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My name is Steve and I moved to Oahu in April of 2016, a time when my life was not in a good place. Then I discovered the wonders of hiking on Oahu and Hawaii and the incredible joy and beauty that comes with it. This is what inspired me...

 

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Night Hike at Makapu'u: The Thunder Moon

July 8, 2017

Night hikes, they're a thing. Or at least people make them a thing out here on Oahu, especially during full moons. While perusing the news one evening, I stumbled across an article about the upcoming full moon, also known as the Thunder Moon. This would be a great opportunity to conquer my first night hike!

 

After thinking about it, I decided I would do something nice and easy, so I settled on the popular Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail. I knew a pillbox that would be a great spot to look at the moon, crack open a cold one, and maybe even take a few pictures.

 

I mentioned the Thunder Moon hike to my two friends, Austin and Quent. After getting made fun of for knowing the actual name of this July full moon (FYI each Full Moon has a unique name), they decided they would join. With that, we were off.

 

We got to Makapu'u a little after sunset. We parked in the Makapu'u parking lot, blatantly ignoring the signs that state "Gate Closes at 7:45." We figured it was Hawaii, they wouldn't actually enforce that. We were wrong! My car got locked in the gate and we were forced to take a Lyft home. Oh well, lesson learned. It's legal to park along the highway outside the gate. Next time...

 

But on our way up, that was the last thing on our mind. We were trying to enjoy these beautiful dusk colors. Here's a shot of Koko Head Crater, one of the most iconic spots on Oahu.

 

 And a shot looking north along the Windward Coast. Those clouds though...

 

 Since there was still plenty of color, we decided to take a trek all the way to the "summit". There was just enough light left to illuminate some of the islands off Makapu'u and the Windward Coast.

 

The colors began to fade to black and we were officially night hiking! We decided to head up to one of the pillboxes to get a better view of the moon. Luckily, I have been here quite a few times, so finding the pillbox was pretty easy. (Check out my other post about Makapu'u for more on how to find it).

 

Thunder! Na na na na na na na na na! It really was an amazing sight and it was so bright, we really didn't need the flashlights we brought to hike up to the pillbox.

 

 Here's a photo that brings out the moon's details. I'm still a complete amateur when it comes to photography, so you're going to have to take what you get with these night shots.

 

 Here's another shot with the ocean and clouds. The moon was so bright it was creating this ring in the sky around it. Pretty surreal.

 

 I decided to try a long exposure looking back at Koko Head. I'm pretty sure that orange glow in the right is the light pollution from Honolulu. I prefer our much more private spot over here.

 

 I saved my favorite photo for last, Quent and Austin staring at the moon and ocean in a deep conversation about life. I'm glad I was able to capture this moment. A unique adventure on a beautiful night with some great friends. It's hard to beat nights like these.

 

 

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