Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 15:57:05 -1000 From: Patrick Rorie (email@example.com) Subject: Keahi a Kahoe Trail Maintenance
One of the finest hikes on O'ahu, Pu'u Keahi a Kahoe (lit. "Kahoe's fire") is "the mist-shrouded peak at the back of Moanalua Valley"*. A walk on the wild side, a "wow" hike, "expert rating and then some" are only a few of the adjectives used to describe this superb loop.
Approximately 28 people including the return of RALPH VALENTINO, out for almost two months with a back injury, gathered at Moanalua Valley Park this past Sunday, January 23rd, to prepare the trail for the February 6th MEMBERS ONLY HTMC Pu'u Keahi a Kahoe hiking event. Sunday was a magnificent day in terms of the weather, completely clear summits (remarkable visual clarity) and an abundance of blue sky and sunshine. 15 to 25 mph trade winds created breezy, chilly conditions along the Ko'olau crest, however.
Following final instructions from maintenance boss MABEL KEKINA, the group commenced the 3 mile road walk into the deepest reaches of Moanalua Valley at 8:15 a.m. Due to the recent rains, members of the crew found the stream crossings flowing nicely, but they had difficulty keeping boots/feet dry on a few of them. The plan was for a handful of the participants to venture up the middle ridge, clearing as they gained elevation, while the majority continued to the end of the road and cleared/repaired the graded contour power-line trail en route to the Ko'olau summit. For some reason the entire party balked at the middle ridge option, contrary to KEKINA'S orders, and headed for the power-line trail.
During the ascent of the power-line trail, the group broke up into parts. Individuals in the front cleared the footpath of uluhe and clidemia to the wall, and MIKE ALGIERS/PATRICK RORIE near the back did a marvelous job of digging out the narrow sections with an Army shovel/pick. KEN SUZUKI, the coordinator for the February 6th HTMC outing, brought up the rear and tied ribbon periodically to tree limbs where appropriate. By the time the last group reached the junction with Tripler Ridge, the ram-rods were already traversing the crest of the Ko'olau Range. Walkie-talkies helped maintain communication between the various bunches and KEKINA. Each of the trail clearers halted between noon and 1 p.m. to consume the midday meal and enjoy the incredible vistas, except for JAY FELDMAN who began eating his lunch prior to 12 p.m. - shame on him! :-)
Truely awesome views existed on all sides. To windward, triple-peaked Olomana, as well as the twin summits of Konahuanui and massive Lanihuli, cried out in a silent way for attention. To lee, much of Moanalua Valley lay stretched out before the crew, and Pearl Harbor, the Wahiawa Plain and the Waianae Range could be seen in the distance.
After lunch, the last group experienced the excitement of getting there when crossing over to Pu'u Keahi a Kahoe along the narrow windswept Ko'olau summit ridge. Furthermore, they identified many native plants/trees; principally, lapalapa, naupaka, various lobelia, lehua, loulu.
At the summit of Keahi a Kahoe (elev. 2,820 ft) they marveled at the sight of expansive multihued Kaneohe Bay, Chinaman's Hat, the sheer fluted cliffs below Pu'u Kanehoalani in the distance, and the sheer fluted cliffs of bowl shaped Haiku Valley almost directly below.
On the way down the middle ridge, the tail end of the trail clearing "train" recognized additional native flora, gazed toward the Moanalua Valley Saddle and looked down into lush, pristine North Moanalua Valley. Occasional strong gusts attempted to blow them off the ridge but to no avail. They traveled methodically, GRANT OKA and THOMAS YOZA performing touch up work to the swath formed by the earlier trampers. Eventually, the final bunch descended to the road and returned to Moanalua Valley Park via the pleasant valley stroll, arriving there shortly before 6 p.m.
Snacks and cold drinks were consumed as the reward for a job well done, and all had sped off for home prior to darkness setting in.
* Ball, Jr., Stuart M. THE HIKER'S GUIDE TO O'AHU. Honolulu: University Of Hawaii Press, 1993.