OHE May 11, 1998 (b)

Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 09:47:25 -1000
From: Patrick Rorie (prorie@hekili.k12.hi.us>
Subject: Triple Header

Took part in the HTMC trail clearing "exercise" with many others yesterday in the Laie/Hauula area (please refer to Dayle Turner's "Koloa-Kaipapau" write-up of the event for more details).

With the post-clearing festivities in the wrap up stages and so much time left in the day, Jim ? of the U.S. Coast Guard and I headed for Kahana to hike the Pu'u Piei Trail. Jim, a recent addition (and a valuable one at that) to the trail maintenance crew, was psyched.

I parked the pat-mobile almost directly across from the trailhead a hundred yards or so beyond a boat-launching ramp.

At 3:30 p.m. the two of us entered a forest. Worked our way thru three switchbacks and ascended a bit further to a junction. I pointed out the thimble shaped peak and explained to Jim how I had gone right and up the first time I did the hike. On this occasion Jim and I went left, passed an ancient fish shrine, and tramped thru another wooded area filled with lots of hala and "umbrella" trees.

Eventually the trail opened up as we climbed gradually thru tall grass along the broad ridge. I stopped a couple of times to take in the views and give Jim a chance to catch his breath (CG dudes are such wimps! Nah, nah, nah. Just kidding!). The pyramid shaped mountain called Ohulehule dominated the region with much of Kahana Valley stretched out below us.

Next, Jim and I passed thru hau trees, an uluhe section and more hala as the ridge narrowed. I told Jim that Piei was an "honest" trail, almost entirely uphill (not a rollercoaster ala Manana). Ascended very steeply as we negotiated a thin wire section followed by two lengthy cables. Sergio Lotenschtein's thin rope came in handy as the two of us completed the climb to the top of the Piei ridge.

From there we went left and headed for the summit, carefully walking over a few crumbly eroded areas. With the use of yet another cable, Jim and I climbed over a small hump in the ridge. Reached the broad summit of Pu'u Piei (elev. 1,740 ft) covered by a small forest at 4:20 p.m.

A few minutes later the two of us descended a short distance on a ridge toward Punalu'u Valley to an open area. We enjoyed excellent views from there of the middle and back of Punalu'u Valley, the Ko'olau summit ridge, the continuation of the Piei ridge, and the steep west wall of Punalu'u Valley. I pointed out to Jim the approximate location of the Castle Trail, described in Ball's "Hiker's Guide" as the finest hike on the island but now mostly overgrown because access has been cut off by the landowner (Bishop Estate). Security patrols the road leading to the trailhead making it risky to try and sneak in.

Backtracked to the summit of Piei and moved to another open area further makai along the ridge. Took in the wonderful views of Kahana Valley, the massive ridge containing Turnover (elev. 2,027 ft) and the true Manamana, and, of course, Mount Ohulehule. Jim snapped a photo and shortly thereafter we commenced the return leg of the hike. Started down the mountain at 4:45 p.m. and arrived without incident at my car at 5:34 p.m.

Drove Jim to the Oneawa Hills area of Kailua and dropped him off at his buddy Chris' home.

From there I went to Boston's North End Pizza Bakery in Kaneohe and picked up a slice of cheese pizza. Consumed it on my way to Lanikai. Parked on the right side of Kaelepulu Drive near the Mid Pacific Country Club.

After final preps I started up Kaiwa Ridge at 7:03 p.m. Arrived at the stacked bunkers (pill boxes) at 7:14 p.m. The nearly full moon was already up and as twilight became darkness its light reflected beautifully off of the ocean. The trades were gusty so I put on two more shirts to stay warm.

Enjoyed the evening for as long as I could but with the reality of having to go back to work the next day I reluctantly departed the bunker at 8:37 p.m. Paused several times on the way down to take in the vistas esp. in the direction of Makapuu Point.

Got into my car at approx. 9 p.m. and took off for home a few minutes later.

== Paka


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