Friday, June 13: I still felt physically drained after returning from Mauna Loa (write-up coming soon) on Wednesday so I did only a short loop through Hoomaluhia Botanical Gardens, only minutes away from my home in Kaneohe. If you've never walked/hiked in Hoomaluhia, head to the windward side to check it out, particularly if you have in tow young kids or a loved one who isn't into heavy-duty hiking. A nice relaxing place it is. During my Friday jaunt, I passed a huge pile of girl scouts and their adult chaperones assembled at one of the campgrounds in the Gardens. Yup, camping is also possible in Hoomaluhia, for those interested in that.
Saturday, June 14: Celebrated my 39th birthday by joining the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club for a hike on a trail called Koloa Kai out Hauula side. Close to 30 folks were in attendance for the three-mile novice trek that had us start at the old CYO camp (now a public park), cross Kam Highway, climb up a ridge, drop down to Koloa Stream for some makai-bound rock hopping, and return to the starting point. We had clear but muggier-than-heck weather during the outing. No mishaps and plenty of smiles and good fun on the hike. Mahalo to Mark Morinaga for coordinating the adventure.
Sunday, June 15: I was Moanalua Valley-bound to join the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club trail maintenance crew for some machete-swinging action. Among those in attendance were Mabel Kekina (our famous leader), Charlotte Yamane, Grant Oka, Ken Suzuki, Kost Pankiwskyj, Carole K. Moon, Naomi Nasu, Lita Komura, Ralph Valentino, Ralph's son Michael, Jay Feldman and Will Kawano. After an initial 45 minutes of road walking, we hit the trail and its 23 (count 'em) stream crossings. We spent a couple of hours on this section, clearing as we went.
The final quarter mile involved a steep climb to the saddle at the back of the valley. The uluhe was semi-thick here but not as thick as the late-morning air which was virtually still and sapped sweat and energy from almost everyone in the crew. We did succeed in clearing the trail to the top, where we were treated to wonderful windward-side views of Haiku Valley and beyond to Kaneohe Bay. We even saw a small group of folks ascending the Haiku Stairs!! I did a bit of exploring to the left of the saddle to check out the section that Pat "Psycho" Rorie had climbed several months prior to get to the topping out point of the Halawa Trail. Overgrown and semi-dicey did that segment appear.
Upcoming:This week Saturday (6/21) is the big attack up the not-often-traversed Kipapa Trail with a group of friends. Our hope is to reach the top, head left for 2-miles along the Koolau Summit Trail, and descend to windward on the Waikane Trail. Can we do it? Well, we have chosen the day of the year with the most daylight to optimize our chances.
And with Pat "there's-no-trail-that-can-whip-me" Rorie as the ramrod, how can we fail? :-)
Keep hiking, gang. And no shame send in those hike and trail reports.