Date: Sun, 2 May 1999 12:10:39 -1000 From: FRED R BOLL (email@example.com> Subject: The worst day hiking......
The subject here could have been "poor planning" or even "just plain stupid" But the day after always makes things "not too bad".
Saturday looked like a great day to do an all day hike so my wife, my 10 lb Dachshund and I took 2 my truck and her car and drove off to the North Shore. We dropped of my truck at the end of the road by Dillingham Ranch next to the coconut grove and took her car to Dillingham Field, the trail head of Kealia Trail. The plan was to hike Kealia to it's end, join the Mokuleia Trail (Road) to the campground then continue on the Mokuleia Trail to the "Steve Poor Makua Access Trail" and back to my truck.
Things started off well as started hiking at 8:00 AM and climbed the switchbacks to an Ironwood copse in about 50 minutes or so. It was very hot due to the absence of the trade wind. We rested and drank some water while deciding not to continue on the hot, sunstruck road to the end of the trail at Makua rim. Instead we decided to go makai and stay in the shade as much as possible. We went ahead with this plan and hike through beautiful stands of Kukui, Silk Oak, Ironwood and Eucalyptus before reaching the junction with Kuaokala Road. From there it was only a short walk to the terminus of the Kealia Trail. At 10:30 we stopped at an overlook of Makua Valley and rested, enjoying the view.
The road hike to the Peacock Flats and the campground is a little over 4 miles and the walk is not boring. There are several different views of Makua Valley and further along are great views of the North Shore. There are also 2 obvious side trails leading toward the North Shore that we checked out for a short distance but put them aside for future exploration. By noon we had reached the junction with a paved road coming up from Dillingham Ranch where my truck was parked. My wife was feeling tired and wanted to go down but I convinced her to keep going. I may be paying for that for a long time.
Flaws in the plan began at this junction when we turned right instead of left. Right climbs up for, perhaps, a mile or so to an old Nike site. We realized our error and returned to the junction and continued to the camping area where we picked up the Mokuleia Trail. We rested at the shelter at 2:00 PM and in my mind I calculated reaching my truck at 4:00 PM.
Continued along the Mokuleia Trail all the while looking for the trail down the ridge to the left which would take to my truck. Finally, after a much longer distance than I remembered, we spotted the correct ridge and started down. I remembered that we made a right turn off the ridge and went down very steeply to a dry stream bed and the turned left to the road. The way was not marked and all the ribbons were gone. We turned right and down at what looked like a likely spot but came to dead end as there was no sign of a place many people had traversed recently and the understory became extremely overgrown. My wife was grumbling that her feet hurt and I wasn't in top shape either. I decided to return the way we came since that was familiar to me and not take a chance on going back to the top of the ridge and taking the wrong line down again. Two hours later we were back at the shelter we had left at 2:00 and by now we were both very tired and the dog looked like all the air had been let out of him. At the campground we sat down on some logs to rest and almost at once I felt something poke my leg. I reached to see what it was and found a bee had stung me in the back of my knee.
All's well that ends well and we retraced our steps back to the paved road and then down to my truck which was still intact (not recycled). We got to the Dillingham Field gate at 5:50PM, ten minutes before the closing time. Today we are laughing about the whole thing. My leg in still swollen and itchy. The dog is resting.
Were you looking for the mokuleia trail to get down on? Last I saw it it was all over grown and out of shape and that was a few years ago. It's much faster hike if you take the ridge directly below the nike site (take the road to get there, do not go to the nike site becuase there's a cliff in the way) all the way down. You may have to bushwhack for a little while, but the ridge edge is mostly clear. If you explore a bit you may find my secret swimming hole around there... one of the few I know about in the Mokuleia Waianae's
anyways, sounds like an adventure!
btw, anybody else on this list prefer the mokuleia waianae's to anything else on the island?