After work, I bee-bopped up Aiea Heights Drive to embrace my old flame, the Aiea Loop Trail. While heading up toward Pu'u Uau, I decided to go down the bisectional trail instead of circumnavigating the traditional loop route. For those who've never done the bisectional, it's roughly 20 minutes from the upper trailhead and begins on the right in a grove of paperbark trees. At that point, a trail contours through uluhe alongside a gentle slope. The path continues atop the ridge past one then another swath cut through the trees to let powerline towers and their wires through. The trail eventually bottoms out at Aiea Stream and rejoins the loop trail at the log bridge that spans the stream. This bottom section of the bisectional is badly overgrown with soap ginger and I would have done some clearing but I was without my machete this day. :-( I can report that the area of the loop trail by the river crossing has been tidied up very nicely, probably by members of the Sierra Club and Hawaii Bicycling League. Mahalo nui loa to whoever is responsible.
This after-work hiking thing Paka-lolo has started seems to have infected me, for off I went on another pau hana trek. Admittedly, my outings are very tame compared to Patrick's but, hey, I'm trying. Anyway, my trail du jour was Likeke, the Dick Davis masterpiece that begins by the Kaneohe end of the Wilson Tunnel. I started hiking at 5:30 and figured I'd hike as far as I could for 45 minutes and head back. The trail is an easy contour and mountain apples seemed to have peaked out in the area, with plenty of rotting fruit littering the trail. It appears that folks use Likeke on occasion, with one diligent sort having affixed blue ribbons to every bend along the way. Feeling guilty from the day before, I brought my machete along this time to do some light trail maintenance. I was back at my vehicle just before 7.
Along with Wing Ng and Pat Rorie, completed a marathon Koolau hike that saw us ascend the Poamoho trail, traverse the fabled Koolau Summit Trail, and descend to the windward side on the Waikane Trail. We started at 9am and were picked up (by my brother Kale) at Waikane at just before 8pm. With cloudless conditions and light winds blessing us, the summit trail traverse was a marvelous piece of hiking. On probably half a dozen occasions, I stopped, faced windward, stretched my arms outward, and shouted out in glee at the beautiful scenes we were treated to. Later, the descent on Waikane was both exhilirating (a quarter mile section of sheer 1,000 foot drops on a eroded, overgrown, narrow contour trail) and laborious (uluhe, clidemia, and landslides dominated). Let's hope that somehow we can save these fine trails before nature obliterates what man has built. We ribboned and did some clearing of the summit trail and Waikane today. Our hope is that more people hike these routes to help keep them open. Wing has already written a detailed narrative about the trek. Mahalo to him.
Roused myself to rise at a reasonable hour and headed to the top of Komo Mai Drive above Pearl City to help work on the Manana Trail with the crew from the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club. I arrived at 8:30 and got underway at 8:45 after putting on my boots and stuffing water and other items into my pack. Reached the helipad (Point G in Ball's book) at 10:15. The lead hackers of the crew were about 10 minutes ahead at that point, but since I was dog tired from the humid conditions, the rugged rollercoaster ride that characterizes Manana, and the lingering effects of the previous day's marathon hike, I rested for about 20 minutes, chatting with Carole K. Moon about Halape (Big Island), where I'm off to on Monday (7/28) with Bill Melemai and his son for a two-night, three-day adventure.
Under ordinary conditions, I should have reached the summit in about 90 minutes from the helipad. But I couldn't muster the energy to move faster than a slow trudge. Eventually, Pat Rorie caught up to me about 30 minutes above the helipad, and he started at 10am!
Thanks to a power bar and an ample supply of water, I did stumble to the summit eventually, topping out at 12:45. And yes, I did have my machete in hand and even took an occasional swipe at intruding uluhe and clidemia. Unfortunately, clouds gave us only brief glimpses of the windward side, and after a 30 minute kaukau/rest break, I began the descent. Fortunately, gravity and a boost of energy garnered from a second power bar allowed me to complete the return leg in three hours.
Members in attendance were Naomi Nasu, Carole K. Moon, Lita Komura, June Miyasato, Grant Oka, Ken Suzuki, Bill Gorst, Arnold Fujioka, Will Kawano, Thomas Yoza, Thomas' friend Cary, Jay Feldman, Gerald Leao, Pat Rorie, and Doug Klein.
Am off to Halape. I'll have a report for you by this weekend.
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