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The Koolau Summit Above Waimanalo

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When the sun comes out, the ocean off of Waimanalo (Oahu) glows electric blue.

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The views are energizing.

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These views can be seen by standing at the top of the mountain.

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Tom (myspacetom), Dawn (djdawn) and I hiked the summit of the southeast Koolau Mountains to take photos of this view. Below us, Waimanalo.

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The skies were overcast but this being the windward side of the island, conditions change fast.

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There are many ways to reach the Koolau summit. When we hit the summit, Dawn and I headed north along the ridgeline.

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Looking back toward Makapu’u we could see Tom up on the ridgeline. There’s a launch pad for hang gliders and paragliders up there. On certain days you can watch them jump off the mountain and soar.

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We hit a concrete runway that some hipster vandal has decided to give a name. Tom speculated that this might have been used as a platform for cables that used to run up the mountain. (Note: this area is off limits and no longer accessible to hikers.)

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We walked out to the edge to get some shots.

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Tom shoots with two cameras. One is a Nikon D800. The other is this enormous Nikon D4.

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As is usually the case, if you wait long enough, the sun will poke its way through the clouds.

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Any folks over at Waimanalo Beach must have been happy about that.

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The colors come alive in the sun.

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From up here you can see the Mokulua Islands (or Mokes) to the left and Rabbit Island to the right.

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On this windy day, waves were pounding the eastern facing shores of the Mokes.

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Rabbit Island, or Mānana Island, is a seabird sanctuary and off limits.

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Maybe someday Bjork will have a house here.

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If you were to turn around while up at the Koolau summit, you would see this view of Hawaii Kai behind you.

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But for me, the ocean view helps me recharge.

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After spending almost two hours at the summit we called it day and hiked back out.

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This story was last modified on January 28, 2014. (Originally published in February 2013.)

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