OHE May 29, 1999 (Windward Koolau Jaunt)



Date: Sat, 29 May 1999 17:08:05 -1000
From: Dayle K. Turner (turner@hawaii.edu>
Subject: Windward Koolau crest jaunt

Jay Feldman and Rich "Kalalau Rich" Jacobson joined me today for an interesting semi-loop hike that began and ended in Kaneohe. In between, we made our way up a steep spur to the Koolau summit near Keahiakahoe and then spent an exhilarating hour hiking along the crest to Pu'u Kahuauli, the terminus of the Bowman Trail.

We met some friendly, outgoing people during the outing, including a couple of Air Force pilots with a penchant for handheld GPS gizmos and CD-based topo maps. We also saw HTMC colleagues Doug "Dusty" Klein, Kris Corliss, and Carmen Craig. Their plan was to descend the Tripler Ridge Trail. Hopefully, one of them will post something about their outing.

Though cloud-cloaked at times, the summit crest was mostly clear, providing some nice viewing opportunities of the windward side. The three peaks of Olomana stood out prominently as did the azure waters of Kaneohe Bay. A gentle, cooling breeze wafted over the mountaintop from the windward side, and the footing was solid and only occasionally muddy. In all, great conditions for hiking.

I'd never hiked with Rich before, and I'm glad to have met him. He's a strong hiker, having logged considerable time hiking and camping in Kalalau Valley on Kauai (hence the nickname). His background is varied and interesting: he's a doctor of psychology, a veteran of four Honolulu Marathons, a screenplay writer, and is well-traveled. He also completed today's outing in Teva sandals and socks (with some duct tape assistance from Jay). He's also a past member of HTMC and will joining us for future outings. A nice addition to the group will be Rich.

Jay, of course, is an old friend and a strong, experienced hiker. At one point, he grew a bit antsy when we spent a bit more time at a rest stop than he would have liked, but after listening to my spiel about enjoying the experience instead of always pressing on quickly, Jay relaxed and had an enjoyable time.

We spent 20 to 30 minutes resting at Kahuauli. I should note that somewhere between the Tripler terminus and Kahuauli Rich misplaced his cap and Jay his gloves, so if anyone finds them...

At 1 p.m. we began the descent of Bowman, still in fine shape after a recent HTMC outing. In twenty minutes, having safely negotiated the trademark Bowman switchbacks, we found ourselves at a spreading koa tree that marked a junction with a spur we would descend to Likelike Highway (Stuart mentions this junction in his book).

The trail on this spur was less distinct than Bowman, but we descended it without a problem, arriving at Likelike Highway a few minutes before 2 p.m. We joked that the most harrowing segment of the hike was about to commence, and in a way this wasn't a joke, for we had to hike along Likelike Highway and then through the Kaneohe-bound Wilson Tunnel, where speeding cars, trucks, and buses roared past us just feet away (the tunnel has a narrow sidewalk on both sides).

Emerging on the windward side (what a relief to be out of the tunnel), we then picked up a trail that descended the slope to eventually pass under H-3. This trail (not Likeke, BTW) reaches Likelike less than 100 meters from the tunnel and was recently used by the club to access the Likeke Trail from Hoomaluhia Gardens. Many ribbons mark the route and in about twenty minutes we arrived at Hoomaluhia, where we walked another ten minutes along the park road to our cars at the park's front gate.

With stops for lunch and rest, the total time of the outing was six hours. We all agreed that this was time well spent.

Hope everyone has some time to log a hike or two on this Memorial Day weekend. If time permits, let us know how things went.

Safe hiking,

--DKT


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