sat. aug 16 HTMC hike to Kalauao, led by Joyce Tomlinson. a somewhat sunny day but grey clouds in upper Aiea. about 15 guests and 6 members embarked on the loop trail and braved a light rain shower. after about 45min we reach the junction to the ridge trail, we split left and up over a small hill to begin our descent into the valley. the twin lobelia at the start of the trail are doing well even though they are located right on the trail. just 15 yards later on the right is another healthy lobelia plant.
the trail was well cleared due to the efforts of mabel and her crew the previous week. many native plants and improving weather along with good views of pearl harbor make this steep descent pleasant. a huge ekaha (birds nest fern) is just off the trail. just before the rock, another lobelia is just off the trail with blossoms. a rope helps us slide onto the connector trail then we are at the stream.
3 pig hunters are spotted and they have a semi irritated attitude. they ask us what are we doing here and how long have we been using this trail. joyce is polite and i am quiet since the have guns. as we continue down stream, to the little waterfall, everyone is having a good time and enjoying the cool valley. after a short lunch at the waterfall, everyone continues on. i am last but notice all the ribbons have been taken down. i suspect the pig hunters. i hope that no one misses the junction to cut up the side ridge. at the junction, i continue downstream and yell for anyone to come back. no responses so i head up with joyce and the last hiker. about an hour later, i am relieved to find no cars remaining that were registered on our hike list. all in all, a very pleasant hike, a good workout, and it is so satisfying to see others enjoy themselves. i only suspect the pig hunters of taking down our ribbons and i am aggravated but happy no one got lost.
usually, dale writes about our weekend haps with the HTMC trail maintenance crew so i just read and re-live the hike but this weekend is different. most of the crew is on the big island on a service project at Hakalau. so, just a laid back weekend hiking with the club on sat. ralph (another HTMC trail clearer) and i and our respective daughters went kayaking on kaneohe bay on sunday. i love my daughter dearly and had a great time but can't wait till my hiking buddies return for another sunday adventure.
Now you've done it. This is exactly what I was warning everyone about last month. The hunters must be the last ones to find out everyone else on earth knows about the trail. The hunters blazed that trail 25 or more years ago, and we as kids put in the rocks at the waterfall to make it a bit deeper. I know personally guys who grow lots of pakalolo down there. I give up already! This is my last warning on this list. Someone is going to get hurt down there one day and it wont be from a fall. Theres a lot of shady unsavory characters in Aiea and once one of these jobless anti-socials finds out his pakalolo patches have a web page he is going to trap that trail. With my luck it will be right before I take my kids down there.
I dont see everyone writing books and web pages on Waianae Valley or Waimanalo trails. What makes everyone think its any safer down here? I could care less if someone found dope down there. I quit smoking it 7 years ago. I'm not a grower either. I just don't want someone to booby trap the trail or worse because of too much traffic.
Theres a place called Sacred Falls in Laie. Go there. Its already got high traffic. You'll be a lot safer. And wont feel guilty when someone fails to find their way out of Kalauao one day.
And before you ask why I take my kids down there if its so dangerous i'm from there. Thats my old back yard.