OHE July 29, 1999 (Kamiloiki-TomTom)

Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 20:21:28 -1000
From: Dayle K. Turner (turner@hawaii.edu>
Subject: WEHOT: Kamiloiki-TomTom

The WEHOT hike for today started in Hawaii Kai and ended in Waimanalo. On hand for the outing were Jay Feldman, Charlotte Yamane, Bill Gorst, Rich Jacobson, Richard McMahon, Fred Boll, and I. To sum up the day: fun.

We met initially at 8:30 at the HTMC clubhouse in Waimanalo and jumped into two vehicles for the drive over to Hawaii Kai where we'd start the hike. The trailhead is on Makahuena Place, a cul de sac off of Lunalilo Home Road. Although the ridge we climbed isn't named on any map I've seen, I call it Kamiloiki since there is a valley by that name to the east of the ridge.

To climb to the ridgetop, we made our way past an old agricultural heiau called Pahua and then followed a fairly well-used trail that switchbacked a couple times to gain elevation. It was warm day, and the sweat on our brows and the huffing and puffing we did reminded us of such. But we enjoyed each other's company while making our way at a gentle pace.

Fred, always a joker, pointed out the residence of his ex-wife at the base of the slope in Kamiloiki Valley and suggested he'd roll a boulder down the hillside as a reminder of his everlasting affection for this wahine.

The terrain on the ridge is rocky, slightly rollercoaster-ish, and dotted sparsely with vegetation, mostly koa haole. Among the other flora we noticed were ilima, alahe'e, ulei, a'ali'i, formosan koa, ironwood, and some species of cactus.

To our left was Kamilonui Valley, occupied by a plant nursery, for the most part. An old jeep road snaked its way up the valley in two branches, but this old byway is badly overgrown with koa haole and buffalo grass and would be difficult to traverse.

The trail we hiked was the most well-used I've ever seen it (I've hiked it three or four times prior) and right before the summit we spotted a flat, well-cleared campsite. At a shady spot in a grove of ironwoods, we spent a half hour for lunch, enjoying a beautiful view of bluer-than-blue Waimanalo Bay. Among the things we talked about during lunch was Richard's weekly column in the Honolulu Advertiser. He said in the coming weeks we can expect write-ups about outer island dayhikes, including a loop in Haleakala. Richard also said he has a new book coming out soon.

After lunch, we climbed briefly, then descended fairly steeply to a saddle at the head of Kamilonui Valley. The sun continued to beat down on us as we hiked, but a brisk windward breeze helped to neutralize the heat a bit. >From the low point of the saddle, we climbed to a pu'u with a power pole on it and then a second higher one. We rested at the latter and then began the descent of the TomTom trail.

Charlotte said she recalled reading that TomTom was named after two brothers, one who died in a fall nearby along the crest in the area of the terminus of the Kaupo Cliffs trail. She said she'd check an old HTMC hike schedule where she read the info and get back to me.

Though intimidating to those who've never done it, TomTom isn't that bad. Rich was the only member of today's group who'd never hiked TomTom, and when he asked what the worst section was, I replied, "Walking through the streets of the residential area below while trying to avoid roaming pitbulls and rotweillers." Actually, even that part was problem-free.

TomTom emerged on Manawaiola Street in Waimanalo, and from there we walked through the Hawaiian Homelands homestead to get to Kalanianaole Hwy and then Puuone Street and the clubhouse.

Before returning to the clubhouse, I made the obligatory pitstop at 7-11 for a Super Big Gulp. Back at the clubhouse, we spent time sipping soft drinks and talking story under the hau arbor before departing.

Jay ferried Charlotte and I over to Hawaii Kai where we'd left our vehicles and from there we motored home.

Next week's WEHOT hike is yet to be determined. Jay will post info at some point this weekend or early next week. Come out and join the group if your schedule permits.


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