I went to Japan recently and it struck me that people were really working for their photos. Everyone seemed to be a photographer. They squinted at their screens fervently directing their subjects into different angles and expressions. At first I thought, hey, these are my people. They appreciate and love photography as much as I do! But then, as we visited more tourist-y places, and the crowds swelled, it began to grate on my nerves. One morning we decided to escape the crowds with a stroll through a bamboo forest. As we turned onto the trail, we ran into a wall of people; selfie sticks gently bobbing over the crowd. There were so many people stopped on the trail taking photos of each other that it wasn’t possible to move.
I was reminded of this at the top of the Ehukai pillbox hike. Not the crowds, but the selfie behavior. We picked this hike as a compromise. The kids wanted to go to a beach on the north shore and we wanted to go hiking, so we agreed on a short hike (about 2 miles round trip) followed by a dip in the ocean. It was rainbow weather. Intermittent bright sun and brief squalls created a soggy trail. We slipped and sloshed our way up the path stopping to climb banyan trees and snack on strawberry guava. There was a bit of whining over muddy hands, but everyone was happy when we emerged into the cool, dry trail beneath the ironwoods. The kids happily skipped along proclaiming, “I love this hike!”
At the pillbox, I saw the peace sign and realized that I recognized this hike from Instagram. A loose line had formed as people waited their turn to capture a perfect Instagram photo. I don’t know. Maybe i’m just being old and crotchety, but I couldn’t help but roll my eyes as hikers jumped and flexed for photos. Of course i’m being completely hypocritical as I stalk my family regularly with camera in hand. Case in point – video and photos ;)
If you love hiking, but aren’t up for the mud you can try the very easy, stroller friendly hike through Waimea Valley Botanical Garden.