This week I'm in Hawaii to catch up with my friend Blake and his partners.
I had connected with Blake (this cutie) briefly in San Francisco during a work trip, and over the summer during NYC Pride. We've been acquaintances for years, but just recently made a stronger connection.
Making adult friends is hard, so I'm trying to maintain that momentum by visiting. Also, Blake lives in Hawaii, which is a pretty awesome place to have friends :D
My first day was pretty mellow as I got situated staying at his place. Forgot my heart meds, so I didn't want to risk any strenuous hiking should I have trouble and get stranded. Instead, I met up with Blake's partner, Cuy, and we did chest day. Lots of Polynesian guys at this gym. Lots of guys wearing sandals and work boots. Island gym culture is interesting.
Hike Kaniakapupu Ruins
Some of the new hikes I wanted to attempted were rained out, so I did an old favourite: King Kamehameha's summer home.
I had read tourists were vandalizing it, and wanted to see it before there weren't any ruins left. The entrance to the hike is hidden off the old Pali highway, which is encased in a tunnel made of tropical foliage. I snapped a couple shots of my Pe'a taking advantage of this beautiful background...but not without accidentally flashing some oncoming cars. Whoops :x
I was delighted to find the ruins largely untouched since my last visit. A little graffiti and the fire pit had been shifted, but otherwise as ruined as expected for ruins.
The ruins are just a few standing walls...but the layout is thoughtful and beautiful. Tropical forest framed from entrances and windows.
After the ruins, I met up with Cuy for an afternoon at Lanikai Beach.
This is my favourite beach on Oahu. Perfect sand, shallow water, and the nearby town has a Wholefoods.
If Lanikai is my favourite beach, Sherwood is Biff's favourite. He lived in Hawaii before moving to Seattle with me, and I wanted to visit his favourite spots.
Cuy joined again. We had plate lunch before hitting the water.
I wore a modest, neon green, thong.
Cuy forgot his suit, so I lent him my white trunks.
Pool Party looks
Picked up a new shirt from the Mr Turk boutique in Waikiki.
Hike to Kuli'ou'ou Ridge
Blake, adverse to muddy valley trails, suggested a ridge hike for us to do together. 4-ish hours of fairly difficult ascent, but beautiful, varied terrain made it a delight to hike.
The hike was punctuated by dramatic and sudden changes in terrain. Dry valley, pine forest, tropical tundra, rainforest, windswept mountain peak.
Most exciting to me was this gnarly pine tree grove. Tree trunks were lined with protrusions from missing branches, giving the place a prehistoric feeling. Loose pine needles would shift in formation with the changing wind, creating a map of wind currents. It was beautiful.
I was giddy. The pine forest was a little difficult to capture with my camera, but hopefully my expression of childlike delight shows how wonderful it was up there.
After the pine forest, we were back in the tropics.
A few hundred stairs till the summit.
We made it :D
The views were spectacular, and very windy. I couldn't stand near the edge very much.
Ended the hike with some more shots in the pine forest.
Oahu's nude beach
After years of being unable to find it, Cuy pointed me towards the secret entrance to Oahu's illegal nude beach. Like most illegal nude beaches of the world, it was a poor quality, hard to get to, beach that clothed bathers would otherwise skip. I don't have many photos. It was kind of a miss.
Sunset at northshore
While the nude beach was a miss, I caught this incredible sunset on my way out. Golden light filtered through the field between my car and the beach...perfect lighting conditions for a butt photo.
Kayak to Mokoli'i
Today I did a kayak trip with Cuy to Mokoli'i island.
The island itself is covered in bird nests and many generations of poop, but the highlight is this secret beach nestled within a cove.
We spent some time swimming around the perfect secret beach and taking photos around the island before returning.
Cuy found a fishing net. This was the highlight of the trip for him, I think.
Thank you for hosting me!
I took my hosts for dinner at Orchids, a kinda-fancy restaurant in Honolulu. I got to give Cuy his first taste of foie gras and went head-to-head with Blake on picking the right wine for dinner. (We ended up getting a sparkling rose, perfect for summer).
Our table was right in front of the ocean, affording us a beautiful sunset view as dinner progressed.
Finished the evening by grabbing ice cream with Blake at Lapperts; a Hawaii-exclusive ice cream I had been craving.