Here's a summary of what happened this weekend:
==Friday, July 11
Gave some hard thought to visiting Pat Rorie's beloved Kaiwa Ridge for an afternoon jaunt but opted instead to drive over to Sandy Beach to hike up Koko Crater via the trail that starts by the Halona Blowhole parking lot. After a quick check of the latest in female swimwear fashions at Sandy's (where I parked my vehicle), I began the hike. The climb to the crater rim is short and steep and includes a cabled section over a natural rock bridge formation--no real danger there. After reaching the rim, I turned left and made the 10-minute climb to the summit of Koko Crater where I spent a few minutes resting and enjoying the views of Hawaii Kai, Hanauma Bay and much of Oahu's coastal urban sprawl.
I descended the traditional route along the rim, arriving at the botanical gardens on the crater floor about 25 minutes after leaving the summit. I passed a security guy sitting in a van. Apparently the garden closes at 3:30 and he was there to stop people from going in. Fortunately, I was coming out so he didn't question me.
About a 100 yards down the semi-paved road, I saw an old road to the right (makai) that followed powerline poles. I decided to explore this route, which was littered with a shameful collection of abandoned vehicles. In about a quarter mile I found myself entering the fairway of one of the holes of the Hawaii Kai Golf Course. I continued makai along the fringe of the fairway and noticed heading toward me a golf cart with the words "Course Marshal" emblazoned on its side. Sensing impending harassment, I scanned the hedgeline to my right for an escape route. My walk turned to a jog then to a semi-sprint as I bee-lined for a fenceline corner which others in the past seemed to have propelled themselves over to enter/exit the golf course grounds.
I escaped before the marshal could yell at me, and in seconds found myself on Kalanianaole just Makapuu-side of the wastewater treatment plant across from Sandy's. An interesting Friday afternoon adventure did I have.
==Saturday, July 12
Along with Pat "Paka-lolo" Rorie and Kurt Heilbron, I hiked the impressive trail to Pu'u Kalena, at 3,504, the second highest point on Oahu. The trek to Kalena begins at the top of Kolekole Pass, which we were able to access via the unmanned Foote Gate entrance to Schofield Barracks.
Conditions were excellent--high overcast, gentle breezes (at least for the first two-thirds of the hike), and a cloud-free summit.
We met about 10 folks on the initial segment of the 2.5-mile ascent, including a group of seven 20-ish military-looking types, one of whom sent me an email later that night telling me about their hike without realizing that he had seen us on the trail (did that come out right?).
Anyway, Pat, Kurt, and I negotiated the legendary narrow dike sections without incident, reaching Kalena about 2.5 hours after we began. We were treated to unobscured views of the Waianae coast, the central Oahu plateau, and the Koolau range. A wow! hike, no doubt.
Pat even did some exploring of the crest portion that connects Kalena to Kaala, Oahu's highest point. A future hike? We'll see.
Hopefully, Pat or Kurt will eventually write a more detailed narrative of our outing (hint, hint). :-)
==Sunday, July 13
Joined the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club trail maintenance gang for a rare Sunday double-header. In attendance were Mabel Kekina, Grant Oka, Grant's daughter (her name I've forgotten), John Hall, Charlotte Yamane, Jay Feldman, Will Kawano, Carole K. Moon, Naomi Nasu, Ken Suzuki, Ralph Valentino, Michael Valentino, Carey (?), and Bill Gorst. Noticeably MIA was Paka-lolo Rorie, who may have been out in search of a more challenging adventure.
Our day began on the Ulupaina Trail, a 4 to 5 mile loop route that commences by the Valley of the Temples cemetery. Mabel split the crew in half, one group setting off on the upper ridge portion of the trail and the other working on the valley contour segment. We were pau with Ulupaina by noon and all of us except John and Will headed to Waiahole Valley to work on/ explore a portion of the Kuolani trail that will be used for a club backpack campout in August (Charlotte and Carole will lead this outing). The campsite is gained by a short 30-minute hike that had us crossing the Waiahole Stream and ascending through bamboo to a gentle ridge topped by towering Norfolk pine trees. Minimal work was needed on the route to the campsite and most of us never needed to remove our cutting tools from our packs. At the end of the day, as is the custom, we enjoyed post-hike refreshments courtesy of Mabel and several other folks. Mahalo!
Anybody else have any adventures this weekend? If so, I look forward to reading your reports.
Aloha and safe hiking to all,
Fred Dodge and John Hall did (the ridge between Kalena and Kaala some years ago; they came up to top of Kalena while we were at the top on the Club hike. They reported _lots_ of blackberries, and one fearsome rockface on the route.
I went up Waialae Nui again. Last time (May 11) I did not get to the top because of heavy rain. This time it rained too at the beginning, but it cleared up nicely. I got to the top, and also cleared the entire trail to at least fair condition. Because of the fence that was put up at the trailhead, very few people hike this trail any more, which is a big pity, as it is one of my favorites. The last 100 feet near the top was totally choked with clidemia, but I spent 1/2 hour clearing it to 3 feet wide.