OHE December 24, 1998 (Maunawili)

Date: Thu, 24 Dec 1998 18:09:55 -1000
From: "Dayle K. Turner" (turner@hawaii.edu>
Subject: WUSS Hike--Maunawili Falls

I did a WUSS hike today, but before Greg Kingsley gets up in arms about the label, let me make clear that WUSS is an acronym for Wonderfully Understated & Satisfying Sojourn, at least that's my definition of the term.

And that's how I'd describe the Maunawili Falls trail and the new extension to the Maunawili Demo Trail. I'd never hiked either until today, and I made a good choice because the outing was, well, a WUSS [g].

I did more of that Xmas shopping thing today, stopped off at LCC to finish up some business, gave my sweetheart her present (a really nice one for not bugging me about hiking so much), took a nap, and arose at 3, thinking I'd better get some exercise since I'll likely consume a ton of food tomorrow (and, yes, I'll probably hike tomorrow, but I'm not sure where yet).

Maunawili is a quick shot over from Kaneohe where I live, so off I drove. Actually, I'm surprised I've never hiked the Maunawili Falls Trail before. I've done its neighbor, Olomana, a bunch of times; ditto for Maunawili Demo. Why I neglected the Falls trail I'm not sure.

After hiking it today, I wish I had visited the trail sooner because it has an understated, satisfying appeal [g] that I might have overlooked because of a recent fixation on treks that require ropes, cables, hand-over-hand ascents, eye-to-eye confrontations with horned animals, and prayers.

Pat and others have written about this hike, so I won't describe the trailhead directions and all that. I did see three folks on the trail: a man and his dog, and a teenage couple, both with non-traditional colored hair (orange for him, purple for her) and rings hanging from just about every protruding body part, at least those parts I could see. But to the couple's credit, they hiked all the way to the falls and continued on to the junction with Maunawili Demo trail. High five to them and all the ring-wearing teens of the world.

While the pool at the base of the falls didn't look appealing today, I must say the new extension to the demo trail is a little gem. Emerging out of the forest and onto the open ridge section, I was doing a bunch of silent oooo's and ahhhh's (I only verbally oooo and ahhh when others are around). The last couple hundred yard approach to the demo trail serves one up with an amazing sight of the massive, fluted Koolau pali below Konahuanui. I spotted a nice place to have a picture taken with the cliffs serving as a backdrop. Gonna get that done at some point.

After reaching the demo trail and heading back along the extension, I had a feeling like I was riding a wave in a huge stadium. Maybe it was the time of day or because it's Christmas eve and I was feeling merry and nostalgic. Whatever it was, I felt really glad to be out there.

I hope everyone has similar highs when hiking. And I hope everyone has a Happy Christmas.



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