Date: Wed, 9 Dec 1998 10:55:30 -1000 From: "STONE, J. BRANDON" (email@example.com> Subject: Re: Schofield Trail Maintenance
On the Poamoho-Schofield trip that we did last month I noticed two trails descending from (I think) within the wide-cleared area but pretty near the orange pipe. One trail went to the North Fork and one to the South Fork of the Kaukonahua. I haven't been down either, but agree that the North one might make a good loop route down to the stream and then back up the usual Kaukonahua side trail. I don't know if you're aware of it, BTW, but the familiar Kaukonahua side trail extends far beyond it's initial junction with the stream, at least all the way upstream to the gaging station which is clearly marked on the topo.
Hiking/wading/clambering up or down the Kaukonahua where there is no trail is tricky because the valley walls are often steep and the pools are often deep. Very deep. We once travelled downstream from the usual sidetrail junction with the stream. No trail. I'm 6'1" and there were spots where my feet were not touching the bottom even though I was trying to find the shallowest passage. My shorter partner was bobbing like an apple. There are similar pools upstream which either force swimming or some serious bushwhacking on the adjacent slopes.
Nevertheless, I love your loop trail idea. I also think that it would be feasible to make a grander loop cross-country over to Poamoho Stream and either out that trail or back along the summit and out Schofield. Here's one route: In Schofield; down one of the side trails to the North Fork; up and over one or two other ridges lying between Schofield and Poamoho; up to the Poamoho Trail; on to the summit; across the KST; down Schofield. In other words, in a single trip of, say, three or four days, the participants could experience some of the wildest territory on this island, with the best swimming holes; the upper reaches of two great trails; oodles of native plants and birds; and the amazing stretch of the KST between Poamoho and Schofield. I've done all of that except the fun part--finding a route cross-country, up-and-down, up-and-down, connecting Schofield and Poamoho. There is, however, a very attractive red line on my map that I'm itching to check out.
Regarding the other side trail about 20 to 30 minutes beyond the orange PVC marker, I think that you must've stumbled onto a little 'trail' that we made when looking for water last year. That lobelioid is probably a Clermontia persicifolia (according to Charles Lamoureux, director of Lyon Arboretum). One of the botanists on our last trip took one of the immature seeds and a leaf back to the lab where, I believe, it is being propagated by tissue culture. The trail does not lead all the way down to the valley floor, for (Thank God!) we found access to a small sidestream maybe one-third of the way down.