1 Getting ready for the big adventure! Not a long or huge endeavor, but I did have to put a lot of things together to ensure it would be fun for everyone. From munchies to juices, headlamp gifts from Sam to his friends, glow sticks and bracelets, a ground cover to sit on, cups to drink from, coffee and a carafe plus camping coffee mugs, creamer...and rain jackets. Then after dinner the night before the wind started howling! I checked weather and scanned the latest radar images. Looked like the storm would pass through the Kauai channel to our north by midnight, so I decided to go forward with the adventure and texted everyone an update.
2 I went in to get Sam up at 5:30am. He had some good bedhead going on!
3 Good Morning, Sam! Thanks for this great idea! You are a nut, though!
4 Then off to collect friend Jaden and his mom Celeste. They are such troopers to jump in our truck and head to base so early! Doggie and Daddy were up, too.
5 Now we're all on base and met up with Michelle and Aidan. Sam's birthday celebration opening ceremonies begin 10 days before his birthday this year. He wanted to do a sunrise hike with his buddies, so we figured doing it over a three-day weekend would be best so everyone has time to gear up and still have a weekend. Plus, gives us a rain date if necessary. So here we are - three boys and their moms, plus my mom. All in headlamps, headed up the hill (the Kansas Tower on base).
6 Boys and headlamps rock!
7 That's part of Kansas Tower - we're on top in time for sunrise!
8 The radar dome still asleep...
9 Hiking up - maybe about 20 minutes walk up the paved road. Very easy - no one falls off a cliff this way. And we got to see Venus very clearly!
10 Hanging out by the radar dome, waiting for sunrise, munching on doughnut holes, muffins, coffee, and a few bugs ;0
11 Very very sleepy base and Kailua Bay.
12 Lights on base.
13 Sleepy Kailua Bay begins to blink awake. We could see Mokapu'u Lighthouse, too!
15 We were absolutely swarmed by bugs! We quickly realized that hiking with a headlamp on made you a great target for bugs! Had to keep mouths closed and noses pinched! Ha ha ...not quite that bad but I was really swarmed by gnats. You can see them reflecting the flash here.
16 A little eerie. Or maybe "eary" since it is a big listening device? Ok - I am sleep deprived so perhaps it is not as funny as I think :) I had crazy dreams from about 2:30am on. Like that I'd missed the alarm, or that I had gotten up in time but somehow missed leaving the house on time!
17 Love these early early minutes of pre-dawn light.
18 Like anything is possible...
19 Now the boys are hanging out, singing funny songs. The mountain ranges unveil themselves slowly.
20 As the moms chat about places we've lived and things we plan to do after we get home. Meanwhile the kids are whistling with their 5-feature safety whistles, another gift from Sam. Very shrill indeed!
21 As the light increases, we can see the faint outline of Molokai in the distance, and then Maui!
22 Going up to the walkway for a better view.
23 That's looking out over the flight line up the windward coast.
24 Trying to shoo away the gnats. They are really swarming now. And TONS of moths hanging out by the lights.
25 Looking out toward Michelle's house on the left coast (North Beach).
26 7:11 am - sunrise!
27 Can you see Maui? It is the hulking form blocking the sun. You can see the right side of Maui in this shot.
28 And panning back a bit you can see Maui again blocking the sunrise (7:11am).
29 And a bunch of guys arrive to do some work on the towers - wondering what we were all up to!
30 That's Sam, Aidan and Jaden. Thanks for coming, guys!
31 Boys doing reveille with their whistles!
32 Really getting beautiful. There's nothing like these clouds.
33 On the way down the kids flopped down on the road periodically to...rest? Not sure! But they were a little loopy :)
34 A burst of energy returns for Jaden!
35 Mom waking up some moths from their hiding places.
36 Look what I found for my party favor!
37 The kids collected rocks on the way down that looked like dinosaur eggs, then they found this storm drain thing to jump into. Still not sure on the purpose - I was way too groggy! But it seemed like the thing to do.
38 What a great time - thank you all for the memories!