OHE May 23, 1999 (Pali-Maunawili Falls)

Date: Sun, 23 May 1999 21:04:57 -1000
From: Carmen C. (carmenc@pixi.com>
Subject: Maunawili Falls

Yesterday, Saturday, I endeavored to take a group of my 16 and 17 year old students hiking from Pali Lookout to Maunawili Falls and back. We ended up with a fairly large group which included four students and six adults. Among the adults were HTMCers Grant Oka, Naomi Nasu, and Greg Kingsley to whom I give a very large thank you before I even start this write-up. Without them my day would have been much more stressful.

Almost everyone was present at the school by 8:45 and the adults decided it would be a very good idea to add another car to Naomi's at the base of the Maunawili Falls trail for those who might be too tired to hike back up. We finally arrived at Pali Lookout at 9:15 and completed our group. By 9:25 our happy little group hit the road stopping occasionally to discuss flora of the area and how transplants got there. One student led our group down the Old Pali Road toward the Maunawili Demo Trail and it was commented that we have a future HTMC trail clearer in our midst. We contured along the mountain and at the beginning of the Demo Trail some of the students were looking a little peaked. Again, I have to thank the HTMCers for helping sweep while I tried to keep up with the leader.

After assembling at Piliwale Ridge and talking about it, then turning over my TP supply to a couple of desperate girls, about half of us headed forward while Grant and Naomi waited for the enders. We stopped a couple more times and reassembled, but the leader student had to be at the bottom trail head by 11:30 and time was short. At the Maunawili Falls trail head, Greg volunteered to wait for the slower group while I charged ahead with the leader student. I had left a waterbottleat the junction toward the falls to make sure they didn't miss it coming off of the connector trail. I was astounded by the speed with which my student negotiated the sometimes steep downhills and the times that she jogged uphill. I could not help but compare her to the sure-footed Charlotte and Patrick. We reached the trailhead and her parents at 11:40 and I was back on the trail by 11:45 to get back to the falls.

About 10 minutes later I ran into three of our group and they told me that there had basically been a mutiny. The students were tired and only wanted to get out. As I stood there and watched the group pass, I was the recipient of some nasty looks from a couple of students. (All right, all right...I did pick a hard trail for beginners, and YES, we probably should have started from the bottom.) That said, we worked our way toward the bottom which took about 15 minutes. I was letting the students vent a bit, but the reaction when we got to the bottom was awesome. Once the students realized how far they had walked and what they did, they were all smiles. By the drive home, they admitted that they had had fun, thanked me and asked if I had also had fun, and finally thanked me for taking them hiking. They also added that they want to go again soon. While it was a stressful day, it was also rewarding to see them succeed.

Again I thank Greg, Naomi, Grant and the rest of my chaparones for their help.

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