We’ve completed the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail twice – and it’s a fun and easy coastal hike.  But for this day, we were meeting up with some members of our homeschool group (who are also our close friends).  Unfortunately, we showed up late and then had some technological glitches that meant we were on our own for awhile.
We hoofed it up to the top of the trail at an insane pace, and while we were waiting to hear from our friends, we decided to venture off the pavement and check out the bunkers atop the hill in the picture below.  We’re still trying to gauge all of our climbing capabilities so we’re usually gun-shy about heading off towards the unknown.  And that’s why we’d avoided the bunkers on both of our previous trips.
But I think this day showed us that we need to just start taking chances because it’s rarely as scary as we think it will be.  And our kids really enjoy climbing up hills.

So off we went…

We took a few wrong turns and hit dead-ends in the paths, but we really couldn’t get lost since the hill wasn’t all that tall.  It was just a matter of navigating through the tall grass.

It’s funny how the path seems so clear from above, but from the bottom, it just looks like rocks and tall grass.
We made it to the top fairly easily.  But it was SO windy!

Then we decided to head on over to the other bunker.

Is that view gorgeous or what?  You’re looking at Makapu’u Beach, Sea Life Park, and Waimanalo.

Then it was time to head back down.  But we decided to do it right by the edge of the cliff instead of up the middle of the hill.

Oh no – I wasn’t freaking at all.

We survived though, so it’s all okay.

Although the girl did get a little scared towards the end.  James played a joke on her that didn’t go well.  I think he won’t be doing that again!

So during our little trip up to the bunkers, we got a phone call from our friends.  It turns out that instead of hiking to the top, they were down at the Makapu’u Tidepools waiting for us.  So we walked back down from the top to the humpback whale sign (pictured in our previous post) and started the trek down to the tide pools.

We didn’t think this was safe for the kids, but our friends reassured us that it was fine.  Turns out that once again, we underestimated their capabilities!

Those are the tide pools we were trying to reach – can you see the tiny people?  They look like ants.  It’s a really long hike down.

Our friends snapped this photo of us when we were halfway down.

We made it!

Once down, I looked back and grabbed these images from left to right.

You can see the lighthouse all the way to the right in this image.

I really had no idea what to expect with these tide pools.  I’ve read about them, but I figured they were tiny little shallow areas.  Not even a little bit.  One was probably 8-10 feet deep.  That’s where I spent most of my time, but there were other little areas that were more shallow.  I threw on my snorkeling gear and jumped in immediately.

This is our friend Chuck.

And that’s our friend Jae with her husband.  We have so much fun together!

Aidan walked around a bit – he didn’t want to get in the water.

James and Chuck – they have become fast friends since we met in December.

Audra was freezing once she got out of the water.

So she went back in.

Every once in a while, the waves would crash over into the tide pools.  It was pretty awesome.

Jae and Chuck’s mini – she’s hilarious.

I didn’t get a photo of it because he was on my back, Aidan did end up getting in the water!

Sis even tried to do a little snorkeling.

We hung out for an hour or two and then it was time to pack up.  The skies were gray and it was getting chilly.  So our friends headed up first.

And before we started hiking up, we asked someone to take our photo.  I love it!

How cool is this blowhole?  I’m excited that James got this picture of us.

And then off we went…

Austin totally did his own thing.  Someone had spray painted arrows to be helpful (although it’s still graffiti of course), but Austin tried to avoid those every chance he got!

He paid for it too – he slipped and scraped up his face.  And his arm.  And legs.  But he took it in stride.

And I have to say, the kids didn’t complain at all about this day’s adventure.  Normally we hear grunts and groans and fifty ‘how much farther’s, but not while we were climbing.  It was glorious.  And that means I have to find more trails where climbing is involved.

This was an absolutely amazing day.  And it was all the better because instead of doing the tide pools alone (like we had previously planned), we were able to do it as a family!
Hawai'iloa Ridge Trail
Adventures in Snorkeling