Stairway To Heaven
We got there around 4am. Our first mission was to simply find the trailhead. This was much more difficult than it should have been. In the dim spotlight of Jamie’s headlamp, we crawled past barb wire and criss-crossed bamboo trees. I felt so small as we hiked through a forest under a giant freeway overpass above our heads. WIth the rhythm of snapping branches at our feet and no sign of a clear pathway, we realized we were lost. An hour passed. Already covered in sweat and dirt from bushwhacking, we were in too deep to give up. We knew it was going to be worth it to finally find the Haiku stairs and climb that 2,800ft elevation to the top.
The plan was to get there and climb the stairs in the light of dawn to watch the sunrise at the top. Unfortunately the sun emerged as we scrambled lost in a bamboo jungle. When we finally found the trailhead, the security guard was there. “This is private property,” he said. “You are not allowed to be here.” Playing dumb like we didn’t know, we carried on past him.
I began to digest my fatigue and disappointment. Parker stops in his tracks, protesting with optimism. “I bet there’s a way to cut through onto the stairs.” It was worth a shot. So we turned around. We walked past the guard again pretending we forgot where our car was parked. We crept into the mountain’s bushes. “We’re intense,” Jamie said in amazement. We were impressed with ourselves but not too impressed because we were still very lost. We kept on the arduous incline searching for the stairs. We pulled ourselves up mossy rocks, tree branches and protruding roots, and I may have had nearly fallen to my death as I peeked through the trees behind me to see that we were directly in line with the freeway overpass.
We couldn’t find the stairway. We were in a jungle’s maze on the side of a mountain. We were about to give up when Blake clambers ahead of us and bellows back “I see them!” And alas we found the Haiku Stairs. We persisted ahead. I climbed onto the stairway and looked down at where we ascended from. We just scaled a fucking mountain. A chill surged through my bones as I registered the great height I was at. I had only gotten over my fears of heights just a year ago when a friend gave me molly at Six Flags.
Steep and squeaky, there are 4,000 steps on this ladder-like stairway. We had already had quite the adventure getting to the steps and now the actual hike up the stairs was the easy part.
At the top of the mountain, gratitude washed over me. The lush view was stunning. My heart was stirring as I shared in the bliss of finally reaching the top with these boys.
Just a day ago we were strangers with no real plans. Acquaintances without expectations. Pioneers without a frontier. Now we were at the top of the world together, finding that heaven is a place on earth.
Snorkelling in Hawaii