, lie here- at the right of photo. Urban Honolulu and Waikiki Highrise hotels to the left.

Closer look at Punchbowl, right side of photo.

Back around to Waikiki & ocean horizon

Look at the tiny cars! House lots running up Willhemina Rise originally sold for eight cents a square foot, nine cents for corner lots.

Sometimes the extraordinary is hiding in plain sight.
For over twenty years I have driven right past the Kaimuki Fire House without thinking much about the hill that looms over it. I'd been close to a treasure without even knowing it! This Pu`u (poo - oo) or "hill," the high point of the neighborhood, is today crowned by the tiny Pu`u O Kaimuki Park.
Site of Hawaiian cultural practices in "pre-history," one-time home to a water tank, and to an early astronomical observatory, the Pu`u watched the arrival of the original Hawaiians, saw the first European sailing ships, and oversaw the growth of our Honolulu Town.

I have always loved Honolulu's classic little Kaimuki neighborhood with it's main commercial street ("High Street") of Waialae Avenue. Strolling the avenue, one finds a few remaining "mom and pop" businesses and restaurants, beside culinary gems offering everything from classic diner food (Big City Diner) to Asian, Mexican, French & Mediterranean fare.
Kaimuki was actually the first large subdivision outside of Honolulu (though now a part of the City & County). In 1898 two businessmen bought 520 acres of land here for 20,000 dollars, envisioning a lucrative, high class residential area where only rocky hills and hardscrabble dairy farms existed. Fee simple house lots were offered for 400 to 600 dollars each; but without paved roads it was a hard sell. Potential buyers were even offered a 50 dollar "Bounty" for every baby born in Kaimuki!

Eventually, the parched red dirt did yield to civilization beginning around this very Pu`u (Hill) O Kaimuki, behind the fire station. Today, Beth and I climbed the short, paved lane up the Pu`u and took the pictures above! Hope you like them . . . .
A L O H A! Cloudia