OHE April 26, 1999 (Wahiawa Hills)

Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 08:49:39 -1000
From: Nathan Yuen (nyuen@lava.net>
Subject: The Waters of Kaukonahua

(this article has also been posted to the newsgroup "soc.culture.hawaii")

Yesterday I joined the HTMC (Hawaiian Trail & Mountain Club) trail-maintenance crew to clear the trail for the upcoming Wahiawa Hills hike. Since the chosen-route was relatively short and already in good condition, the larger group splintered into several smaller ones, each exploring different sections of the interconnecting network of trails that link Wahiawa to Schofield, Mililani, Poamoho, and beyond. I just so happened to have lucked-out and joined a group that spent an extended period of time at a large deep pool in Kaukonahua Stream.

The network of trails in Wahiawa Hills lead up and down a series of fern and eucalyptus covered ridges that have been carved by Kaukonahua Stream. Nourished by the prodigious rainfall that showers the Koolau Mountains, Kaukonahua is a wide stream with an impressive volume of water--by Oahu standards anyway, it's certainly no Niagara or Amazon. But Kaukonahua is reported to be the longest stream in the State of Hawaii.

While not an especially sunny day, the high humidity and lack of wind made for hot and sticky hiking conditions. As a result, when we reached a large deep mountain pool over a hundred feet long and twenty-five feet wide between two broad meanders in Kaukonahua Stream, I could not help but hear the clear cool waters beckon to me.

Removing my hiking gear, I waded into the cool pristine waters grasping the squishy algae covered rocks between by toes for balance. Swimming to the deeper portions of the pool where I could not touch bottom, the cool refreshing waters enveloped me as I dove to the bottom. As I opened my eyes and peered underwater, I could see the tracks of hundreds of pupu (freshwater snails) as they grazed on the algae which cover the slippery rocks. As the others arrived at the pool and joined me in the water, we swam to the far side of the pool, where we watched the keiki splash in the water and venture down the "rapids" in an inflatable inner-tube. Venturing to the deepest part of the pool, I floated on my back for an extended period of time admiring a section of the ridge overlooking the pool where luxuriant dark-green fronds of swordtail and maiden's hair ferns dangle over the surface of the water.

Time passed quickly while we were in the pool, and soon it was time to leave. After climbing out of the stream, I dried-off in the sun and quickly devoured lunch. Reinvigorated by the refreshing waters of Kaukonahua, we were off and running in a matter of fifteen minutes to resume our appointed task for the day--to clear the trail for the upcoming club hike.

For those of you who wish to experience the waters of Kaukonahua for yourself, the next HTMC hike there will be on May 9th. You may view the schedule at http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Trails/3660/htms9902.html.

      o    o     __ __
       \  /    '       `
        |/   /     __    \      Mai hehi ia'u (Don't Tread on Me!)
      (`  \ '    '    \   '
        \  \|   |   @_/   |        Nathan Yuen 
         \   \   \       /--/
          ` ___ ___ ___ __ ' 

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