OHE March 16, 1998 (b)

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 23:38:35 -1000
From: Dayle K. Turner (turner@hawaii.edu>
Subject: Weekend hiking haps

==Friday, 3/13==

Spent bad luck day doing an afternoon hike along a trail called "Manana Ditch" by the HTMC. Had spent the early afternoon watching the flick "U.S. Marshals" at Signature Theaters at Pearl Highlands Center (good show, BTW), so a quick shot up to Palisades afterward made sense. To get to the ditch trail, I headed up Manana for about five minutes and while still on the paved water tank road, I headed left at the first powerline tower.

There is a small ironwood grove to pass through and then the trail descends gradually then steeply through strawberry guava. At one section, someone has tied a length of green garden hose to assist the descent.

The trail bottoms out at a dry Manana Stream and then ascends the opposite side of the gulch rather steeply. At one section, a 50-foot length of rope is tied to a tree as a climbing aid. The trail was very dry and the footing crumbly.

After climbing out of the gulch, I spent a few minutes looking for signs of the brushfire that had ravaged the area (and at the time was still burning, albeit "contained" according to the fire department). From my locale, I could see signs of the fire far off but it hadn't made its way nearly as far upridge as I was.

I continued mauka for a few hundred yards and stopped when the trail began descending into another gulch. Apparently, the route continues its rollercoaster progression toward the Waiawa prison until meeting with the Ahern Ditch, a manmade waterway.

I'll return to complete the hike at some point.

==Saturday, 3/14==

With a few members of the HTMC trail clearing crew, I kayaked 2.5 miles from Heeia Kea Pier to Kapapa Island, a spit of land beyond the sand bar in Kaneohe Bay. There is actually a loop trail around Kapapa, which if done at a leisurely pace can be completed in five minutes! Of course, Pat Rorie could have done it in 2.5. :-)

We were fortunate to have super views toward shore of Ohulehule and Kanehoalani, made all the better by the sunny, clear day favoring us.

Members of da gang on hand were Grant Oka, his daughter Georgina, Ralph Valentino, Naomi Nasu, Lita Komura, and my idol, the famous woman hiker who was dubbed by Ralph on that day, "Famous Woman Kayaker."

==Sunday, 3/15==

Joined a big gang of folks for the HTMC trail clearing outing of the Waimano Ridge trail. On hand were Mabel Kekina, Ken Suzuki, Ralph Valentino, Michael Valentino, Carole K. Moon, June Miyasato, Naomi Nasu, Thomas Yoza, John Hall, Kim Roy, Judy Roy, Arnold Fujioka, Bill Gorst, Georgina Oka, Nathan Yuen, Bob Butchart, the Famous Woman Hiker, and a couple of folks whose names I never caught or forgot.

For the first time, I had the chance to try out a camelback hydration system (read: sucking water from a straw) that allowed me to ascend to the summit in my fastest ever time since I didn't have to stop to pull a canteen from my pack to drink. Nice. And as Stuart Ball says in his book, the miles do fly by!

The trail was the texture of dry scalp and I can't recall stepping in a single mud puddle all day. Waimano Stream was also basically waterless save for a couple stagnant pools here and about. Just upstream of the old dam Ken found one filled with prawns. Though the footing is favorable, a dry trail makes for a rock hard one which means more pounding thus a greater likelihood of pain. I didn't feel any effects on the ascent but I was hurting a bit on the return leg.

Prior to the long hike back, I gave thought to making the crossover to Manana. In fact, I covered about a 15 minute segment toward Manana while waiting at the summit, with Eleao looming in the distance, beckoning me to continue onward. But a cloudfree crest turned into a cloud-choked crest in a matter of 20 minutes, so any inklings about the crossover were scratched.

The Waimano trail wasn't terribly overgrown except for some spots choked with scratchy Australian tea. We did what we could to clear these parts, holding Waimano "tea parties," as it were.

The trail sees a goodly amount of traffic evidenced by the dozen-plus other folks we encountered during the day. I'm always glad to see other people out hiking.


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