OHE June 1, 1997

OHE member and 4x4 guru Mike Uslan issues the following report. Among those joining him on the outing was another OHE dude, Art Neilson. Mahalo for the report, Mike. Look forward to hearing about what everyone else was up to trail-wise this weekend.
Here's Mike:
We had a great time. I met Art & John along with Art's fiancee, and my wife about 11 am this morning. There were three vehicles, my Toyota, John's Jeep CJ-7, and Art's newly built Ford Explorer. My truck is built tough also now, with lockers, gearing, Swamper SX's, and more. So i'm never one to shy away from a tough obstacle.

There are a few mud pits up on the Poamoho trail, and everyone thought it would be fun to try them out. As soon as driving up to them i made a right hand turn into the deepest one, I checked the depth earlier in the week, but there seems to have been more water in it than when I checked a week ago. I didn't make it through, John had to winch me out. I was powering through, and had water up to the doors and was still charging, I thought I had it made until water entered in through my air cleaner. I was done.

When I lost my engine and momentum, the truck started to settle, and water started filling the interior. We got the truck out right away, but not until flooding my engine, and blowing two expensive amps, an alpine and a Kenwood. That sucks.. Dont try deep mud until you snorkel and waterproof your engine. Including exhaust, I'm going to drain my exhaust in about 1/2 hour, as soon as my bro Carlos gets here with my truck. It wont start, I already dried out the intake on the trail, but the exhaust is flooded too.

Well, we parked the truck at Dole Visitors center, and now two trucks went charging up Paalaa Uka Pupukea Rd. all the way into Kawai Nui valley, we then did a 3 hr hike into the valley and one especially tempting swimming hole. I must say the road has come a long way from being descibed as "In excellent condition" in Stuart Ball's "Hikers Guide to Oahu" last summer we drove a 4 door sedan down the trail, and back out, it was a bit tough but makeable. Its turning into a 4 wheel drive haven up there. Today our CJ-7 and Art's lifted Explorer got major bumps and scratches, and "just add water" and we'd have gone from a 2 to a 4 in difficulty, (4+ being the worst) this place is difficult enough dry, when its raining don't even try it unless your a expert driver and have a winch and two trucks.

The hiking trail is fun, on the way in I was taking my shoes off on a couple of stream crossings. It took about an hour to get in there, give another 1/2 hour if your slow or have a group. I loved the swimming hole, super deep, John estimated 25 ft in one spot, cliffs to jumpoff on the sides, and nice smooth rock beaches. Theres a grass campsite about 50 yards below, and pretty inaccesible stream above. John had the right idea, he wore tabi's, reef walkers, the rest of us had hiking shoes.

By the time I was hiking out, I had re-mastered my rock hopping skills learned in my teenage years racing my neighbors up the stream you all know as "Kalauao" we used to get from the big mango tree at the top, to the waterfall at the end of the hike in about 15 minutes in a full run. We used to jam. So now Im almost 30 but I still got it, (now I just sink my 8 thousand dollar truck in quicksand) I never got my shoes wet once on the way out, and didn't even take em off. Wish I could say the same about my interior in my truck! Wish you could have come Dayle, next time!

Remember, gang, no shame send in those hike reports (mine is coming soon).

Aloha and hike safe,


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