OHE April 28, 1999 (Pu'u Maelieli)

Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999 17:17:41 -1000
From: Carmen C. (carmenc@pixi.com>
Subject: Pau Hana

*gulp* OK, here it is. My first hike write-up. Be gentle. ;-)

Yesterday afternoon I decided to go on my own pau hana hike in Kahaluu and see if the trails I remember from childhood were still accessible.

At about 4:45 I parked at the top of Hui Iwa Place (the top of the housing development behind Temple Valley Shopping Center between Kaneohe and Kahalu'u). By 4:50 I was heading up the hills in the park behind the tennis courts and barged through the ground cover. The trail was grossly overgrown and looked like no one had been there in the 15 years since I'd hiked in that area. I started creating my own trail with the goal of reaching the top of Pu'u Ma'eli'eli, which is quoted in Stuart Ball's book as "the small peak overlooking Kane'ohe Bay between Kahalu'u and Kane'ohe. The climb to its top is short, but steep." There used to be many trails going up, but none were evident and I soon found myself in what I will call in this write-up the "killer vines." (Ken, I took a sample pod for you to tell me what this beast is.) What seemed like a few thorny bushes were soon clinging to clothes and skin. After a couple hundred yards was forced to turn back. Once out of the killer vines, I headed to the left a bit hoping to bypass the killers. Again, after a couple hundred yards I was forced to turn back. I stood for a few minutes picking thorns out of my skin, rinsing off blood, and pondering my next move.

There is a ridge further to the left (Kahalu'u side) that I knew had another trail up and I headed around the killer vines toward it. After climbing a short steep hill (for a wuss hike) and climbing through barbed wire, I found the trail that headed to the top of Pu'u Ma'eli'eli. At about 6:00 I made it to the top and spent some time sitting on the bunker and watching the moon rise over Kaneohe Bay. I left the top at about 6:40 and headed down the heavily ribboned trail I've heard about, emerging into the housing development at about 7:10. After a very short walk to the car, I looked back up at the mountain. It was not as large as I remember as a 12 year old. My old trails are overgrown with killer vines. Slightly disappointing, but I want to try again from a different starting point on another day.

Everyone take care,

Carmen :-)

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