OHE January 3, 2000 (Kealia)



Date: Mon, 3 Jan 2000 08:20:10 -1000
From: Dayle K. Turner (turner@hawaii.edu)
Subject: Kealia with J&J

In a few OHE posts, I've made brief references to my gf/girl friend/sweetheart/significant other. Her name is Jacqueline, Jackie for short, and while she enjoys hiking and the outdoors, her busy schedule as a mom (she has four kids from previous marriages) and as a caregiver for elderly clients hasn't allowed her much time to do any hiking with me, on her own, or with anyone else.

Jackie was with me when I completed my first HTMC hike back in 1994 (Hauula-Papali). Doing that hike was her idea, and I credit her for providing the spark to start hiking on my own and with the club. She also has hiked with me the Aiea Loop, Maunawili Demo, Diamond Head, and an el mucho enchilada--Mauna Loa.

Yesterday, Jackie and her eleven-year-old daughter, Jaime, joined me for a hike up the Kealia trail. Though the outing was much different than the dozen or so times I've hiked this trail in the past, and though we only went as far as the picnic shelter at the top of the switchbacks, I enjoyed myself nonetheless. Better yet, Jackie and Jaime enjoyed themselves, too.

I picked up J&J in Mililani at 11:30 and after a short pit stop to grab some bottled water and snacks, we were on our way to the North Shore, arriving at the parking area by the Dillingham Airfield a bit past noon. Facing the mountainside we were to climb, I pointed out other hikers on some of the upper switchbacks.

"We're going up there?" asked my sweetheart.

"Up to those trees," I answered, pointing to the ironwood grove at the crest.

"Cool," Jaime chimed in.

Half joking and half serious, I stated my disdain for whiners as hiking partners, and that said, we set off, with promises of a whine-free outing from J&J, the mom and daughter team.

We were blessed with a nice day, with clear skies, cool air, and light breezes. Most of the trail is shaded, and the climb up the 14 switchbacks is relatively gentle, making Kealia a good choice for someone like Jackie, who hasn't hiked at all in the past several years, and Jaime, who, although young and energetic, has never hiked.

We had a nice time, stopping to look at things like flowers, holes in rocks, trees, and spiders, all the kind of stuff I usually give not even a glance most of the time I hike.

Jaime used one of my hiking poles, wielding it like an experienced trail tramper. Jackie, on the other hand, cordially refused the use of the other one, indicating that she could make her way up and down the mountain without the aid of a pole, thank you very much (her stubborn hard-headedness is a quality that endears her to me).

As we made our way up the switchbacks, we met two groups heading down. Both had dogs with them, a fact that delighted J&J, who love animals to no end and they made that plainly apparent by spending a couple minutes petting and playing with the dogs.

Arriving at the picnic shelter an hour after setting out, we spent about half an hour, resting, laughing, and munching on the snacks we'd brought along. Wearing a hardly-used pair of Vasque boots, Jackie, who's had blister problems in the past, reported nary a foot pain. Jaime was wearing walking shoes and also had no problems.

"See, no whining from us," said Jackie, only a smidgen over 5'0 in height (we make an interesting couple, since I stand 6'4).

"We're not finished with the hike yet," I countered, knowing that a little slip or trip on the way back down the switchbacks could put J or J in major mope mode (a case in point was when Jackie refused to talk to me for a couple days after she flopped on the Aiea Loop Trail after I had told her the footing on the trail was non-muddy).

While Jackie descended without incidient, Jaime did stumble on the way down, sustaining a small cut on her right shin. Fortunately, the cut didn't need tending to, so we continued on our way, with I discussing the usefulness of duct tape and feminine napkins for wound dressings (much to the chagrin of J & J).

We ran into a family with a dog heading up, prompting more frolicking with the canine by J&J. And then we were down on flat land again, and then back at my vehicle. Looking back at the mountain they'd climbed, J&J beamed with pride, making me promise to take them to other mountains in the future. And, boy, do I know some mountains. :-)

For a pic of Jackie and I up on Diamond Head, go to

http://www2.hawaii.edu/~turner/jd-dh.htm

I also took some shots with my digi came yesterday, and will post some if they turn out okay (Jackie asked for veto power for non-complimentary pics).

Hike on,

--DKT


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