OHE June 21, 1999 (Aiea Loop)

Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 11:01:07 -1000
From: Greg Kingsley (gkingsle@hawaii.edu>
Subject: Aiea Loop Trail

Getting back into the rhythm of hiking, I joined two UHM club presidents for a social-hike on this easy trail. It was a great way to discuss the possibility of merging club activities, especially to include some outdoor exposure to UH's ICS club. Though no expert myself, I was happy to throw around ideas and answer questions about the trails I had visited.

Since most on the list have either heard about or hiked it, I won't describe the trail as I usually do. I did want to comment that the trail is in EXCELLENT condition and not rutted and mud-pitted as it used to be. I believe thanks go to ohe-l member Thomas Yoza and his biking cohorts for repairing the mountain-bike damage inflicted on the loop trail throughout the years. Also, two PVC/plastic-fabricated benches have been installed at early points at both ends - a wonderful addition, one overlooking the Kalauao Valley. I've gotta remember to bring my guitar next time!

Along the route, we made things more interesting with two quick side trips. We took a well-defined turnoff and 10 - 15 minutes later ran smack into a townhouse complex parking lot. I assume we were on the route to Kalauao Valley, but I didn't notice the mango tree junction with the trail heading down.

Another side trip led us along an obscure bamboo cutting trail, then descended in the direction of Kalauao Valley. We returned through an uluhe hill ascent. Though aimless rambling through the woods, it was filled with laughter and good spirits, proving that you need not be hiking toward a specific destination to have a good time. Plus, the uluhe was tame compared to its vicious godfathers on the Koolau Summit Trail.

We lunched near Puu Uau at the junction with the Aiea Ridge Trail. I looked fondly upon it, wishing we had some time to summit it - it was my first "real" Koolau hike. Miso ramen for me, 'nana pancakes for her, I gave John a teriyaki beef stick.

Rounding out the trail, I took a moment to admire a native bird perched on an exposed branch relatively close to me. Was this an Elepaio again? It also occured to me that I hadn't seen a single biker today.

We exited the loop and returned to our motorcycles, then sped off and hit an ultimate shaved-ice spot: Tropicana Freeze. With reasonable price, it's on the corner of St. Louis Drive and Waialae (next to Rai Rai Ramen) and beats any shaved ice I've ever had - even the Matsumoto Store! Guaranteed return!

Happy Hiking!


NOTE: For some of you who asked, I'm gonna dig and finish up that KST Day 6. No worries! =)

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