OHE January 11, 1998

Date: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 04:21:45 -1000
From: Grant Tokumi (gtokumi@aloha.net>
Subject: Night Hiking - Kokohead Crater

I just returned from a very interesting hike. Its full moon tonight, so someone suggested a night hike. I debated with myself on the hazards of such a task, and decided what the hell, we go for it. And I figured Kokohead would be a good place since its kind of short and open for the moonlight to help us see. 3 of us went, started at 1 a.m. One problem was that none of us had ever been on this hike before, including me. I had Stuart Balls bible, but we still ended up getting lost.

Parked at Kokohead Stables as suggested in the book, and started walking with our flashlights. The time was 1 a.m. We tried to stay quiet in that area because I'm not sure if anyone lives at the Kokohead Stables or not. The trail is on a road, but there were many forks in the road. We were walking along, looking for a fork by a "white barked tree", but we never found it. We were walking and walking and walking, and after like 30 minutes, I started to worry and we realized that we were lost in the crater. I figured we were in that loop trail that took us through the garden, but we didn't know what direction was out. Kind of scary, sitting there in the middle of darkness (moonlight), mountains all around, and not knowing which direction we came from, which direction is north, south, towards the beach, towards land, we had no clue.

Decided to head towards the one opening in the mountain that we could see. And this time, we looked up at the stars and tried to use the moon and the Orion 3 stars to help orient our direction of travel. Boy, we was getting desparate. Looking at the stars to help us navigate? My compass (that I didn't have) was on my mind. After around 5 minutes of walking, we came across a familiar portable toilet and Plumeria trees. Relief!!!!!!!!! It was now around 2 a.m. At that point, we could either go home disappointed, or try to get to the summit again. We chose the latter. =)

Read the bible a little closer and tried again. This time, we found the trail to the summit. YEah!! We still took a couple wrong turns here and there, but we eventually found the narrow trail that led us to the top. ONce on that trail, it was easy to follow. We went until we could overlook Sandy Beach, and decided to just stop there already and enjoy the view instead of going all the way to the highest peak. Cruised for maybe 30 minutes, talking stories, watching people race out of Sandys, and trying to shine our flashlights at the people at Sandys. Got out of the crater at 3 a.m. My car was still there. Yeah!

That was a very interesting hike, I never did hike my moonlight, or in the dark, or at 1 in the morning. As far as kokohead, I'm wondering if what we did was illegal in some way. Were we trespassing? Or breaking some entry curfew thing? I know its a very dangerous thing to do (night hiking). We could have been mobbed by gangsters, or fallen off a cliff, but now that I'm here safe at home, I will say that it was an awesome experience for me. I'm sure some authority figure out there don't appreciate hikers starting their journeys at midnight. Anyone got more info on this (if its legal or not).

Also, the hikers bible says that the Kokohead hike is very windy, but there was absolutely no wind whatsoever up there. And it was very cool too(obviously), not hot like how I would think this hike to be. Very good hiking conditions, well, except for the lack of vision. I didn't even break a sweat.

See ya

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