OHE December 25, 1999 (Maunawili Loop)

Date: Sat, 25 Dec 1999 14:23:08 -1000
From: Dayle K. Turner (turner@hawaii.edu)
Subject: Xmas on the Maunawili Loop

Christmas is a massive food consumption day for me (actually, every day is a massive consumption day for me, but holidays are extra massive), so with that in mind, I headed out to a nearby hiking locale for some pre-meal(s) calorie burning. What I had in mind was to start at the Maunawili Demo trailhead at the hairpin turn on Pali Highway, descend the Piliwale Ridge trail to the Maunawili residential area, do a bit of road walking, hike along the Maunawili Falls Trail, continue up past the turnoff to the falls on the spur trail that connects to the demo trail, and then hike back to the hairpin turn via the demo trail.

A topo map of the route is available at http://www.geocities.com/oahuhiker/maunawili.jpg

The weather on the windward side was quite nice when I started: partly cloudy, no rain, and intermittent gusty trade winds. I arrived at the hairpin turn parking area just before 9:00, noting just one other vehicle parked there.

The junction with Piliwale ridge is about 100 meters past the 0.5 mile marker on the demo trail. The demo trail itself was slightly mushy but not bad in all.

The trail down Piliwale ridge is open and includes a good deal of ohia on it. I noted that the section of the trail that passes four powerline poles has been recently weedwhacked of buffalo grass, probably by HECO. When we passed this area on an HTMC hike on 9/25/99, it was overgrown. Good work to whoever cleared it.

The ridge trail emerges on a BOWS water tank road which then emerges on Lopaka Way which leads to Lopaka Place. From Lopaka Place, I turned left on Aloha Oe Drive until reaching Maunawili Road. I then headed right on the latter till its end just past Kelewina Street. The Maunawili Falls trailhead is on the private road extension of Maunawili Road, and an array of signs point the way.

The falls trail crosses the stream three times. After the third, there is a large brown and yellow Na Ala Hele sign and then the trail starts climbing to gain the top of a spur ridge. A couple hundred meters along the spur top, the trail reaches a junction. One has to descend to the left to reach Maunawili Falls. I decided to pass on a trip to the Falls, opting instead to continue straight ahead up the connector trail to the demo trail. The ascent is steady and a good workout and the trail is wide open with stairs made of recycled plastic planks on the slopier sections. The connector trail terminates at a signed junction with the demo trail.

At that junction, I headed right, bound for the hairpin turn (heading left on the demo trail would take me to Waimanalo). Just like the part of the demo trail I'd hiked earlier, this segment was also a bit muddy; however, armed with cleated Nike Sharks and hiking poles, I moved along efficiently and confidently.

Just past the Piliwale ridge junction, a rainshower pelted me. But instead of seeking shelter, I kept moving along, knowing the faster I reached my vehicle, the faster I'd get home to consume the extra massive quantity of kaukau waiting for me. While rounding the bend in the trail just before the water tank, I spotted a middle-aged couple sequestered under a large mango tree, waiting out the shower.

"Don't you want to get out the rain?" asked the missus.

"Got a big meal waiting for me at home," I replied, not breaking stride.

The couple chuckled, nodding knowingly as they did.

In a couple minutes, I was back at my Cherokee, where I de-Sharked and boarded. I then headed home, showered, and commenced the activity I'd been looking forward to during my two-hour hike. Yum.

While composing this, I've had two helpings of turkey, mashed potatos, and all the fixings. Soon, it'll be time for thirds. {:-)

Hope everyone is having a happy Christmas.

I sure am. [burp]



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