OHE December 14, 1998 (various trails)

Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 21:56:55 -1000
From: KAULAROCK@aol.com
Subject: Re: My November Hiking Adventures

It was sunny when Paka arrived at the Honolulu Airport to pick me up. In less than an hour I was to be hiking in Makiki while Paka finished out his workday.

My hikes, while often challenging, and certainly new to me, were not of the "class" of the more experienced hikers on this list but...here goes.

Thursday, Nov 5, 1998. Makiki--day of my arrival. Hiking in a warm, tropical rain storm. Sweet smell of ginger as I came across a large pig on the trail by the turnoff for the flats. Passed the Manoa Cliffs and finished the hike in four hours...just as Paka said I would. Soaking wet and very happy!

Off to Haena, Kauai on Saturday with my dad to visit family friends. Dad flew home on Monday and I had the Smith's beach house until Thursday...by myself. Hiked into Hanakapiai on "Big Tuesday." A huge north swell added mist to the inconsistent rain that fell all day. I hiked up the infamous switch backs on the trail to Kalalau. I Had lunch behind the big rock formation, looking 800 feet into the gnarly ocean. After lunch I hiked down to the Hanakapiai valley floor and off to the right towards the falls. During one of my many stream crossing, I found myself deciding which rock to leap to next when I looked at the rock next to me and saw a 10 inch centipede contemplating the same maneuver. I watched the centipede launch itself into the water! Very muddy hike up the valley to the falls. Went for a swim and floated under the falls and let the water fall on me. Hiked out late in the afternoon and reached the beach house at 8PM. I had hiked about 18 miles. Fairly crowded.

On Wednesday I hiked back to the .5 mile mark to sit and contemplate the Napali coast. A gray sky was continuous as was a drizzle. But what a view! Huge waves crashes against the shore. (Little did I know that on the coming Saturday I would hike with someone who was surfing Waimea that Wednesday...Steve Poor.) Once again I had to walk back to the beach house arriving well after dark. (This trip to Kauai and the hikes here were a hike down memory lane for me...I had hiked into Kalalau in 1959 with a small summer camp group...when Kauai and the Napali coast truly were at the end of the world!)

That Saturday found Paka and I motoring to the west side to meet up with DKT, Wing and Steve Poor. We parked our car at the First Hawaiian Bank parking lot and crammed (DKT riding shotgum) ourselves into Wing's Daihatsu GL for the trip up the valley. Mt. Kaala was socked in, but the ridges running to the ocean were cloudless as Steve, Paka, Wing, Dayle and I started up the improved road towards the wells.

About 10 minutes into the walk, Dayle says that he is going to take a shortcut through the bushes to get to our targeted ridge. There seems to be some disagreement as to following the plans for the hike. Figuring that I was on vacation and had limited time in the islands (no time for debates), I just kept walking up the road.

I ended up doing the club standard Waianae Kai hike. It was pleasant but strenuous towards the top. As I approached the ridgeline, a downpour drenched me. At the poles I traversed left, hoping to meet up the rest of the gang (if they had finished their debates). But I came across a gnarly dike section and retraced the ridge line back... but quickly dropped down to my right and followed the ribbons out on a different trail. I had to wait by the car for 45 minutes for my fellow hikers. I had a nice hike.

Sunday found Paka and I returning to the west shore and Heleakala. Standard club hike along a ridge line back into the Waianaes. Warm, dry and a rollercoaster. Some members raced to the top and back while others (guests?) quit on the way up, never to be seen again. I was with the middle of the pack. Nice hike that seemed much longer than it actually was. When I developed my pictures, I had a wonderful panoramic of the back valley and ridgelines.

The Maunawili Demonstration Trail was great. I pick up "the bus" in Waimanalo and got off at the old "Castle junction" and walked to the hairpin turn to pick up the trail. I decided to hike up to the pali lookout so I could claim that I did the entire length. The lookout was packed the tourists...but was very windy...so I had fun joining them...leaning into the wind...photo op! The trail was muddy (like 6 inch deep puddles) but very entertaining. Contouring along the cliffs of the Koolau's was great. What a wonderful isolation I experienced. The plants, the sun and birds. Truly an enjoyable hike down a freeway. Mini-waterfalls, hanging valleys, un-picked ginger plants. When I got to the end of the trail, a guy waiting for other hikers offered me a beer and a ride back to the club house. What a deal for me! (Turns out he was a Navy officer stationed at CINCPAC. Cool! Been there done that!)

Took the bus to Olomana one afternoon. My attempt would be from the Maunawili side, not the baskside. It was a nice sunny day and the hike, while strenuous, was not out of the ordinary unitil I was nearing the top of the first peak. As I scrambled up the rocks I heard very loud grunting and groaning. As my computer like mind quickly scanned the type of sounds I heard...pig...goat...mongoose, I recognized the utterings as good old human love making. I was thinking of sneaking up a bit to take a peek (knowing Dayle and Paka would approve), but I retreated as they sounded like they were having lots of fun! Sat down to eat my lunch just below the peak. (Author's note: I came across the couple later near the guard shack and they asked me if I had just hiked the mountain. I told them yes and the guy wondered aload why our paths had not crossed. I casually mentioned that I had heard them at the top. Nothing but laughter!)

I also hiked Makapuu / Tom Tom with the club. This hike was reported on by Greg and others. As a child I never thought you could climb down any of the cliffs around Waimanalo. Well, as a veteran, I now know it is possible. Had a nice chat with Arnold on the initial stages. Found contouring the cliff areas a bit nervy at first, but focused on my next step rather than the steep cliff to my right. The views from the ridgeline along Waimanalo, Bellows, Lanikai and Kailua Beaches and back to Rabbit island and the lighthouse were great! My first look down Tom Tom was terrifying, but following the footsteps of our great leader, Grant, it was "a piece of cake." Also got to enjoy Mabel's lilikoi pie at the club house grind. Ono stuff.

Shared a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at the clubhouse. Great kaukau and warm hospitality. Later that evening, Paka drove me to the airport for the red eye to SF and on to Reno.

Could not have had a better time. Mahalo to all participants!

Aloha -- Doug

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