OHE February 23, 2000 (Waimano cabin)

Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2000 15:54:26 -1000
From: Stuart Ball (lmasu@HGEA.ORG)
Subject: Waimano Cabin

I'd be hard pressed to remember a nicer day for hiking than this past Sunday. Lynne and I took the club hike up Waimano. Instead of heading for the summit, however, we decided to check out the old cabin about a mile below the top.

For those of you who haven't been there, turn right off the main trail after passing the switchbacks, the level ridgeline section in Australian tea, and a lefthand contour through naupaka kuahiwi. The side trail down to cabin is short, but steep with an orange cord on the ground. The cord is useless for support, and it gets tangled in your legs, but at least it marks the way. Cross the stream by a large boulder, plunge into the woods for about 20 yards, and there's the cabin on the left - a pile of junk.

Take a closer look, though. Around the back, part of one wall still stands, and on it is some old graffiti: Stan Devalan, Cleveland, Ohio, U S Rangers, May 1, 1943. Assuming the graffiti is genuine, the cabin must be the original one built in 1935 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) when they constructed the trail. The cabin might even be standing today if a large ohia tree hadn't crashed down on the roof. The wall has other scribblings, including some done by idiots in the 90s. Funny how old graffiti is historical, and recent graffitti is just graffiti.

After a quiet lunch by the stream, we explored a little in the area but found nothing but pig tracks and scat. In fact the scat was so huge, I wondered if Butch the Bear had found a mate and left some offspring. We decided to leave before being surprised by Butch Jr or perhaps some half-crazed OHE member trying to follow Brandon's cross country Ko`olau track.

The trip back was exceedingly pleasant. As someone once wrote in some book, "The miles just seem to fly by."


Reply From: Gene Robinson (gene@lava.net)

Thanks for the information on the Waimano cabin, Stuart. Since we're on the subject of cabins in the Ko'olaus, here are some questions I've had that maybe the all-knowing OHE list members can answer.

- what was Bryan's Mountain House? (on topo maps near the start of Pe'ahinai'a trail)
- what are those ruins at the Kawailoa/KST junction? It looks like more thana helicopter landing pad.
- what was Uncle Tom's Cabin (near the Kipapa Ridge/KST junction) How did it get that name?
- what is the "official" status of the Poamoho cabin at this time? Is it legal to stay there?


Reply From: Stuart Ball (lmasu@hgea.org)

Gene and others-

Bryan's mountain house is briefly mentioned in a 1920s HTMC hike description of Peahinaia Trail. Don't know any more.

At the top of Kawailoa was a cabin built by the Army during World War II. Use as a helipad came later.

Uncle Tom's cabin, aka Waiwa cabin, was built by the CCC in 1934-36 while working on the summit trail. The ruins near the junction of the Summit and Kipapa Trails may be a later cabin built by the Army during WWII. I don't know about the name. Maybe the cabin is named after the pre-Civil War, anti-slavery novel? Somehow I don't think the CCC boys did much bedtime reading. Maybe Uncle Tom is Tom McGuire, HTMC member, forester in the 30s, and one of the Tom's in the Tom Tom Trail. Any other ideas out there?

The new cabin at Poamoho was built primarily for use by Forestry workers. However the door is not locked, and anyone passing by may use the cabin. The lack of water and toilet was deliberate so that folks stopping by don't get too comfortable.


Return to OHE top | Return to Oahu Hike Tales | Email Dayle