As promised, here is Part II.
Not depicted below: we went to Diamond Head (sans extremely exhausted sister) and saw the sunrise. Our journey to Diamond Head was probably more eventful than the climb, as both my parents and I debated if we should go for 10 minutes, before actually leaving in the rental car, and then driving to Diamond Head. The sun was supposed to rise at 7:11 am that morning, and we arrived at the base’s parking lot at 6:45 am. The very sympathetic old lady at the parking-car-gate-thing (I just looked it up and the Liftmaster Mega Arm Parking Barrier Gate Operator is being sold for only a measly $1,599 with no add-ons!) told us that it would take at least 30 minutes to walk up the trail.
The sky was already purple.
Uh, went my mother. Uhh, went my father. Oh, hell no, said my father’s bad knee.
On our way to the base, we passed a lookout on the mountain, and decided to see the sunrise from there instead. When we parked, we saw that the mountain itself was blocking the sunrise. My dad climbed out of the car to confirm as I tried not to mope.
It was really a blessing in disguise. We sped from the lookout back to the parking gate, and I took a few precious seconds to ask the old lady:
Me, in the front seat: So, let’s say we walked very fast. Could we make it to the top?
Lady: Yes? I, uh, think you should be able to.
I now realize why she looked so perplexed. I mean, what else could she have said? From the looks of your face from the car window in this dim natural lighting, I know your walking speed is approximately 4.5 km/hour so therefore by this calculation you are definitely able to make it?
By then, all the parking spots were full, and upon seeing my still somewhat-crestfallen face, my dearest, kind mother told me to start first. I did.
I protested weakly but we both knew that I wanted to get to the top before the sun rose. It was 6:50 am. I half-shuffled, half-sprinted up the trail, water bottle clanging against my back.
I got there 7:10 am. And along with a hundred sweaty strangers, we all watched as the sun jumped from the water.
There were two ways to get to the top; one, a smooth sloped incline (… I took this one), and another, an insane staircase. Later, I found out from my mother, that my old man had climbed up the staircase with more gumption than I could have ever imagined.
I was very proud. And slightly worried about the green sheen in his face.