Humble Kaiwa Ridge was the choice today since I didn't have much time to hike (friends were at Bellows waiting for my arrival sometime that afternoon).
After changing clothes at Kailua Beach Park I drove into Lanikai and parked along Lanipo Drive between Aalapapa Drive and Mokulua Drive. At approx.4:53 I headed toward Luika Place where an access trail to Kaiwa Ridge begins. I did not receive any harassment as I entered the foliage at the end of Luika.
The trail was slightly overgrown but that was understandable considering all the rain we've had during the past 12 months. After ascending somewhat steeply up the side of Pu'u O'Lanikai I stopped briefly at the summit to rest and enjoy the panoramic views. Two helicopters from Bellows Air Field took off and flew over Wailea Point (my goal for the day).
Pressing on I descended steeply and carefully over loose rock and dirt toward Wailea Point. I stopped several times to look at the terrific features which surrounded me.
When I reached the area between Pu'u O'Lanikai and the next hump over the trail got really overgrown with tall grass. I pushed my way thru and told myself "the next time you do this hike you need to do some serious trail maintenance to this section".
I worked my way up the hump thru the tall grass and past two cell-phone antennas. The trail continued to be a problem until I reached a nice lookout where you turn left and down toward Wailea Point. I sat down and enjoyed the lovely views.Toward the Ko'olaus were Olomana's triple peaks, massive Lanipo and prominent Pu'u O'Kona. The fluted cliffs between Lanipo and Kona were also beautiful.Rabbit Island, the waves breaking off of Bellows Beach, and the Mokulua Islands were other outstanding points of interest. A rainbow appeared briefly in the middle of Waimanalo Bay which was nice.
Continuing on I descended slightly. The trail improved but overgrowth was still a problem.
At approx. 5:25 I arrived at a nice spot above a fish shrine (a man-made rock structure used by ancient Hawaiians to locate the best fishing areas off the coast or so I'm told) with an abandoned world war II pill box just below it.
Looking down at the Bellows VIP cottages I reminised about the good times my family and I had had there in years gone by. I also enjoyed staring at the Mokulua Islands which were lit up by the sun.
At 5:45 I reluctantly started back toward Pu'u O'Lanikai. I got to Lanipo Drive at 6:10 and departed soon after for Bellows. Just before my departure however I took one last look at Pu'u O'Lanikai and was grateful for the short yet enjoyable time spent on Kaiwa Ridge that afternoon.
Notes: Kaiwa Ridge is where my passion for hiking began. In March of 1990 my nephew and I climbed from the Bellows VIP cottages to the fish shrine and pill box. We had a great time. Kaiwa Ridge has wonderful vistas and if the conditions are ideal you'll find me at or near the stacked pill boxes above Koohoo Place watching the full moon rise almost every month. From November thru February the full moon comes up right between the Mokulua islands !