OHE November 3, 1997

Date: Mon, 3 Nov 1997 13:46:35 -1000
From: Mae Moriwaki (mae@hawaii.edu>
Subject: Konahuanui

I was pretty excited about trying out the Manoa contour trail (thanks to Wing's instructions on how to hook up to it!). Rain chased me away on Saturday, but I got to meet another OHE person, Steve (he who is undaunted by mere rain!) He not only guessed who I was, but what my plans were. I'm only taking a stab in the dark, but I think he works for a 1-900-psychic phone network. :)

On Sunday, I gave Jim a call, but he wasn't too excited about the contour trail. So I headed up solo. What a beautiful, cool, breezy day!!! I started at my traditional Manoa Falls trail, up Aihualama, along Pauoa Flats, and up to God's country. The trail was not as muddy as I thought it would be, so the going was good. Very few people on the trail (I started up the trail about 8:30).

I stopped at the Nuuanu overlook for breakfast (a banana, unsullied), took a swig of water, braced my walking stick against a bush, and continued up the trail. I usually take the first hill slowly, looking for a pure purple naupaka plant that I saw there once. Maybe it was a dream-- I never saw the pure purple since then (has anyone else seen one?).

I continued along the trail in absolute bliss--the air was cool, the traction was great, the summits were clear. What more can a hiker ask for? I approached the area of ~10 ft. drops. Hey! Cables. Wow. Added bonus. You don't really need them, but they're nice to have. Thanks!

Finally, I arrived at the place of the metal rod w/orange tape. Couldn't find the rod, but jumped down anyway. Decided I didn't like being there, and went back to the clearing. *If* my foot touched the Manoa contour trail, it was there for at least 3 seconds.

Konahuanui was absolutely clear, and it was driving me nuts. I kept on telling myself not to go (being solo), but I couldn't help it. I've only been up there once, and it was socked in. I knew I would never forgive myself for not going. I just made a promise to myself to go slow, be careful. I reached the first peak at 12:40. What a view! Everything from Lanikai Twin Islands to Rabbit Island. I turned left to head for the 2nd, higher peak. If the trail so far was relatively dry, the summit trail made up for it. Yuck. Sank past ankle deep in mud. When I started slipping badly (didn't take too long!), I headed back to the first peak.

I sat down by the summit marker to have lunch. I looked rather dubiously at my 2nd banana. The integrity of the banana was rather compromised. I ate it anyway--bruised, but tasty. A packet of M&Ms for dessert, one last look at the view, and I was ready to head back down.

My favorite part of this hike is going back down. No, not because it's easier, but because the views are unreal! Check it out. As far as I can tell, no one was on the trail before me, and I met no one coming back down. If you have a need to get away from it all--this trail is a good bet! If you love native plants, believe me, Konahuanui trail has it's fair share.

*And* if there is anyone out there who has seen a pure purple naupaka before, let me know. Not purple & white-- pure purple. I'm beginning to doubt my own memory. Let me know I wasn't hallucinating.

mae


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