OHE August 15, 1999 (Kahuku Shoreline)

Date: Sun, 15 Aug 1999 20:11:59 -1000
From: Dayle K. Turner (turner@hawaii.edu>
Subject: Kahuku shoreline hike--HTMC

Yesterday (Sat, 8/14), I spent an enjoyable day hiking on the north side of Oahu with the HTMC. OHE-L members Larry Oswald and Kris Corliss coordinated the outing, briefing us prior and making sure all went well. Other OHE-L folks in attendance were Richard McMahon, Fred Boll, Rich Jacobson, Mark Short, Clayton Kong, and Bob Woods, our newest member.

At 9 a.m., we met on the mauka side of Kamehameha Highway across from the entrance of Turtle Bay Hilton (formerly Kuilima), hiked up the TBH access road for a half mile, then veered east by northeast to start the trail portion of the hike. For almost the entire length of the route to Kahuku Golf Course (about 4.5 miles one-way with the option to turn around at any point prior), we had the choice of either walking along the shoreline or using a jumble of dirt (actually sand) roads/motorcycle paths. Shoreline hiking offered breezier conditions and views of the ocean but we often had to hike through unpacked sand, which while providing a good workout for quads and calves became tiring after awhile [1].

This was supposed to be a cupcake hike but ended up being quite a workout--a nice surprise. My workout was intensified when I pushed myself to stay within sight of Evelia Torres, the queen of wahine speed hikers in the HTMC. Evelia is 52 [2], looks like she's 30, and can blitz on the trail, as Rich Jacobson and I found out when we tried to hang with her on the outbound and inbound legs. She's also a nice person and easy to talk to.

The day featured clear skies (and high temps) and with a virtual absence of cover, one danger was being fried by the sun. And while the ocean is always at hand all the way, few safe swimming spots exist since the shoreline is rocky and the water rough. For those doing this hike, make sure to slather on ample sunscreen, bring sufficient water, and wear a wide-brimmed hat.

Among the things we passed were Kahuku Point, the northernmost spot on Oahu; an old airfield runway (the map says this is there although I never saw a runway); the grounds of a nudist colony (no one home yesterday); a semi-permanent encampment used by fishermen; a couple of small canals with runoff water from nearby farms; a fence-enclosed bird sanctuary; and tons of jetsam & flotsam [3], including plastic milk carton holders, floaters, and ropes of many widths and lengths.

Evelia, Rich, and I reached the appointed outer limit of the hike at Kahuku Golf Course at 11:15, and we found a shade-providing tree to sit down beneath for lunch. Nearby, we met a group of folks, including HTMC members Judy Park and Jennie Chadbourne, examining shoreline features with guides from Sea Life Park (or the Nature Center?).

After lunch, Rich and I contemplated cutting through the golf course grounds and jogging back to our start point via Kamehameha Highway but we thought better of that and, along with Evelia, hiked back the way we'd come, this time opting to stay inland whenever possible to avoid the loose-sand, thigh-burning gauntlet [4]. At one point, we found ourselves on the mauka side of a canal paralleling the shoreline. After some bushbashing, we were able to cross a small bridge and get back on course by cutting across the nudist colony grounds (again, no one home).

We met other hikers from our group on the way back. Some were still hiking outbound, others were exploring the coast, and others were swimming and relaxing.

Afterward, Richard McMahon hosted a group of us for refreshments (including some of his tasty home brew) at his beautiful oceanfront home a mile and a half from Turtle Bay. Among the folks stopping by were Rich Jacobson, Fred "Life-of-the-Party" Boll, his wife Mi Cha, Clayton Kong, Mike Algiers, Larry and Kris. This gathering was a nice capper to a fine day out on the north shore. Thanks to Richard for having us and to Larry and Kris for a great hike.

It was the first time hiking along this coast for me, and I'll certainly return in the future.

Safe hiking,


[1] Anyone wanting to prep for KST mud should try hiking for a few hours
    in unpacked sand along this coast (or elsewhere).
[2] She's revealed her age to other HTMC members.
[3] Rich and I had a discussion about the difference between the two.
[4] Sand in shoes also can cause blisters, which Rich can verify.

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