OHE February 9, 1998

Date: Mon, 9 Feb 1998 01:56:36 -1000
From: Grant Tokumi (gtokumi@aloha.net>
Subject: Dupont - 11.5 hours

I just did the longest one-day hike of my life! This past Saturday, we did Dupont. The Dupont hike starts from Waialua High School, and ascends a ridge to the top of Mt Kaala on the Waianae Range. The hike is 11 miles and involves a 4000 ft elevation gain (according to Stuart Ball's Hiking Bible). The hikers were Alex, Wayne and myself. We saw all kind of animals. We saw cows, we saw what looked like a chicken run up the ridge, we saw pigs, we even saw a peacock. Nuts. And we saw darkness too.

The hike started at 9:30, and took 7 hours to get to the summit of Mt Kaala. There were some damn bush with vicous thorns. It wasn't thimbleberry. Those plants were slashing my already scratched up legs (I had shorts). By the time we got to the summit, it was past 4pm already, and we were pretty worried about the dark. At least the road going to the FAA station was there. We opted to take the road down the mountain instead of backtracking on the trail because walking on a road in the dark seemed much better than hiking on a trail in the dark. Fortunately Alex had a flashlight. Another uncertainty was where the road would take us. We did know it would take us to the Mokuleia side, but we didn't know how far away we would be from our car when we reached the bottom of the road.

I figured the hike up was around 6 miles, and the hike down the road to the bottom was also around 6 miles, so I reasoned that once we reached the bottom, the hike along Kam Hwy could not be more than 12 miles =) (6 mi + 6 mi). 12 miles was the absolute maximum that we would have to walk. There were some stadium lights by Waialua High School. We used the lights as our guide. We were like moths attracted to those lights. But those lights looked so damn far away. Once we reached the bottom, we decided to walk in the cane fields (or whatever kind of field that was) towards our car instead of going to Kam Hwy. The walk in the fields was maybe 1 or 2 miles? 4 and a half hours later (from the summit), we finally reached our car. Yippie! It was now 9pm. I was exhausted. 11 and a half hours of hiking! Never again. Well, at least not for a day or two =) Pictures will be coming soon.

Grant


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