Kawainui Vista Ridge Line Hike

Kawainui Vista Ridge line Hike Distance: 1.92 Miles Elevation: 60’-905’ Geocaches: 3  

This past weekend, I headed for a trail I had not yet explored. The real goal was to grab three Geocaches that have been bugging me for a while. Frankly, I don’t think many non Cachers use this one at all. I don’t see why, it’s a fantastic and invigorating workout with some spectacular views. When I say workout, I mean it. Although the hike is short, it is steep in a few locations and can get the heart pumping. When you reach the top, as with many of the ridge hikes in Hawaii, the view really is worth it.

Base of ridge hike

The journey will not be easy; as it is with all great adventures worth undertaking. I took on the ridge one way, but this is a loop trail so either way will work. I will warn you though, going up my way and down the other, will be a much better option, for there is more to hold on to going back down the other way.

  The hike starts inauspiciously in an area occupied by paint-ballers, motocross enthusiasts and vehicular exoskeletons. (This isn't called "Dump Road" for nothing). The parking and initial trail head coordinates will be familiar to many, but you will be going up a different trail. Once you have parked, head to the initial trail head coordinates, and then keep to the right making your way to the next reference point. From here, it is a steep uphill climb.

The last 300 feet will tax you as you climb using your hands to grab at roots and stabilize yourself. Once you reach the ridge, you can go either way. To the right, you will be heading in the Kaneohe direction. In a few short moments you will find a pine tree grove with a bench down below. This is a great place for taking in the view and a few much needed gallons of water!

When you find yourself rested enough, turn back the way you came and head for the higher parts of this hike. After you pass where you initially came up, you will see some signs. “Private Property” and “Explosives” mainly. Technically, these are not entirely true. They are to keep hoodlums out of the quarry you are looking down into. Just stroll on by and smile. Soon, the trail will lead you on to dirt and gravel road. Stay on the left side and as a rule; take anything up to the left in order to head back on to the ridge. If you see an explosives bunker on your left, you have gone too far. The correct one is an old road that peeters out into a fairly overgrown trail. After a few twists and turns you will hit the ridge and a junction. One trail leads down, the other up. The way down is where you will come back too. For now, take a few minutes to head up to the view you expelled so much sweat for! You will come to a rock outcropping where you can sit and enjoy a sandwich.

Now for the fun part! When you’re ready to head down, back track for the junction you came to on the way up. Take the trail down on the right. Stay on this for a while. It will be a steep downhill hike with plenty of bushes for grabing onto. This is not a race, so pay attention to your moves. The idea is to get out with a smile, not a twisted ankle. Eventually, you will end up at a junction with a road. Well, it was one before all the rain ruts and moguls took over. The rule here is, stay going down. There will be one road on the right, ignore it and head down and in the general direction of the road and trail head you came in on. You may take a wrong turn or two. That’s, ok. Just head for the trail head direction and eventually you will get there.

I hope you get a chance for a bit more exploring out in this section of the hills. It seems there are tons of unmarked trails to be discovered out here. I most certainly will be doing just that. I will be sure to post more trails after I map them.

Happy hiking ya’ll!!!


PS. I got all three Caches!!! Yea!!!

Summer art!!!!

Well, it’s that time again. Summer is upon us. Time to put away the hammer and saw, dust off the paints and stretch some canvas! Those who know me well, see that summer is my time to create. When I thrive! The best works I’ve ever done were created in this time. For me, summers is the time for sloughing off the energy robbing vampires of the rainy season and seek out those truly intellectually and creatively stimulating individuals. A time to greet the sun with early morning walks at the tide pools. Taking the colors we saw in the rain forests of winter and mix them with the morning sun of the season. When the flowers and mountain apples are a plenty and the warm feeling of a perfect wave spawn the next painting. Sunday morning brunch with egg’s benny and a mimosa. White shirts and a north shore polo match. The smell of fresh Sex Wax on a hot long board.  Summer is for love of the world around us and the ones open enough in there heart to feel it. BRING IT ON!!!!


Where to begin? Rite here! I just finished a huge project that took many months of time and energy. The results are fabulous. Also plenty of fresh studio space ready to be filled with colorful memories. After all, that’s what our creations really are! Memories captured in time. We take all those colors, shapes and faces and words and everything and solidify them into the work, as a marker in eternity. Some are happy, some are angry. Some are sunny, some are dark. All legitimate though. All are relevant! All will speak volumes…


So, what is on the palette this summer? MIXED MEDIA!!! A revival of something old and a touch of something new. First will be a series I began years ago that I never was able to bring to fruition. A combination of photography, printmaking, oil, ceramic glazes, acrylic, melted rubber and dyed textile art. Yes boys and girls, textile exotic fabric. I messed around with this on the side all threw school, as well as at the South West School of Arts and Crafts. While teaching in the sculpture department I used to sneak over to the fabrics girl for some inspiration. After the prep was done, that same fabric was taken over to the photo department to be silver dyed. This enabled me to expose images directly into the fabric itself. That was only the beginning though. Some were stretched and the real fun began. Well, without revealing too much of the proses to you, let’s just say, I’m excited as hell!!! Time to put on the lab coat and get back to creating something amazing!!! (I’m glowing!) YES!!!

 The second series of the summer of 0-12, will have to be a surprise. I don’t want to get closure on the work before I even begin. I find too much talk before the process gets rolling, tends to lower the inspiration level a bit too low for me. So keep your shorts on! Patience grasshoppers. Patience…

OK then, that’s all I wanted to say for now. I’m just excited and had to tell someone. I hope all of you have the same glow about summer as I do. I also hope you all get out there and experience the world. Suck up some inspiration! It’s all around you. It’s rite in front of you. Can you see it? It sees you. Now reach out to it and let it play inside your heart.


You won’t regret it...

Happy creating!


Do you remember that song?!?!?

  It never ceases to amaze me how drawn to music we humans are. What is it about this structured combination of sounds that can have such a powerful influence over not only individuals, but entire cultures? The human brain, as well as most living creatures, evolved to detect sounds as a survival tool. Now, that same tool is used for detecting and comprehending scale and structure of all types of music! From a simple ring tone to a large scale symphony, then find the meaning and beauty that lies within the piece. Why? Styx Grand Illusion 180 gram vynal pressing

6 months ago, I came across an LP I had not even thought about in 20 years. No, make that 25. After taking a quick look at the liner notes and cover, I sat back for a listen. Before the first note hit my ears, I could remember the style and instrumentation, yet not the melodies and solos. After listening to the entire LP, something extraordinary happened. Later that day, and every day since listening to the album, I could “hear” the entire record in my mind, virtually note for note! When I say note for note, I really mean it. Complete and total recall of every aspect of the music, including drum fills, bass licks, phrasing in the solos, as though the last 25 years were suddenly erased. Simply hearing this record again unlocked a memory that had been filed away in my brain nearly an adult lifetime ago. Why?

diatonic flutes

If you know anything about data and music you can understand just how much “data” 45 minutes of music represents. How much other important information about your life can you recall from 25 years ago? Why in God’s name would the human mind allocate the significant resources necessary to store this music for so long and in such intricate detail? Even more astonishing than the fact that the human mind could hold on to such detail in these combinations of sounds for 25 years is that it would. Why?

Divje Babe Flute 63,000 years old

Let’s get scientific for a moment. From this perspective, every physical or intellectual function exacts a price in “overhead” for maintaining that function in terms of calorie intake and a myriad of other biological needs. So, any capability that does not directly contribute to the organism’s survival quickly disappears from the gene pool. Moreover, that saved brain capacity could be used for other functions that could more directly aid in survival. A simple example is we’re highly attuned to discriminating faces, understanding expressions on those faces, and remembering faces. The survival benefit in this is obvious. Being that said, what is it about music that is so important that our brain has developed a capacity to understand and remember it? Why?

mammoth-ivory flute 43,000 years old

  At its heart, I believe music is communication, and communication is vital to any species that relies on social organization. We have examples of instruments that date back 43,000 years. Despite the rigors of Neanderthal life, our ancestors found time to create music. There are artifacts that show, not only did our ancestors create and play instruments, but they had then worked out the diatonic scales to a precise hole-spacing in a hollowed out bone. This hole-spacing corresponds perfectly to a contemporary diatonic flute. Moreover, that diatonic scale has been with us since the dawn of music suggests the basis for responding to certain musical intervals has been common to humans for eons. Ahhhh…

concert flute

There are many authors and studies into the neurological effects of music. It is uncanny how the evolutionary biologists also come to many of the same conclusions why music matters so much. We are still a long way from completely understanding why we are such a musical species though. You should try a little experiment of your own. Grab a random LP out of the rack and take a close look. Try to hear what is on the piece before playing it. Next, play it in its entirety and just see if you get the same recall as I did. I found that the more I practice this, the better my mind taps into those dusty files and plays the memories more clearly. Much like a built in tape machine. Who needs a stinking IPod anyway? Save your money and buy a new needle for your deck. I guess until the smart guys in lab coats figure it all out, we will just have to look at our musical minds in wonder. Better yet, REMEMBER THAT MUSIC!!!!

PS. It was Styx-The Grand Illusion on the turntable. Love that record!

The best speaker you ever heard…

Sony Dream Machine 1 About a year ago, I was asked by a fledgling Audiophile: “Josh! What is the best speaker out there today!?!” What? That’s like asking what your favorite cheese cake is! What is the “BEST” Ben and Jerries’? What is the “BEST” Ferrari? Better yet, who is the “BEST” Jazz band? I asked him, “If you had to choose between listening to Miles Davis Kind of Blue on a bed side Sony Dream Machine (circa 1982) on an AM station, who’s transmitter was 300 miles away, or A Flock of Seagulls on a dCS Debussy front end, followed by all Ayre’ gear, powering through a set of burned in YG Acoustics Anat III Pro towers, What would you choose?” You could cut through the silence on the other end of the line. “The answer Grass Hopper is the ones you are enjoying right now.”

A Flock Of Seagulls

  The point is this: There are so many machines out there. They come in all shapes and sizes. These days, they also come in every color of the rainbow and more. Do you want the cutting edge of a tweeter that has such a high frequency reach that you could open your garage door with it? Perhaps you are looking for the subtle glow of the silk dome. Mid bass punch? Perhaps a more delicate kiss with the tweeter is more you style. Sub terrainian reach from a set of fat subs? For me, I prefer the “NON-SUB” approach from my subs. If I can hear them, they be too loud and simply are not natural.  Horns? Planers? Domes? Paper or carbon fiber? MDF or aluminum? Let’s not forget Beryllium! (Anyone out there had a chance to hear those diamond inverted domes in the Avalon Isis?) You get the idea. All are the “BEST”, for what they were designed to do. All were designed by someone. All have what that someone thought was closer to the actual performance in a given listening environment.  


Yes, we crazy audiophiles are always looking for Nirvana. We spend hours upon hours searching out the gear that gets us closer to, well, “THERE”! We want to experience that performance in our own home. Yes! That’s it! “THE PERFORMANCE”! This is all about the performance. If you don’t love music, what is the point? We love music with such a passion; we try to hear more of it. We strive for that “LIVE” sound we heard at the concert last night. We want to hear the woman in the 13th row with the sniffles. It brings the performance texture and a sense of realism. We want to hear the soft pop and tickle of dust on the record. It makes it sound like there is a woman in the 13th row with the sniffles! Sounds strange to most, but this is what it is about. Live music. MUSIC!!!

All Ayre' System. Perfect...

  So, back to my friend. We had a long discussion of this approach to audio. MUSIC! Being that this kid is half my age, he always thought good sound came from little silver discs, or more recently, bits streamed to an IPhone. Well, it was only recently that he discovered those bits BYTE! I can’t tell you the joy in my heart when he said all his recordings sounded compressed and dull after getting a taste of the 180 gram pressing of Tool-Lateralus. (Which should be in every audiophile’s, err, tool kit) ”Hallelujah!” Not only that, he heard it on a $350.00 second hand Techniques SL-1200 fitted with a Shelter MM cartridge, (roughly $175.00) Bellari tube phono pre-amp, ($250.00) Musical Fidelity X-A1 ($400.00) and a pair of Silverline Minuet Supreme speakers ($600.00) I think the cables were Audio Quest. His excitement was through the roof, so I couldn’t make out what he was saying to well. This was a guy who actually thought you needed to spend 100K on a system to run an IPod packed full of compressed crap to move the soul. (For-mentioned system would set you back a cool 380K) Nope!

dCS debussy

  I made these suggestions to him, for I knew he was on a budget. Also, I have heard, and own some of the same gear. I just knew through experience, they would sound good together. When you submit to this thing called “Audiophilia”, you will understand, all gear has a sonic signature. The trick of approaching “Nirvana” is to create a synergy between all the components own characteristics and build that “LIVE” experience. As for my friend’s system, sure nuff! I also know what he likes to listen to in his tiny little room he rents in Makiki. When you are sleeping, eating, studying, dating, and whatever else in the same 12x12 space, there is no need for a huge set of Wilson Alexandria XLF, or even a sub for that matter. The system fits the space and the “MUSIC” the owner loves most. Simple…

MilesDavis-Kind Of Blue


 A few months later, I asked my friend, “What is the best set of speakers you have ever heard”?  After a long pause,,,,,,,, “mine!” he said.

 Enjoy them my friend…


Associated Equipment:


Bellari VP129

Shelter 501 II

Musical Fidelity X-A1

Silverline Minuet Supreme