Today, I went with the HTMC clearing gang on the Makapu'u Tom-Tom trail. If you're unfamiliar with the route, we started at the Makapu'u Lookout, climbed the ridge above Sea Life Park, and continued along to the hang glider jump-off platforms, the abandoned Nike Tracking Station, and to a grove of ironwood trees where we ate lunch. We continued along the ridge, dropping to a saddle at the head of Kamiloiki Valley, and then climbing to one then another pu'u topped by a powerline pole.
At the top of the latter pu'u, a steep ridge descends to windward. Atop this ridge is Tom-Tom, a trail that initially seems terrifying but is quite do-able. The descent, which terminates at the end of Manawaiola Street, a newer section of Hawaiian homestead housing in Waimanalo, took about an hour. In the past, residents have been known to interrogate hikers entering/exiting the trailhead, but we exited without question or incident today.
Afterward, we headed to the HTMC clubhouse on Puuone Street in Waimanalo where we had a get-together to celebrate the birthday of clearing gang honcho, Mabel Kekina, who will turn 69 on 3/20. Arriving later to wish Mabel hauoli la hanau were Stuart Ball and his new wife Lynn, who had hiked in Kuliouou Valley earlier in the day, and current HTMC president Grant Oka, who had led a members-only hike on a ridge above Sacred Falls.
Mike Uslan emailed me a report about finding a nice swimming hole/campsite along the Opaeula Stream this weekend. I'll post his report if he gives me the okay.
Silver Piliwale, the daring, tireless mountain man and pioneer of several trails on the island, will be laid to rest at Hawaiian Memorial Park on Tuesday. He was 97.
Hike safe gang.