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Patrick rehashes the final day of the Big Island trip he and some HTMC members went on (I went along, too, and soon will email a write-up of our first three days). Pat also makes a couple of good points about the Haiku Stairs.
Thank you for the informative e-mail messages and for clearing another way to the stairs. Just wanted to let you know what we did on easter sunday even though it sounds like you spoke with Mable recently.[Dayle's note: Deborah Uchida is the one who took most of the pictures in Stuart Ball's newest book, *The Backpackers Guide to Hawaii*].
= final day of big isle trip =Because we had our own rooms and because breakfast did not have to be prepared everyone slept a little later (I got up at 6:30). After a buffet breakfast we walked over to the Volcano house restaurant for a view of the crater. It was a beautiful day with blue skies and not many clouds (although clouds did move over and into the mountains later in the day). Afterward we visited the visitor center and watched a movie about the eruptions. I purchased a detailed trail map for future trips. When we were done there we drove to the Crater Rim trail head. A few of us did a short loop stroll thru this large cave then rejoined the others.
Next we started down one of the Crater Rim trails. It was a relaxing walk thru beautiful forest. After a few miles we emerged from the forest to a desert and continued our trek. After a short break Ralph, John Hall, and Jay hiked on ahead in order to get the cars and meet the rest of us at the Halemaumau crater parking lot. I decided to be sensitive and stay with the women. After we arrived at the parking lot Bill and I went to the crater lookout for a view. Ralph, John, and Jay came with the cars a short time later.
From there we drove to Deborah Uchida's home so that Mable and Carole could see their old friend. I was expecting to see a medium-sized Japanese woman (last name Uchida) but was surprised to find that Deborah is a tall strong haole woman in her mid 40's twice divorced and in love with Malaysia. We didn't talk mainly because she wanted to speek with Carole and Mable.
After our visit with Deborah we headed to Hilo and an early dinner at Pizza hut. Next we went to the airport hoping to catch an earlier flight. The time was now about 6 p.m. We were successful in getting on an earlier plane and I got home about 8.
= Some concerns regarding the new Haiku Staircase access =Be sure and communicate that the best time to do the stairs is Sunday morning. Do not go on the H-3 access road during the week. The road leading to the Omega Station main gate is used by coast guard personnel so if they see hikers walking along the road or heading down into the bamboo gulch they may become suspicious.
The weather report for this Sunday looks good. If, however, the weather is not ideal we will head for Mariner's ridge followed by the annual meeting @ 2 p.m. Please encourage Art Neilson to contact Steve Holmes, Mike Wilson and other gov officials (to communicate that they MUST FIND A WAY to repair/reopen the stairs). I am thinking seriously about having a "SAVE HAIKU STAIRS" bumper sticker made and distributed to those who care. A sticker similar to "SAVE SANDY BEACH". Time is running out ! The Omega Station is scheduled to close in September.
= Waikane Saddle trail clearing =On Sunday April 13 HTM trail clearing will do the Waikane Saddle trail. Let hikers know that after we clear the trail the opportunity to reach the top of Ohulehule via Kahana Valley will be available. On March 22 a friend and I reached the top from the trail head in 2 hours 36 minutes. While we were at the summit we cut four viewing spots (there is a Clidemia forest up there most of which are atleast 10 feet tall !). We also went a short distance down the old trail cutting our way as we went. On April 13 I hope to bring a cable so that the old trail which goes up the spine facing Kaneohe bay might be reopened (considered the most dangerous hike on the island by Stuart Ball (page 237 of 'Hikers Guide to Oahu')). Encourage hikers to bring hand held cutters or better yet a set of loppers. You or I can do an e-mail message describing the route sometime during the week after the trail clearing. Warn hikers that the access from Kahana valley after the Waikane saddle is for ADVANCED HIKERS ONLY. There are two cables for assistance.
One final note. Honolulu Cellular is offering a free cell phone with no activation fee for $8.50/month. You get 10 minutes/month phone time. I plan on taking advantage of this offer and encourage other hikers to do so as well. Although I'm trying to shake the habit I do a lot of hiking on my own.
Until next time,
"Psycho" Pat Rorie
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