OHE March 13, 2000 (Waimano & Hawaii Loa)

Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 17:46:32 -1000
From: Gary M Ehara (eharag@juno.com)
Subject: Waimano / Hawaii Loa (Hawailoa?)

Got to finally get on a long hike this Saturday. My girlfriend & I wanted to go on a moderate hike, but ended up going up Waimano instead. We got started at 10:50. The weather was almost perfect for hiking there. Not too hot & humid, but the skies were clear. I was surprised that at the first stream crossing... well... there was no stream! I don't recall ever seeing it that dry.

We passed by a boy scout troop on the way up. "Billy, did you take salt?" asked the troop leader. "Billy, take some salt!" Okay, I don't remember if his name was Billy, but the leader kept advising him to take salt. I guess they try to teach them survival skills, rather than do it the easy way by bringing along the sports drinks. By the way, if any of you don't take along any of those sports drinks, I would highly recommend it for the longer hikes! It makes such a big difference!!! Gatorade powder would do well for those long hikes where you need to collect your own water from the streams.

As we approached the grassy area just past the (eucalyptus?) trees, I was disappointed to see a sheltered bench there. Doesn't really give a good "wilderness feel." I was even more disappointed to see the log to sit on where we could get a good view of the scenery was taken away! Just as well, it was a dry day so we sat on the grass.

The ohia were in bloom, so I thought I might hear the cries of the Apapane, but no such luck this time! Didn't see any 5-10 foot birds, either. There were so many other birds singing... more than I ever recall on that trail, but maybe it's just because I haven't been out there for so long. The songs of the birds subsided and gave way to the crickets as we made the transition to the right side of the ridge. I was really missing my trusty Taiwan Machette as we passed through some encroaching uluhe and a few lantana bushes, but for the most part, the trail was well trimmed... looked like it was done very recently.

We picked some thimbleberry and came across a particularly big one. We were so surprised at how sweet it was! It had a very different taste than the more sour, bitter-tasting runt berries we always come across. There were other red berries, I think they were ohelo berries. The little round, smooth, red berries with the "pointy flaps" hanging from the bottom. Are those ohelo berries, and are they edible? Nathan pointed them out to me once, and I'm pretty sure they were the ones. I took one to just taste it and spit it out, just in case it wasn't edible.

We saw the six mile marker earlier, and noticed another six mile marker much farther down... ??? I know that second marker was off. Could have been an eight, since part of it was broken off, but the trail isn't that long, is it? that last marker was about 15 minutes from the end.

I was doing a lot of "OOH's" and "AAHH's" along each bend. As we neared the end and saw the Windward side, I gave out a bunch of "HOOOO's" and "WOWIE's" like a little kid. Immediately after that, we noticed a couple already there, making peanut butter sandwiches. I didn't realize they heard me until I heard them giggling. I laughed with them too, thinking of how silly I must have sounded!

We were pigging out on our Safeway sub sandwich next to the other couple when they asked us to take a picture of them. I took a picture and was so impressed with the view, I had to ask them to take the same picture of us. We still hadn't finished our sandwiches, and were trying get the particles out of our teeth as they were waiting to snap the shot. The couple did their giggling again, and must have thought we were pretty strange! They left soon afterwards.

We spent about an hour at the top, then headed back down. We heard a bunch of boys yelling and screaming somewhere down the trail and soon came to the boy scout troop camped at the bench area.

"Did you hear our echos?" asked one boy.

"Yes, we did."

"YESSS!!!!" They did a mini celebration. It's good to be a kid -- to get excited over little things like that!

As we return on a long, one-way trail, we don't notice as much of our surroundings -- it's more kinda wanting to "get it over with." Sorry, not spoken like a true hiker, huh! As we were walking along the chain-linked fence near the trailhead, we saw the noisy green parrots, squawking overhead.... well, I was told they were green parrots last time I went up Manana and heard the noisy parrots overhead. I hear they pass through that area every day.

It was good to be back on a long hike again after such a long time out of it. We were up at Hawailoa Ridge the previous week. Is that Hawaii Loa, or Hawailoa? The sign at the end of the trail says Hawailoa. I think I kinda remember this discussion from awhile back. Anyway, it rained for the second half of our way up, so the top was pretty slippery.... especially since we didn't bring along good hiking shoes. The wind was still, which kept the clouds sitting around the summit. We wanted to head for the beach aftewards, so we headed back down, before we could get a view of the Windward side. The sun came out, and It looked like the top was clearing as we were several minutes down the trail, so we headed back up... it didn't totally clear up, but we had a decent view of Waimanalo.

My girlfriend's hands & feet always get swollen after hiking. Feet, I can understand, but hands??? Anyone know why that happens, and what can be done about it, if anything? I noticed my hands were slightly swollen after the Waimano hike, but wouldn't have noticed it if she hadn't mentioned anything. Maybe drinking more fluids??? Maybe it's some of the plants?

I'm having fun getting back into hiking more often, but it's still a lot of trouble trying to free up enough time to do it!


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