OHE July 2, 1999 (Iolekaa)

Date: Fri, 2 Jul 1999 14:31:49 -1000
From: JFEL873@aol.com (Jay Feldman)
Subject: WEHOT's Hike 7/1/99

One of the nicest things about hiking with old-timers is that you are almost guaranteed a great hike. So it went with Thursday's WEHOT's hike led by Bill Gorst and Charlotte Yamane. Showing up at Luluku and Anoi Sts were the above plus, Dayle Turner (under major time constraints), Rich Jacobson, Ken Friedman, and yours truly - Jay Feldman. Quickly acquiring Kahekili Hwy we drove just past Haiku St. and then parked on the shoulder, sprinted across the road, the most dangerous movement of the day, and into the woods. This entry to the Ulupaina loop hike was new to me, but rather then ascend the hill, we immediately dropped into Lolekaa Valley and began our exploration.

Moving well back behind the gated community to our left we searched for the best entry to the back of the valley. Dayle, researching the high ground soon left us as we stayed low. Much later we heard his yodel encouraging us to rise to his level, while we hooted back that descent was called for. Dayle stayed high and went his way. We, on the other hand wandered about for another hour or so making little real progress, thwarted by dead end streams, inpenetrable hau, dense christmas berry, innumerable piggy trails, and ascents too steep to contemplate.

Finally breaking through Ken led us up to a breezy lunch spot where we ate and listened to the mellow notes he played for us on his bamboo flute. Ken and Rich, wanting to leave early peeled off to return to their car while Bill, Charlotte, and I decided to carpe diem.

There are a number of crenelated folds in the back of Lolekaa Valley each probably with its own stream and collection of mixed dense foliage. We were looking for an interesting one and did finally reach our goal. Later, looking back into the valley, we couldn't be sure exactly which convolution held our prize, but we knew it was there. To find it required perseverance and a certain amount of serendipity.

We had entered a dense bamboo forest that suddenly evolved into a huge grove of young sapling bamboo closely spaced. Using a pig trail to guide us we shouldered our way through this natural barricade. We finally worked our way through to what we hoped was the perfect stream bed leading back to a lovely waterfall. We were not to be disappointed. Though the waterfall was only about thirty feet high, and the pool at its base barely big enough to sit in, the setting was so subtle yet sublime that one couldn't help but feel a need to be still and not trespass on the moment. There seemed nothing wrong with this natural setting, the sound and movement of the cascade, the sunlight streaming through the foliage, the seeming perfect balance of form and color made this moment magical. I felt bad that Ken and Rich had left earlier and missed this perfect setting, but I'm sure they had their own adventures.

Returning by almost the same route, we ascended the ridge at almost exactly the point where Ulupaina trail from Temple Valley intersects the ridge trail we had avoided when we began the day. Descending through an exuberance of flowering rose myrtle we re-acquired the highway, finding Ken's car gone, and broke into our coolers for refreshment. Surprising how delightful a short hike, basically in your own back yard (or in this case someone else's), can be.

Jay Feldman

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