OHE March 15, 1999 (Bowman)

Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 07:49:30 -1000
From: Dayle K. Turner (turner@hawaii.edu>
Subject: Bowman TM

Yesterday was a day for heroics on the Bowman Trail, and thanks to a dedicated crew, the route is in nice stead for an upcoming club outing. And thanks to the actions of a particular individual, I am still in possession of my treasured machete, which once belonged to my grandfather.

A big gang turned out for yesterday's (3/14) HTMC trail maintenance outing of Bowman, including Mabel Kekina, John Hall, Doug and Sandy Klein, Arnold Fujioka, June Miyasato, Bill Gorst, Lita Komura, Carole K. Moon, Grant Oka, Georgina Oka, Joyce Tomlinson, Lynn Agena, Jim Pushaw, his daughter Kristy, Pat Rorie, Ralph Valentino, Nathan Yuen, Kris Corliss, her hubby Larry Oswald, Volker Hildebrandt, Charlotte Yamane (my idol), Jason Sunada, and the hero of the day, Jay Feldman.

We were on the trail at 8:20 and everyone was back at the start point on Na'ai Place in Kalihi Valley by 3:45. In between, we did what we normally do on Sundays, namely work on a trail in preparation for a club hike. Bowman, named after an Army colonel (thanks to Stuart Ball for finding out the info), is a long, tough route that doesn't seem to get much hiker traffic.

Uluhe and clidemia abounded in some sections, but with many hands wielding cutting tools, we were able to fashion a clearer path on the ridge. Extensive pig damage was also evident, with some small ravines so torn up we referred to these as pua'a playgrounds.

For those who haven't done Bowman, on the final approach to the summit, the switchback section to gain the crest of the large nob on the ridge is an amazing piece of work. Kudos to the builders of the trail, especially those who fashioned that section. Cables are available for added security on the climb. What's more, Grant did nice work carving out footholds and widening the trail where erosion had done what it does. At the summit, we had on-and-off visibility of the windward side, and we saw no other hikers on Bowman nor along the crest nor on Tripler Ridge. The weather most of the day was generally decent, with a smatter of rain falling at a few points during the outing.

We did most of our chopping on the way down. At one point, while traversing a narrow, semi-rocky section (about midway between points F & G in Ball's book), my machete flew out of my hand and over a cliff on the Kalihi side of the ridge. Fortunately, it landed in a thicket of lantana about ten feet down, below which was a pretty steep drop (the drop on the Kahauiki ridge side is even more pronounced).

Not realizing the machete once belonged to my late grandfather (and it's a darn solid cutting tool, in addition), several folks encouraged me to hike on and forget about it. But I couldn't, and instead I tried to devise a plan to retrieve it. Fortunately, Jay, always well-prepared, not only provided a rope to aid in the descent to the machete, but he even volunteered to go down and get it. As about ten of us watched, Jay used the rope--tied to trailside koa stump-- and some nicely situated footholds to descend to the machete's landing spot in the lantana clump. He found it with no problem and climbed back up, also with no problem. His heroic deed done, spontaneous applause from the observing throng echoed in the Kalihi hills. Much mahalo to Jay.

The rest of the outing was routine. I can report that the dirt road leading to the junction with the trail down to Kalihi Elementary has been re-bulldozed (by the Army?) and is much clearer and less rutty than before.

Mahalo to Mabel for the post-hike refreshment feast. Ken Suzuki, and Kim & Judy Roy, who teamed up to lead yesterday's club hike in Moanalua Valley, stopped by to join us.

Next week Sunday, we'll be working on the Lanipo trail. Once we reach the summit, we'll head right (east) on the crest, pass the summit of Waialae Nui, continue to Wiliwilinui, and eventually descend to Hao Street in Wailupe Valley. For those interested in joining us, we'll meet at 8 p.m. at the top of Maunalani Circle. See Stuart's book for driving directions.

Hike safe,


Return to OHE top | Return to Oahu Hike Tales | Email Dayle