OHE April 23, 1999 (Paka's Pau Hana Hikes)

Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 15:21:44 -1000
From: Patrick Rorie (prorie@mailhost.k12.hi.us>
Subject: Pau Hana Hike Summary

Pau hana hike season is in full swing. The following is a summary of what Paka has been up to after work...

April 7th - Wa'ahila Ridge... Pau Hana

Drove up St. Louis heights, and for security reasons, parked outside the Wa'ahila Ridge State Recreation Area. Entered the rec area on foot at 4:51 p.m. and gazed at the magnificent Norfolk Island pine grove in route to the parking lot. From the paved lot, I ascended gradually on a very wide trail (old road?) with stands of strawberry guava on both sides then accomplished the first major descent as the roller coaster action commenced. Arrived at the junction with the Kolowalu trail in about half an hour and continued on toward the summit. After another thirty minutes or so at a flat grassy spot (helipad?) I stopped and sat down to enjoy the vistas of Diamond Head, Manoa Valley, the Ko'olau Range including Mount Olympus dead ahead, and Palolo Valley. Retraced my steps, and because of extra energy and a wide open well maintained footpath, jogged most of the way back arriving at the pat-mobile at 6:51 p.m. Let me make it clear that I did not reach the summit and it was a nice day with clouds just barely touching the top of Olympus.

April 8th - Maunawili Ramble... Pau Hana

Parked near the Castle junction (where the Pali Hwy and Kamehameha Hwy intersect) for security reasons (the Pali Hwy hairpin turn is notorious for auto break-ins) and jogged up the Pali Hwy to the hairpin turn. On the way up OHE-L member Doug Klein saw me and honked. I gave him a shaka upon recognizing his car. Once at the hairpin, I paused to study upper Piliwale Ridge then gained the Maunawili Demo Trail (aka Ko'olaupoko). Continued joggging for about .75 mile to the junction with Piliwale Ridge. Ascended Piliwale a short distance, turned around, returned to the Demo trail, and headed toward Waimanalo. A short time later I turned around again and took the Demo trail until it becomes the Old Pali Road. Ducked under the Kailua-bound and Honolulu-bound lanes of the Pali Hwy and descended along the Old Pali Road hoping to do some trail maintenance on the Likeke Trail. Departed the road and hiked on a trail to a lovely waterfall. By the time I reached the cascade I was too tired to do any chopping. On the way back to my car I tramped along a trail descending several short switchbacks until the footpath came out at the Old Pali Road. As I ascended gradually to the Pali Hwy I noticed some interesting grafiti. Ducked under the Pali Hwy again, jogged along the Demo trail to the hairpin and walked down the Pali Hwy to the Castle junction. Ate a chicken sandwhich at the Kailua jacko-box as a reward for my efforts.

April 9th - Makapu'u Point... Pau Hana

Parked at the Makapu'u scenic lookout above Makapu'u beach park. Ascended gradually on a trail over open rocky terrain. Noticed an abundance of panini (prickly pear) and kiawe along the footpath. Paused briefly to study the tide pools below the cliffs. Didn't get too close to the edge because it was unusually windy that day. Reached the lookout in about fifteen minutes from the pat-mobile (the lighthouse visible nearby) and enjoyed the sights but didn't see any whales. The spot features nice views of the windward coast including Rabbit Island and the Mokulua Islands in the distance. I also recognized old WWII bunkers (pill boxes) on top of a hill (elev. 647 ft) across the way. From the lookout I descended gradually on a road (a female jogger passed me going in the opposite direction). I paused briefly at the junction with the trail which descends to the tide pools to look at new signs describing the whales. Continued descending on the paved road as it curves toward Makapu'u, Queen's Beach and Koko Crater coming into view. Rather than walking up Kalanianaole Hwy to my car, I departed the paved road before it intersects Kalani and tramped along an old abandoned dirt road now covered with light brown scorched grass. Entered the pat-mobile and drove to the HTMC clubhouse to prepare for the annual meeting.

Notes: The Makapu'u Point hike is ideal for keikis. It has bunkers for the boys, a couple of nice lookout areas, tide pools to swim in, and, if lucky, one may even spot a humpback whale breaching the surface of the Pacific Ocean!

April 14th - Leahi... Pau Hana

Leahi (aka Diamond Head) is probably the most recognizable landmark in the Hawaiian Islands. Parked outside the Diamond Head crater near the tunnel entrance and ascended briefly but steeply to the crater rim. Started hiking at 4:42 p.m. Tramped counterclockwise enjoying excellent views of the east Ko'olau Range, Koko Head and Koko Crater in the distance. Carefully negotiated a narrow section in route to a bunker. Looked for and found the cables Wing and Dayle had mentioned in a previous write-up. Descended steeply using the cables until the ridge leveled off (the cables are not really necessary and the danger of this area pales in comparison to that of Pakui's backside, Ohulehule southeast ridge, and even Kaupo Cliffs). Paused to study the beautiful light and dark brown rock bands forming the sheer rock face. Continued descending until I reached a chain-link fence just beyond Makalei Place. Noticed a plaque during the process identifying the Na Laau Hawaii Arboretum. Followed a contour trail along the base of the crater which has an abundance of cactis looking plants (panini?) and koa haole. Backtracked and regained the crater rim after 6 p.m. Hiked to another bunker (elev. 760 ft) and descended the tourist trail on a series of "spectacular" switchbacks in route to the parking lot. Walked thru the tunnel and approached my car at 6:56 p.m. Then it was off to the HTM schedule meeting to give Grant Oka, Carole Moon, Mabel Kekina, Jim Yuen and Stuart Ball a hard time. :-)

April 15th - Leahi direct route... Pau Hana

Had a movie/dinner engagement to attend in Kahala Mall with some of the trail clearing crew but wanted to get some exercise in before the flick. Entered Diamond Head crater via the tunnel and parked in the paved lot. Changed clothes inside the pat-mobile then jogged briskly along the tourist trail until a side ridge comes in on the left. Ascended the side ridge all the way to the crater rim. Turned left upon reaching the rim and dashed to the top of a bunker where I lay down to rest. Total time from car to bunker: 10 minutes! Enjoyed nice vistas of Kapiolani Park below and the Waianae Range in the distance. Took the same route back to my car and made it to the mall in time for the movie!

April 16th - Kawaewae Ridge... Pau Hana

Parked at the foot of "Friendship Garden" at around 4:30 p.m. and changed into hiking attire inside the pat-mobile. Ascended through the garden via a graded contour footpath complete with a few switchbacks. Gained the ridge crest and followed it to a flat grassy area (helipad) - a nice windward panorama including Kaneohe Bay, Ohulehule, the Ko'olau Range, Olomana, Kawainui Marsh, Kailua Bay. Experienced classic roller coaster action between Christmasberry trees in route to the top of a pu'u (at 942 feet, the highest point on Kawaewae). Descended steeply with the use of ropes and paused to peer down into Kapaa Quarry. Next, I traveled along an old abandoned road now covered with grass then began climbing to another hill. Took a break at the top of the hill then commenced the gradual descent to a nearby neighborhood emerging from the woods at the end of Lipalu Street. Walked along the paved road, turned right onto Namoku, and made another right onto Kaneohe Bay Drive. In front of Kokokahi YWCA and at the base of a pedestrian overpass, I entered a neighborhood and completed the loop after trekking to the top of Kokokahi Place.

Notes: Doug "Dusty" Klein has put in many hours of hard labor to make this hike a reality. He may come across as a gruff dude, but deep inside Doug's a kind, generous, loving person. :-)

April 20th - Piliwale Ridge notch... Pau Hana

Drove to the Pali lookout and parked in the paved lot. Continued on foot at 4:45 p.m. walking to the lookout then descending gradually via the Old Pali Road. The Old Pali road becomes the Maunawili Demo. As I began contouring above one of the gullies along the Demo trail, I surprised a medium size pig in the gully. It quickly climbed out and ran away. Reached the junction with the Piliwale Ridge Trail and climbed the ridge methodically (steeply at times) to the pinnacle above the notch (blip). Passing showers had pelted me throughout the hike so I decided to stay put. I could see the thin cable below the ribbon I had tied to a tree on the first part of a very, very steep section. My eyes scanned up and down the ridge for details all the while I could feel my desire to climb the entire ridge swell up within me. Sometime after 6 p.m. I commenced the return leg of the hike. On the way back it got dark so I pulled out my flashlight. It also poured down rain and the Old Pali Road became a small river. The waterfall above the lone date palm was really gushing! Totally drenched, I approached the pat-mobile at 7:28 p.m. and upon drying off took off for home.

April 21st - Pu'u Ma'eli'eli... Pau Hana

Parked on Hui Iwa near Temple Valley Shopping Center and changed clothes inside the pat-mobile. At 5:18 p.m. I continued on foot jogging down Hui Iwa and along Kahekili Hwy east bound to a locked gate fronting a dirt road. Climbed over the gate and ascended steeply to the ridge crest. Nice views were mine of Coconut Island in Kaneohe Bay on the right and the Ko'olau Range on the left as I resumed jogging. Noticed sisal, strawberry guava, lantana, lawai, and Christmas berry among the flora. Following a short but steep climb, I reached the summit of Ma'eli'eli and sat down to rest on a concrete bunker at 5:36 p.m. Kapapa Island in Kaneohe Bay caught my eye almost dead ahead and I couldn't help but gaze upon Ohulehule and her southeast ridge. With a "Friends of Haiku Stairs" meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. in Kaneohe, I didn't loiter for long at the pillbox. Instead, I commenced the return leg at 5:40 p.m. reaching my car at 5:52 p.m.

April 22nd - Olomana... Pau Hana

Parked on the side of the road which leads to Luana Hills Country Club before a bridge and continued on foot at 4:45 p.m. After passing an empty guard shack, I veered left, entered the woods and ascended steeply to the crest of a ridge. Eventually, I reached the base of the flank of the mountain in an ironwood grove. Methodically ascended the ridge through Christmas berry. Topped out on the summit of Olomana (elev. 1,643 ft) at 5:45 p.m. and sat down to enjoy the superb panorama. At 6 p.m. I departed the summit choosing not to proceed any further. Instead, I retraced my steps to the pat-mobile and drove to a fine restaurant in Kailua Town for dinner.

April 23rd - Kuliouou... Pau Hana

Today after work I plan on ascending the DLNR Kuliouou Trail carrying a 36 pound backpack in preparation for an upcoming trip to Mauna Loa via the Ainapo Trail. Kuliouou gains roughly 1,828 feet of elevation in about 2.25 miles (to the eroded hill). This is similar to the ratio of elevation gained per mile from the Ainapo Cabin to the Mauna Loa summit cabin (5,500 feet in 7.5 miles). Hence, the choice of Kuliouou as a trail for training. Dr. Gene Robinson will provide legal drugs to help combat elevation sickness while on the Ainapo Trail.

Safe hiking, happy trails and puppy dog tails to all!

== Paka

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