OHE May 16, 1999 (Olympus)

From carmenc@pixi.com Mon May 17 07:00:33 1999
Date: Sun, 16 May 1999 16:46:24 -1000
From: Carmen C. (carmenc@pixi.com>
Subject: Mt. Olympus

First a short summary of my morning, then the write-up of my hike.

6:30 Wake up
7:00 Drive to McDonald's for breakfast.
7:15 Leave Kaneohe for trail clearing in Wahiawa
7:55 Arrive at what I THOUGHT was the starting point and found myself alone.
8:00 Start driving around to find trail clearing crew.
8:35 Start leaving Wahiawa frustrated and disappointed (muttering some things under my breath)
8:40 Head toward town determined to do a super cool hike by myself.
9:15 Arrive at the top of St. Louis Heights and find the park that's aat the beginning of the Mt. Olympus hike.
9:25 Hit the trail.

That should clear up why I wasn't at trail clearing today, though I'd REALLY like to know where you guys were hiding. :-)

It was a beautiful day as I headed up the ridge. I noticed a set of human footprints on the trail, but didn't think much of them until I took the cut-off to head up Mt. Olympus. Once on the ridge trail, the footprints changed to two sets; one human and one piggy. At this point I started talking and singing to myself. I was hurting my own ears so I stopped singing and concentrated on charging up the hills.

Shortly after I passed the man-made ladder and was taking a break, an older gentleman came from the direction of the mountain and we talked for a while. He was a pilot on an overnight layover and wanted to know about some other trails in the area and on the windward side. We also discussed how the beautiful view we were looking at might have looked 50, 100, 200 years ago. He told me of some problem areas ahead and then hurried on to get ready for his flight.

Compared to some of the trails we do, this trail was not bad. Little mud was nice, little wind was not so nice. After the man left and I continued on, I noticed that the uluhe is already growing back from the trail clearing back in February. I stopped again, got out my tool of choice (cane knife), and started hacking away. After three hills of this, my stomach interjected and told me to get my hiney to the top so we could eat. I complied and put the knife away. I reached the summit at 11:55 and was actually surprised I made it as fast as I did.

Once at the top, I decided to dry off. As there were no other people or cameras, I simply got rid of the wet stuff. YES, at least I had a swimsuit on. I was actually very comfortable looking at the view, listening to the crickets, bees, and birds, and eating. There was a helicopter that kept passing by was a little annoying. At 12:30 I put on dry clothes and headed down. I have to note that at this point the sky was crystal blue, and it was hot and sticky.

I began descending at 12:35 and nothing remarkable happened on the trip except it took longer than I had expected. I didn't reach the bottom until about 2:20 and saw no one on my way down. (I did hear piggy rustlings though and started the singing again)

When I emerged from the trailhead, I was surrounded by people with swords and cross-bows. Apparently it is a club that reinacts Mongolian Wars, circa Gengis Khan (sp.). They had built a false castle out of a picnic area and goal for the day was to seige it. A former student of mine was participating so I sat with his girlfriend for about an hour and watched. I was invited to participate, but my knees were a little sore so I turned them down though it looks like a lot of fun. Maybe next time.

Today was a great day and nothing like I expected. I did miss my trail clearing buddies and am looking forward to reading the write-up. Everyone stay dry!!!!

Carmen :-)

**NOTE: Before I get any lectures about hiking alone, I know. (Just got it from mom) I did call a friend and let her know my change in plans before I left. I also called her from the summit and the bottom. Safety first. :-)

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