OHE July 13, 1998

Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 00:02:25 -1000
From: Gene Robinson (gene@lava.net>
Subject: Sneak a peak at the EKE

Patrick will be providing excruciating details of our East Ko'olau Extravaganza, so I'll just hit the highlights.

1) We made it.

OK, that about wraps it up! Nahh, just kidding. Paka, Laredo and I had a pretty fun time cruising from Mt. Olympus' rain forest to the arid Makapu'u lava fields. It was a great survey of different terrain, plants, and exotic life forms (Wing atop Hawai'iloa). Paka was in fine form, setting a torrid pace, and Laredo was cruising, too. I didn't want to leave the boys behind in a cloud of dust, so I handicapped myself by wearing my slickest, flat-soled, old running shoes and forgetting my gloves. My hands are beginning to heal, but my okole is sore from several spectacular flops. Mahalo to Patrick for offering me his gloves when I realized I had forgotten mine, and for pulling me to safety as I did a slow-motion slide on some loose dirt near Mariner's Ridge. I had to gingerly climb up and down rocks and lava during the latter half of the hike to preserve my hands, and when I'd look up, I'd see Paka and Laredo far ahead, accelerating. So I ended up running on flat sections to catch up, but they'd still get ahead of me! Finally, I figured it out when I looked up and saw that they were running on the flat sections, too! It's survival of the fittest when you hike with these guys!

For anybody else thinking of the same hike, I'd recommend going the same way, Mt. Olympus to Makapu'u. Going the other way would be psychologically devastating, as there is a LOT of scrambling and climbing over rocks and loose dirt, and you'd be hot and exhausted and ready to bail by the time you reached Kuli'ou'ou. As a first-timer on most of the East Ko'olau summit ridge, I give high marks to the middle section, around Pu'u O Kona, for interesting hiking and beautiful scenery.

The big question now is what is the next Darwinian challenge hike that Paka will propose? Maybe Kamaileunu to Kawiwi to Ka'ala? Lunch atop Kawiwi, Wing?

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