Manana to Aiea Ridge (1997)

Manana to Aiea Ridge (1997)

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Received the following from list member Gene Robinson. For those who don't know Gene, he penned a piece about a Manana to Waimano traverse where he stumbled upon a plane wreckage on the Koolau Crest. You can read that piece, if you're interested, at

Also, Pat Rorie told me that the dirt road leading to the Poamoho trailhead has recently been bulldozed so that it now may be possible for non-4x4 vehicles to make it up there. Prior to the roadwork, gaping mudholes and huge ruts made driving on the road hazardous to the health of one's vehicle.

Pat also advised me that his hiking buddy, Laredo, has been going on daily runs on the H-3 access road and viaduct in Haiku Valley without being hassled. This is not to say that hikers won't be hassled if they try to get to the Haiku Stairs because a bunch of us know better based on an experience we had on the access road recently.

Anyway, here's Gene's weekend report:

Hi Dayle,

Just a quick note to thank you for putting me on your hiking enthusiasts list. It's great to hear what other people are doing.

I tried going up to Puu Kanehoa from Kunia last weekend, but my kids (nine and seven) couldn't get into it. Last time I went there you could walk from the little reservoir right up to the big green backboard with no problem. Now, you have to wind your way through ten-foot high California grass, arriving at the first uphill itchy and dusty and cranky. And then the Dole plant on Kunia road has an obnoxious diesel generator that pounds away, obscuring all birdsong, until you reach the top of Mauna Una hill. Junk! My kids had about as much fun as doing homework, maybe less. In all fairness, I'd like to give it another try with long pants and sleeves sans kids. The route to Kolekole pass along the top sounds great in Ball's book. Done it?

Happy hiking!

Gene Robinson

Also Today, hiking buddy and local doctor extraordinaire Peter "Pekelo" Caldwell sent me the following interesting post about an adventure he had on the Aiea Ridge trail yesterday (4/22).

Here's the doc:

Ended up going hiking yesterday. Here's what happened. Think you'll be interested:

By a happy coincidence, my paddling buddy Kent and I both ended up with all Tuesday off. It seemed like the stars and weather were rightfor a hike. We had already talked about a piko-planting trip to the Koolau crest above Kent's Pearl City home as they recently had a new addition to the family. Being golfers too, we decided in lieu of fireworks that we'd launch a few golf balls off the summit in celebration after the deed was done.

Each wielding irons in addition to the usual gear, off we went up the Aiea Ridge trail on a muggy but clear day. About an hour into the hike, we ran into a solitary hiker coming done the trail with a pretty significant pack. We stopped to talk and much to our surprise, it turned out that this hiker had quite a story to tell. His name was Keith, and he was stationed at Camp Smith with quite a back ground of a number of trips to Vietnam to search for MIAs. He said he loved to hike and couldn't find anyone to go with him this time so off he went on his own.

It was obvious in talking to him that he was used to dealing with the boonies and was well-outfitted. However what he had accomplished was an impressive 2-nite loop trip from Manana along the crest and out Aiea. Having never done part of that particular stretch of the crest, I was eager for details. What was especially remarkable was that he did the whole trip using just the water he brought with himas the weather had been unusually dry and there was nothing available on the route. He tried to find an accessible stream without success, and at nite, it always looked like it was about to rain at least a little but never did. But he rationed his water very well and looked none the worse for wear except for "feeling it a little at that point." No wonder!! He said he probably wouldn't try and do it again without a better chance for water resupply. Having struggled with that problem myself on several Koolau overnites, I sure could sympathize with his problem. We encouraged him to tell the story of his adventure on Dayle's hiking haps which he said he would as he also had kept a journal. We gave him an extra shot of our water and after trying to recruit him for our canoe club, he was on his way. Pretty amazing and as he said, people told him he was crazy but he was as prepared as you could be for such a solo trip. Most of us with a passion for hiking can relate similar stories if not quite as ambitious.

So on to the summit where a very suitable spot was found for the piko and other small mementos which now rest wrapped in a ti leaf with a great view of both sides of the island. The mana should be good for his new daughter. Then we proceeded to launch some shots off a small clearing just below the top. Even Tiger would have approved as we took advantage of the kona breezes to send some old Titleists soaring over the pali. We teed it up again on the wider plateau area near the tower and hit some driving range style with of course photo documentation. We completed the summit-area activities with an mooning of the H3 below and headed down the trail. We also had the opportunity to watch a HECO helicopter at work hauling some guys and equipment off one of the lower towers. Those guys were doing a lot of sitting and not much working -tough duty.

Ended up getting some rain at the end of the hike which felt good and gave an additional blessing to what had turned out to be a very interesting day in the Koolaus. Beats working any time! If anybody runs across some golf balls....

More soon.



Hike safe gang,


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