There has been a considerable about of effort put together by us to get across the importance of SAFETY COMING FIRST in all things Hawai’i Nei and although Hiking injuries and deaths are far lower than those using our oceans or even crossing our roads a lot of pressure has been put on the local Hiking community and it’s about time we talk about it and our responsibilities as caretakers and stewards of the land…Malama ’aina…When it comes down to it OCEAN SAFETY can only be truly blamed on the individual…as for URBAN PEDESTRIAN accidents and deaths, again it comes down to the Driver or the Pedestrian…it’s not so much a community issue as it is when bringing up the issues with HIKING and the SOCIAL MEDIA Revolution and real time updates of events happening as they happen…man, the good old days…I remember those days…how things have changed…for better and worse.
Today we brought in one of the best to discuss these issues…David G. Concepcion of DGC’s HAWAI’I HIKING TALES. He is an intrepid hiker, photographer, and has a strong love for the skies above. He started hiking in 2008 and had remained very active in the hiking community up to this very day.
David is one of the first pioneers, along with Kaleo Lancaster, to usher in the age of filming the ridge lines of Hawaii with the GoPro where before that time such ridges had only been heard about in books or seen in a few pictures. David has a strong love for hiking the Hawaiian trails, but one hike stands out over the rest. The Haiku Stairs…to him, Haiku represents the beauty, history, and geography of the Hawaiian lands. * Join David G. Concepcion on his Blog – DGC’s Hawai’i Hiking Tales: http://dgcpinoy.blogspot.com/
With Dave here we saw it as an opportunity to talk about HAIKU STAIRS. (Stairway to Heaven) We discuss the Facebook HAIKU STAIRS Group and what it’s future holds with Dave. We also dive deep into the daunting Haiku issues from it’s legal/illegal implication, to the land grabbing that took place here to the local community as well as the concerns of closing it and perhaps once again opening it. No matter where you start…it’s HISTORY comes first and it’s meaning and significant here in Hawaii started way back sometime in 1942…Two brave men, BILL ADAMS and LOUIS OTTO, who actually helped in the construction of the Hoover Dam took on the insane challenge to erect the Stairs by 1943. The Navy had 3 months to build a NAVY RADIO STATION so these two Navy boys had to scale HAIKU and build the stairs in far less time, because the Station had to be built at the top of the range…These guys built the stairs in 21 days! In 1952 they turned the station over to the Coast Guard and made it into a OMEGA NAV SYSTEM during which time they replaced the wooden stairs with metal ones. The Stairs was closed to the public unfortunately in 1987 because of disrepair until 2002 when the stairs had been completely redone with the intentions of reopening, but they never did…Why? There are many reasons…For a considerable amount of time there was a land grab between DHHL, DLNR, DOT and OHA and to top it off the Cities Budget Committee could not come to a final agreement on how to transfer HAIKU LAND owned by the DHHL and get it transferred to EWA land…A trade had to be made with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands who owned the Haiku land…why no agreement was ever made can be left up to and the icing on the cake that finally DOOMED the reopening…The Local Residential Complaints…This is an issue unresolved today. *Interested in learning More about HAIKU: http://www.haikustairs.com/ and http://www.haikuvalley.com/ also head on over and join our HAIKU STAIRS Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/haikustairs/?fref=ts
TAGGING….what is it good for? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING…lets say it again…ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Yes, it’s about time we talk story about TAGGING/GRAFFITI and TRASH. From our hiking trails to our bus stops, road signs and abandoned buildings, even occupied locations…At some point the community needs to stop talking about it and start holding accountable the local punks and uneducated idiots that destroy our aina and our property, private or public. There’s always room for BATMAN here in Honolulu and we get down and dirty about what we can do as individuals as well as a community to stop these scum bags who tag! For Wayde personally, it’s beyond Tagging, for him it’s Graffiti as well that is harming communities…
Double majoring in the Fine Arts and working with troubled youths who tagged in Boston, Wayde was able to see first hand and understand what drives kids to despair and hopelessness which all starts with the social landscape of America, but giving them an avenue to create Graffiti in a controlled state to him is to acknowledge it’s ok to put signage with drawings on the sides of on buildings and other locations…it’s not ok. There are MAJOR differences between TAGGING, GRAFFITI and WALL ART…and only those who understand and recognize the differences are the ones who have mastered in it through education and understand the fine arts. some of us know the difference, others just don’t see it or have the common sense to understand it…Tagging & Graffiti has become a tragedy and in Hawaii it’s coupled with rampant drug use and total disregard of property. Drop outs, young impressionable kids and uneducated 20 somethings throughout the Social Media landscape are being accepted into joining legal Wall Art competitions and on their own free time continue to Tag and destroy our aina, and urban landscapes…The worst is the arrogance these punks have to blatantly share their tagging throughout Facebook, twitter and instagram where authorities do little to nothing to stop them or round them up, they go into Paint Stores even Home Depot and Lowes, buying up 20-30 cans of spray paint at a time, who’s watching this, is anyone reporting them?…There are no boundries for these 3rd grade eduation leveled youths, lost in their own ego’s and sell gratifying pissing contests. If the LAW wont take action against them who then? The community then, that’s who! The Laws in Hawaii are laughable, a joke, a sham and an embarrassment upon the state of Hawaii and town and county of Honolulu. Fines of $5,000 should be instituted, probation and then jail time on a second offense will be mandatory and community service served until fines are paid off allowing the Ciminal to clean the aina and urban areas up by covering over the piss they spread across the landscape with fresh paint. They should also be put into our school systems to teach others what they did and to change their lives before they too are shamed and jailed.
When it comes to WALL/STREET ART…it can be done in a beautiful and respectful manner in which it blends into the urban landscape. It can and will make a positive difference for these areas. This is Art, this takes soul and true talent, but Tagging / Graffiti that’s a part of the urban decay and death of our youth and the true start to the downfall of our future. There should be outlets for Wall/Street Art…Warehouse Walls could be used for competition, awards and financial winners, but at the end of the day…the art is removed for another day to show ones true abilities in the year long competition. The grand yearly winner will be commissioned by the State of Hawaii to do a large art piece in honor of our Past, Present or Future giving the Artist the choice, a piece that would reflect the values of Hawaii and our aloha spirit.
Putting WALL ART a side…we do have a continued problem with Taggers, the crap left behind. Beyond disrespect, decay, hopelessness and despair is TRASH…TRASH is what happens. If you Tag , you Pollute…and the trash taggers dump are some of the worst for the Hawaiian environment and acknowledging this as a community and society is one of the first things we must do as a civilized species to make a change for our future and our Keiki. Want to Learn more and be a part of something far greater then yourself? T.A.G (Totally Against Graffiti) NEEDS YOUR HELP, Please join them as they are too small to make a significant impact on the Hawaiian community * JOIN THEM ON FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/groups/271639436284285/ also *OUR TOWN 808 T.A.G : http://ourtown808.com/Communities.119.0.html?comm_id=72225#
FINALLY…THE BEEF OF THE PODCAST…Hiking Safety! We put 2 ½ HOURS into this podcast and it was EXHAUSTING to say the least. With recent deaths and accidents we had an obligation to talk about this and having Dave here to talk about this can only benefit the community and the travelers planning a trip to paradise. So where do we start with such a large and daunting subject…Naturally we’ll cover what we can, but we can’t cover everything…we’ll miss some things here and there, but that’s life.
What we’ll first talk about is the main differences between hiking in Hawaii and Hiking on the mainland…the number one difference is the simple fact…Mountains on the mainland and other places around the world had been formed from the tectonic plates smashing against each other over long periods of time in our history and these mountains are made mostly of different forms of Granite. Hawaii…well, we all know how the islands had been created…Lava…lava building over millions of years till it reached the surface…Although some forms of Lava…aka VOLCANIC ROCK, is harder than others most Volcanic rock is brittle and erosive so once you understand this you can build upon it with knowledge and understanding allowing one to make smarter and more decisive decisions when planning a hiking venture.
When it comes to Hiking in Hawaii the bottom line is this…we as humans, us as a species…We are EXPLORERS…a species who seeks adventure and pushing the limits of our abilities…it’s in our DNA and there is no one or nothing that will ever stop us in such a pursuit of such discovery, not only of new surroundings, but of us from within. You can’t CHAIN the human spirit and it’s sense of adventure and ones desire to go where no one has gone before. If explorers never did from our past where would be today? Many, many pioneers and explorers DIED doing what they loved for the better of mankind…you can’t change this…no one can or will. So should we put limits on where we can explore and what we can achieve as a species? HELL NO. So even though safety and responsibility lays upon our feet, the Hiking community…we explore at our own risk and I don’t see a damn thing wrong with that…it’s when you encourage others and get those involved that have no God Damn right being there in the first place is where we draw the line. Establishing relationships and having respected Hiking Leaders and Sweepers that the community trusts to calculate another’s ability is what makes a GREAT HIKER…not the fact you hike the hardest trails or that you are faster up a ridgeline then others…this is the difference between a true Leader and a egotistical self-indulgent fool.
There are so many things to prepare for when Hiking in Hawaii and being familiar with your surroundings is one of the most important as well as TRUSTING the people in your group. Your Leader, you Wingman/Middle Floater and your Sweeper. If you are hiking with a group who doesn’t know what they are doing or has no clue what their roles are in the group…DO NOT hike with those people…and ask…no question is a bad question when safety comes first. Hiking is fun…but it’s no joke in Hawaii and an established peeking order should be understood before one passes the trailhead. If no talk is given before the hike, if some in the group don’t have a clear understanding of the trail from the leaders before you start hiking…DO NOT hike with these people. Many hikers and groups leave Hawaii after a few years…some groups erode like the volcanic rock under their feet…The few who remain are the best at what they do and here in Hawaii there is a very selected few when it comes to who knows what they are doing and who doesn’t…so pick and choose wisely folks…use your common sense.
We can’t keep everyone from breaking the law and trespassing…we all know this…but some of us who have pioneered the Social Media revolution take some brunt of the responsibility and so if you were to ask the many of us would leave you with this…STICK TO LEGAL SANCTIONED TRAILS…There are 40 on Oahu, all with different grades of ease and difficulty. Hiking will be one of the most beautiful and amazing activities you will experience while living or vacationing in Hawaii, but you must weight the dangers and understand your personal limitations. Hawaii can be a very unforgiving place where if you don’t respect the aina and safety concerns you could yourself at the end of your road if living here or find yourself going home on a plane in the cargo hold…not the ending to your vacation you expected.
In this podcast on Hiking Safety we cover the following:
* NEVER HIKING ALONE
* NOT ALL TRAILS HAVE SIGNAGE
* RIDGELINE AND SUMMIT EROSION
* FLASH FLOODS *LANDSLIDES/ROCKSLIDES/MUDSLIDES * PACKING THE PROPER HIKING GEAR* PREPARING FOR YOUR HIKE * ISSUES FACING THE HIKING COMMUNITY * BEING RESPONSIBLE and MAKING WISE DECISIONS.
In the final section of this 2 ½ HOUR Podcast we dive into the good and bad of SOCIAL MEDIA. Blogging, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. How far we have come…where info is shared and spread within the second you press a single button. I wonder if kids today…today’s generation, truly understand how lucky, yet cursed they are. The older ones of us had to do everything the hard way…EARN IT…now everything is given to them FREE, for the taking. When you don’t have to work hard at something and little effort is used to find, learn or discover things, well…you seem to lose something between the cracks…something is just missing, possibly even some respect in those cracks. Social media has exploded over the last few years and taking some god damn responsibility for that self indulged media needs to apply to the local community who posts it. Some of those who are highly respected in the community have shut down their Blogs, others have chosen to have some nut sacks and think before they post, others have left their Blogs up, but no longer post…others choose to cop-out, write a bullshit disclaimer and say screw it…NOT MY PROBLEM ANYMORE…when you write a disclaimer it’s acknowledging that what you have written may possibly get someone injured or killed…an attempt to remove responsibility of guilt? Perhaps…Some even go as far as to lay out weasel like reasons why if you tell someone how to break into a bank that’s not an illegal thing to do, but if the people you tell actually go ahead, listen to your advice and rob the bank…that’s only the responsibility of the one who actually robbed it…Ahhh, makes sense…lol…This is exactly what’s wrong today with the social media generation…No responsibility and not my problem…EVER! Yes…in the end it’s up to the choices of the individual, but that doesn’t mean it’s right, nor does it mean you should be careless with what you post or say. Things need to change, the hating needs to stop and the ego’s need to be put aside and a sign of humility and responsibility needs to replace it.
WHO HAS CHANGED THE LANDSCAPE of SOCIAL MEDIA in HAWAII…There are those today who have earned our respect and they are the best of the best and have a well established respect in the community and we are proud to list them each for their own reasons…They are not perfect, they make mistakes…we all do…but they are the cream of the crop and one can’t be considered human if a mistake here and there doesn’t happen…as long as one makes amends with a touch of dignity, humility, understand, love and passion for what one loves to pursue. KALEO LANCASTER…the Pioneer of Ridgeline Blogging and a Master Go Pro Hero Videographer at ISLAND TRAILS- http://kaleolancaster.blogspot.com/
Another great Blogger and Photographer: CORY YAP of ALOHA FROM 808- http://www.alohafrom808.com/
One of the most beautiful and dedicated Bloggers and Photograpghers out there: DAVID CHATSUTHIPHAN of UNREAL HAWAII-http://www.unrealhawaii.com/
It may hurt some ego’s in the end, but to be real…None of us are that important on a worldly scale, this is a small local community…and outside Hawaii…those little rocks in the middle of the pacific…no one really gives a shit what’s going on here or what you have to say or argue about…so a good dose of humility can do us all some good. Is this then hypocritical to post such a Blog and Podcast…perhaps it is…I’m not ruling it out, but we posted it…some will read it…some will love it, some won’t, some will respect it, some will hate on it…so what…We posted it cause it speaks truth, it’s raw, it’s real and it’s us…What we all need to remember and agree upon is that when it comes to Hawaii, we are certainly lucky to live here…perhaps even blessed to be among so few who share such passions and similar interests. Yes we are small…perhaps insignificant, but indeed special…o hell yes we are truly special and we need to stick together as a small community, because we’re all we have here on the rock. In many ways we are the same, as long as we just chillax, talk story, understand and embrace the true aloha spirit and treat each other the way we would want to be treated…like ohana…like family.