Monday, December 14, 2015

The Hike

Shortly after arriving on Tutuila we visited the National Park Service and were told of an interesting hike across the top of the mountain ridge above Pago Pago. I've been trying to get with a few of the missionaries to take the hike but it seems that something always comes-up to foil the plans.  Well, this Monday some of the leaders were suppose to fly to Apia for a mission leader conference, but at the last minute it was canceled, so Elders Barkley, Tukuago, Laiataua, Harmon, and Schaefermeyer went hiking.

 The trail is about 7 miles long and climbs to 1610 ft at the summit of Mt 'Alava.  I was in hopes of having a short fat Elder with us but no such luck.  I was stuck with a cross country track runner, a discus thrower, and an BYU outside linebacker.   

 The rusted metal behind us is the remnants of an old tram that used to go across the bay.  It must have been a very impressive ride in its day.  There was also a TV/radio tower at the top with an open gate and no warning signs so I had to add another 75 ft to the elevation change.

There were some great view on the way up and at the top.  The picture below shows the ridge that we hiked along to get to the top.

 The Park Service maintains the trail and provides some interesting "stairs" down the back side to the village of Vatia.  The concrete treads are held in place by two steel cables threaded through them like a rope ladder.

 I don't know who had to haul the 600 concrete stairs up the mountain and put them in place but I appreciated their efforts.

A great hike with some great young men.  (Even if the only one to fall down was the BYU football player who fell down six times.  That may affect my wager on this Saturday's game.)

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