Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 12:00:30 -1000 From: Patrick Rorie (firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Ulupaina... Pau Hana
It just didn't make sense to go straight home from work so I headed for the Ko'olau foothills above Kaneohe to log a quick hike.
Departed my place of employment at 4:02 p.m., took the Pali Hwy northbound, turned left at Castle junction onto Kamehameha Hwy and eventually ended up on Kahekili Hwy. Experienced delays due to heavy traffic. Pulled into the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park and changed into hiking apparel inside the men's room of the main office. Noticed that the toilet had been freshly cleaned and no urine existed on the floor, things I could appreciate being the master toilet scrubber of the HTM clubhouse for the past eight months. Returned to the pat-mobile, drove across Kahekili and parked on Hui Iwa which borders Temple Valley Shopping Center.
Set out on foot at 4:57 p.m. making sure to bring a flashlight. The weather? High overcast skies with a gentle breeze, the threat of rain but no precip coming down at that moment. Waited patiently for the traffic light to turn green then returned to the memorial park and tramped along a low concrete wall.
A few minutes after 5 p.m. I entered a forest and ascended steeply to gain the crest of the ridge and the start of the Ulupaina Trail. Opted to do the ridge portion of the loop first. Bad decision. Should have started with the graded contour, esp. since I've never hiked it before. Another ascent was followed by classic rollercoaster action featuring some steep ups and downs.
Passed thru lots of guava, hala with its thorny leaves, some hau tangles and ironwoods trees, lawai grass at my feet. Later, I observed Christmas berry trees, octopus trees (Queensland Umbrella?), and ti leaf plants.
Paused briefly at an opening in the woods to gaze at Kaneohe Bay and the Mokapu Penninsula. Further mauka I emerged from the forest, walked under a power line tower and stopped again to enjoy the excellent panorama (the massive bulk of the Ko'olau Range dead ahead, triple-peaked Olomana in the distance on one side and socked in Ohulehule on the other, Chinaman's Hat and Pu'u Maelieli). Also, the sheer fluted cliffs forming the steep southern wall of Lolekaa Valley and the beautiful undeveloped verdant area of Lolekaa behind the Haiku Plantation subdivision brought visual pleasure.
Backtracked along the ridge entering the woods again to look for the junction which would take me to the contour section of the loop. I found a junction and dropped down steeply toward Haiku Plantation but never found the graded footpath.
With the onset of darkness eminent, I continued on a trail descending gradually past lilikoi vines and thru scrub brush. Recognized boar hoof marks and rootings in the soil.
Reached Kahekili at 6 p.m. and jogged along the highway back to Temple Valley Shopping Center. Entered the pat-mobile at 6:10 p.m. and took off for home.
Notes: Ulupaina is "a short loop hike in the Ko'olau foothills above Kaneohe; a ridge trail overlooking Valley of the Temples and Lolekaa Valley; the lower contour trail takes you back to the cemetery". HTM will conduct a Saturday hike of Ulupaina on March 6, 1999 coordinated by the always delightful Joyce Tomlinson. It is a four mile loop suitable for intermediate hikers, a graded contour/ridge combo in Kahalu'u.