When Mike and I decided that we were going to Hawaii this summer, we knew we wanted to do a lot more than spend six days roasting on the beach. We figured one of the best ways to really see the island would be to go on a few hikes. One of my coworkers recommended the Lanikai Pillbox Hike, and when I read that the pillboxes were remnants of World War II guard posts, I was sold on including it on our list. It was described as a moderate hike online, and while I am no athlete, I’ve done enough running in my life to assume I would not have any issues.
Within the first five minutes I knew I had made a huge mistake, and was certain I would be tumbling to my death. The hike starts out with a steep incline, which is fine until the moment you realize you’re going to have to get back down somehow. By the time the first incline finally leveled off, I was resigned that I’d come too far to quit, but luckily I was pretty mesmerized by the view.
When I said that the incline leveled off, it was not for long, and I was back to imagining in how many places I was going to break my leg, arm, skull. And then we reached the first pillbox.
We had to cut this hike short (can you sense how disappointed I was?), so we started the journey back down and did not continue to the second pillbox. If anyone saw my descent that day, I hope they took video. I would liken it to a scared goat on the side of a cliff afraid to move. Who am I kidding; goats don’t get scared.
Prior to the trip, Mike suggested that we pick up some inexpensive hiking shoes from Academy. Considering the “hikes” I had been on before in Cameron Park, Brazos Bend State Park, or even Muir Woods, I scoffed at the idea of purchasing and hauling an extra pair of bulky shoes. I was positive we didn’t need them, and that my cute little tennis shoes would be perfectly fine. You might think I’m exaggerating, and it’s quite possible I may never hear the end of this, but without the extra grip of the shoes I’m pretty sure I would have tumbled ass over tea kettles straight to the bottom.
It turns out that if you have a healthy fear of falling and an overactive imagination, this may not be the hike for you, but if you push through (and have the appropriate footwear) the views are stunning. I only wish we’d made it up there for sunrise.