OHE January 15, 2000 (Poamoho attempt)

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 14:52:43 -1000
From: JFEL873@aol.com (Jay Feldman)
Subject: Poamoho repair of the Cline Memorial Plaque

Have you ever noticed that there are certain people who seem to be bellwethers, natural leaders; they often guide the group through tricky section of trail or take the correct turnoff without seeming to notice. Wherever they go, you are foolish not to follow. So I should have known better when early Saturday morning I got a call from Jason Sunada telling me he was taking a pass on today's Poamoho hike (to help Jim Yuen repair the Cline Memorial Plaque). Too much rain this week and predicted rain for the day he said. Way back in my head I could hear a little bell tinkling, but it was still dark out and I often hear tinkling that early.

Leaving at seven I picked up Bill Gorst and headed out for the Helemano Plantation where we met Mabel Kekina, Jim Yuen, Mike Algiers, Larry Oswald, Kris Corliss, and Deetsie Chave with Sam in tow. It was overcast and there were sporadic light showers, but though we knew we were in for a wet day we were itchy to hike. Jim had all the needed materials along with the rejuvenated plaque; all we had to do was hike in and do the repairs under his guidance. Of course we had to get to the trailhead first which meant a drive over a long dirt road. By the way, "DIRT" is just the term that used for "MUD" when it's dry, and today was not dry. Still, Mabel and Deetsie are mavens of four wheel drives and Larry's no slouch either, so our confidence remained high. We packed up our gear and climbed aboard Mabel's Isuzu followed by Deetsie and Larry in his pickup, and headed out.

The good road lasted about ten minutes and then we began to see the effects of rain, gravity, and erosion. Choosing between a badly rutted section of road and a grassy shoulder, Mabel headed for the grass. Now who could know the grass was just ground cover for a strategically placed drainage ditch. No sir, not us. We were hooting Mabel on, encouraging her skillful handling of that huge vehicle, that is until all forward movement ceased. Then we got to sit observing the results of hot rubber spun across wet dirt as smoke and vulcanized particles of mud assumed a variety of orbits around the Izusu. Jim, Bill, and I, sitting in three different seats sang out three different notes of advice and Mabel wisely listened to none.

As you may know, Mabel typically finesses herself out of these situations by flooring the gas pedal, progressing forward as far as possible, stopping, reversing, and returning the gas pedal to its recumbent position. This technique has worked often enough in the past so that it has become reflexive. Yet again it worked. We were soon released and assumed a stable, parallel, though somewhat canted posture along the indeterminate shoulder of the road.

Meanwhile, engrossed in our own dilemma, we had missed exactly how Deetsie had gotten turned diagonally across the road. Worse yet, her right rear bumper was screwed into a high berm at the shoulder. Her tires were jammed in the road's ruts and nothing she could do, even using Mabel's tried techniques, would release her. Meanwhile Larry was jockeying to turn his pickup around so he could try to pull her straight from behind.

Hitching a cable from Larry's pickup to Deetsie's rear bumper, he started to tug her backwards. The more he tugged the deeper her bumper dug into the mud bank. Finally, after much yelled directions and flailing arm and hand signals from everyone it became clear that only one technique might work. Deetsie would have to do a "Mabel" and power forward, slipping and sliding but taking the pressure off the bumper, inching away from the berm while at the same time Larry would pull her backwards and free. Incredible as it sounds, after several aborted attempts, they succeeded.

By this time, the tinkling that I had ignored early this morning was coming through very clear and I suggested we adjourn to the coffee shop in Haleiwa town for a strategy meeting. Unanimous is the word that comes to mind when describing the agreement that followed. It was decided that a spell of dry weather would be appropriate prior to another attempt to repair the memorial. And so ended another effort to repair the memorial to Ms. Cline, a women of decided independence.


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