is a painting done from the memory of a strenuous hike I did in high school with my cousins up to the top of the Koolau mountain range at the back of Haiku valley on Oahu. I believe it is now called the “Stairway to Heaven” hike and is not open because a large storm damaged sections of it recently. You can find information about it easily by searching, “Stairway to Heaven, Hawaii”.
This hike is straight up “literally” most of the way and is not a hike for weenies. It takes stamina and half a day to climb all the metal stairs that were installed by the military leading up to the top where there was a “naval communication cable” antennae stretched from one bunker to another bunker across the valley on the opposing ridge line. Take food, water and bedding but sure to keep that pack light cause these steps do seem to be never ending by the time you reach the top. We were allowed to camp at the concrete bunker on the ridge leading up to the top of the mountain trail.
The next morning just a few minutes before sunrise I woke up stiff but eager to take the short walk up the path on the ridge to the very top of the Koolaus. The top isn’t very far from the bunker (under 5 minutes). In ancient times, the runners traveled on this path stretching from the north to south of the island carrying messages between neighboring villages and the royalty. When you reach it you find that this famous route is surprisingly only a couple feet wide with one heck of a drop off on each side. There are strong winds all the time and earth shattering views of both sides of the island from this ancient pathway. I sat there and absorbed the history as I witnessed the most beautiful sunrise and panoramic view of the island I ever seen. It had moving rainbows appearing and disappearing randomly, a sight I will never ever forget.