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Rant & Rave

By Jose Daniel Rojales

Tuesday, August 1, 2000

Leaving trails,
surf for mainland

AT noon my friend Coedy, his uncle and I get ready to hike the Hawaii Loa Ridge trail. I stretch my arms and legs so that they won't cramp during the two-hour hike. An opening in the bushes shows the trail that leads to the top. The opening in the bushes looks like a gateway or portal to another place. One side faces the city, but the other side offers a view of trees and vegetation.

While walking on the trail one can't help but notice the beautiful scenery. On either side of the trail are rows of tall guava, koa, kukui and eucalyptus trees that lead 100 feet from the top of the mountain all the way down.

The trees color the mountains with different shades of green, from dark to almost yellow. The surroundings seem so peaceful. All I can hear are the crunching of the leaves beneath my feet, the wind blowing against my head and a variety of birds chirping.

As I take my last step to the top, a gust of cold and wet air hits my face. Fog covers the top. Small trees, green ferns and moss grow all over the place. The plants are so alive and green because of the moist and chilly air.

As I look over the cliff, the whole side of Waimanalo can be seen. I feel like I could just spread my arms and fly like a bird because the clouds are so close to the ground. It's so peaceful up here that it puts me in a state of meditation. I just stay quiet, breathe the fresh air, enjoy the scenery and relax.

AFTER hiking I decided to go to the beach with my friend Justin. I usually surf, so I always make it a point to go where the waves are breaking. Finger, Point, China Walls, Pillars, are just a few of the spots found at Portlock.

When the waves are peeling over, they easily satisfy my quest for the feeling of pure adrenaline. However, the place that I go to most frequently is Sandy Beach. It's my favorite beach because no matter how small the waves are, they still form a barrel or a pipe in which I can either body surf or body board.

When the swells hit Sandy Beach, the waves are usually in perfect 2- to 3-foot range with occasional 4-footers. During these days, I bring out my body board, call up my friends and catch as many waves as I can at the beach.

For some reason, every time I go hiking or to the beach I feel really happy; it's like a natural high. There's something about being one with nature that gives me a feeling of peace. I like the trees that grow all over the mountains, the view that I see from a cliff, the colorful fishes in the ocean.

It upsets me when I see plastic bags and soda cans in the ocean or in places where I hike because trash destroys these places. I'd never want there to be a point in my life where all the trees are gone and beaches are too polluted to swim in.

I try to help nature as much as I can. I've planted fruit trees in my yard and when I see candy wrappers and soda cans on the ground, I throw them in the rubbish can. I believe nature is our source of peace and happiness and I'm trying to enjoy as much as I can before heading to school in San Francisco.

I just got back Sunday from registering for classes, and the first thing I did was go surfing. It's something I won't be able to do there because it's so cold and foggy. Along with signing up for school, I've signed up with a gym in San Francisco to stay active, but I have a feeling that adjusting to a new environment will be more difficult than adjusting to classes.

Jose Daniel Rojales is a class of 2000 Kaiser High School graduate who will be attending the Academy of Art College in San Francisco.

Rant & Rave is a Tuesday Star-Bulletin feature
allowing those 12 to 22 to serve up fresh perspectives.
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