Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 19:28:38 -1000 From: MARK SHORT
My son has been bugging me about going to Poamoho since he got his 4x4. I also liked the idea of driving right to the trailhead. Sunday morning we headed out.
The dirt road was in pretty good shape. Just to be safe I would get out and probe the depth and firmness of the mud holes. One point was very soft with big ruts. There was also evidence of recent stuckness. I explained to my son that he needed to get some speed so there would be enough momentum to get through, and he needed to straddle the biggest rut to avoid getting stuck. So off he charges then stops right in the big rut. Not all the way in, just the beginning. He chickened out! So we back up (I'm relieved we're not stuck) and he tries again. Same thing again. This time I tell him to go on side of big rut if he's more comfortable and main thing is to keep going, even if we go into rut we'll get through with enough momentum. Again we end up stopping at beginning of rut. I ask if he wants me to try. So I charge trying to straddle the rut but prior ruts drive me into big one. But I'm charging, so we bounce through. I'm concerned that this excitement will make my son only want to go 4wheeeling and not hike any more.
At the trailhead is a hunter's truck with trailer for dogs. My son says "wow they made with a trailer". I tell him this was nothing for them. We put our dog on leash just in case we meet with pack of hunting dogs. After not hearing any dog or hunter sounds I take our dog off leash figuring they are probably hunting off trail. The trail is still in great shape. You can tell it is maintained & there are two new bridges. The views & sounds of the stream below are very relaxing. I think I hear dogs so we put our dog back on leash. I'm in the lead & realize I'm not seeing any dog tracks in the mud so the hunters have not come this far up the trail, so our dog comes off leash again. We made good time reaching the Cline Memorial in 1 hour 7 minutes. After taking in the views that were absent last time. We decide to explore KST north. We really didn't think we'd have time for this so we did not have any leg covering which really is needed on the KST to prevent bloodshed. In the middle of a narrow windward section my son wanted to turn back. I told him to wait, I just wanted to go around the next corner for a view of Punaluu Valley. He said that view wasn't just around the next corner. I knew he was right but told him I wanted to check just in case. I had been seduced by the KST. I continued around the next bent then the next & so on. Going leeward then windward etc. I kept looking back to see if my son had decided to follow, I guess I'm more susceptible to the seduction. After about 15 minutes I ended up neck high in uluhe and calf deep in mud, with improvement not immediately in sight I decided to head back. Soon I'm back with my son & headed back. My son is in the lead & heads off the wrong direction. I yell to him & he comes back. I tell him good thing he didn't try to head back on his own he'd get lost. He said he would have realized the wrong direction soon enough & come back (I hope so).
We cruise back down the trail running much of it. We run into the hunters & their dogs. We put our dog on leash and are told if their dogs attack just whack & kick them. We pass several more dogs without incident so no whacking or kicking is required.
The 4x4 road down goes by quickly. My son now has confidence and blasts through the muddy/rutty sections.
We end our morning adventure with a stop at Wendy's for two Big Bacon Classic Combos. mm-mm-mm