OHE August 30, 1997

Art Neilson (artn@aloha.net) submits the following write-up.

Darn! I lost 10 hours vacation time at my workplace because I didn't take it last month, my boss didn't tell me I was maxed out. Anyway, I had to take at least 2 days this month or I would lose more time. I took Thursday 8/28 and Friday 8/29 as vacation days, and decided to spend the time hiking trails I hadn't done before.

Yesterday 8/28 I did Kulepeamoa-Hawaii Loa. Thanks to the description of the trail on your web page I was able to find the trail head at the end of Anolani St. and set off on foot at 10:00 sharp. The trail is well ribboned thanks to HTMC, it follows the stream for a ways then heads up hill to gain the Kulepeamoa ridgeline. Boy what a hot miserable section that is! Blocked off from the wind by the ridge, I steamed my way from the trailhead in the valley to the tiny Ironwood forest on the ridge in 1 hour (11:00).

Took a 15 min break in the forest and drank a can of juice, then headed onwards I reached the long cable section at 12:30, that darn cable just gets in the way. When you pull on it it sorta stretches like elastic, feels really unnerving.

Anyway, I got to the summit at 1:00 and relaxed there till 2:00, ate a sandwich and drank a pint of Guiness. The area on the summit is well cleared, looks like someone with a bolo knife went nuts there chopping out the clearing. Good job! Headed towards Hawaii Loa at 2:00 following a very well cleared summit trail again, clearly ribboned. The views from the summit are spectacular as usual, the outer islands of Molokai and Maui were visible as well as Waimanalo down below and a niced panorama from Rabbit Island to Kaneohe.

Reached Hawaii Loa summit and pressed on to the next hump on the summit. The trail was fairly overgrown past Hawaii Loa, progress was much slower and I decided to descend Hawaii Loa instead of Wiliwilinui. The Hawaii Loa trail is a *freeway* super well cleared you can run this thing in an hour going downhill. I reached the Hawaii Loa summit at 2:30 and took 1 1/2 hours to find the junction leading back into Pia valley. I was worried on the way down wether or not I'd find the junction and explored anything even faintly resembling a trail going left.

I wasted some time checking out a couple little game trails :^). When I did find the junction I laughed because it was ribboned off like a main gate with ribbons on both sides of the entrance! The trail dove down the hillside and came out alongside Niu stream. The stream trail winds up connecting to the trail you start on.

I didn't reach my car 'til 5:00 so altogether it took me 7 hours to hike the trail. It was a really good hike and I really enjoy coming back a different way than I went in. Thanks for blazing that new trail down from Hawaii Loa ridge to the valley Dayle!! BTW, whats the deal with the rock wall in the valley? You know the one I mean. Is there some history behind it???

Dayle's note: The credit for the trail from Hawaii Loa down to Pia Valley goes to Mabel Kekina, John Hall, and Jay Feldman, who spent an afternoon climbing and marking and hacking to scout out the route.

Also, the rock wall Art is asking about could be an old house site or even a lo'i. Gotta defer to the experts on that.

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