Haven't been on here in a minute.  Mostly because I'm too busy #livingmybestlife.  Hahahahahah!
Ka'au Crater is now my favorite hike on the island.  This past Saturday I painstakingly trudged around the entirety of the crater, huffing and puffing the whole way through.  At certain points I wished to fall off the mountain, and be left for dead just so that my fatass would not have to continue the rest of the way down.  Unlike some hikes that I would highly advise against because the pain:beauty ratio isn't worth it, this I would recommend 10/10.  I made the mistake of not getting much sleep, going while I was sick, and not eating breakfast at all.  So those are all factors that definitely contributed to my misery.  According to a few other hiking blogs that I follow this hike can take anywhere from 5-8 hours, depending on if you go up to the KST and which trail you take up.  We finished in 7 because I had to keep stopping.  We were pretty lucky as far as the overgrowth goes though.  I think HTMC might've come through recently and bushwhacked.

The views were breathtaking; I can't even begin to describe just how beautiful this hike is as well as physically taxing.  Now, if weight were a direct correlation, at least for myself, to physical aptitude, I am 100% certain that I would weigh 250lbs.
Before coming up to the mail boxes at the trailhead we were greeted by some cute goats aka trash dogges.  Looked like the owner tied them up by the roadside to eat all the weeds.
We made our way through the valley's streambed for a bit before actually making our way up into the mountain, by way of a water pipe that went fairly deep into the mountain and fed water in the area below.
When we first popped out of the brush leaving the last of 3 waterfalls, I nearly cried at the first glimpse of the crater.  NATURE MAKES ME EMOTIONAL, DON'T JUDGE ME.  What gets me is not just the slight disbelief in my head that I actually climbed to that elevation to be gazing upon such a bewitching sight, but that nature in it's purposeful accidental chaos made it so.
We make our ascent to the top, and my heart skips a beat.  It's an indescribable feeling to be on top of the Ko'olau range looking at both sides of the island.  I was cold, but wasn't bothered at all by it.  I felt euphoric as the endorphins pumped through my veins. 
Going down was hard on my knees and ankles, but eventually we made it out by a cunt hair right as the sun was going down.

The Ka'au crater formed sometime between the middle and end of the Pleistocene era, and is made mostly of tuff and melilite-nepheline basalt . The tuff was formed in part by phreatic explosions.
There aren't any fossils here, but I did find some nice common opal.

Apparently, the Crater was named after a fucking magic phantom chicken, Ka'auhelumoa. Who orginally flew from his hale in Ka'au crater to Helumoa, a fav hangout spot for the Ali'i.  Kaluhiewa, the high chief of Waikiki, bestowed the name of Helemoa to the place that Ka'auhelemoa first appeared before the chief.  The reason for that being; he was scratching at the around, as chickens do.  C'mon bro, nothing magic about that.  Helu in Hawaiian literally means to scratch the earth, and moa is chicken.  The crater itself had formed when Mau'i tried to combine the islands of O'ahu and Kauai, much like in the same fashion that he pulled the islands out of the water, with his hama dolo hook and line.  His fishing line snapped, went flying, and landed in what you see today as the Ka'au Crater.

No pics at the end, too tired and miserable ladat.

Tips for when you head out there:

  • Whenever you plan doing a grueling hike, be sure to bring your hype man.
  • According to AllTrails the trek is roughly 7.27 miles, but because of the incline and shit I'd recommend you bring enough water for a 10mile hike.
  • Sunscreen & Bugspray.
  • Crampons helped immensely.
  • Bring your kahones.

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