OHE November 1, 1998 (c)

Date: Sun, 1 Nov 1998 21:48:56 -1000
From: Greg Kingsley (gkingsle@hawaii.edu>
Subject: Lulumahu Falls, 01NOV98

Sunday, November 1, 1998, the trail clearing gang took a respite from our usual machete-whacks and clipper-snips for what Trail Boss Mabel Kekina called a "fun day". Our "fun" was to include some light hiking, stream crossings, and waterfall gazing.

We gathered at our vehicles parked near a reservoir on Nuuanu Pali Road. Our group included (in no particular order): Thomas Yoza, John (last?), Erin Reagan, June Miyasato, Carole Moon, Kim & Judy Roy, Ralph Valentino, Nathan Yuen, Chris Atkinson, Kris, Larry, and Ginger Corliss, Jason Sunada, Bill Gorst, Georgina Oka, and Ken Suzuki. There was also a mother/baby team who's names I didn't catch. Hiking dynamos Dayle Turner, Pat "Paka-lolo" Rorie, and FWH went northwest to tackle Puu Lanihuli (high on Kapalama Ridge). Grant Oka was leading the club hike through Waianae Kai.

We began the festivities with a trek through a thick grove of tall bamboo intermixed with shrubby rosy-apple and the occasional tangle of hau branches. There was no natural path through the dense forest of bamboo. Instead, a swath of previously-cut bamboo trunks made for a "trippy", but dangerous, footwalk. We all made mental reminders not to stumble into a belly-flop onto these pungee sticks.

Emerging onto a grassy, 4WD road, we continued right, re-entered a spacious forest, and came across the ruins of a stone/rock cottage. Nestled under the cool canopy of trees, a plaque had been placed at its southern entrance. Though I can't remember what it said, I did a little research and believe it to be called "Kaniakapupu": the summer home of Kamehameha III. The house of "one large room and two sleeping rooms"* was built on an ancient, but destroyed, heiau. It was here that young Kamehameha IV received his kingship training in Hawaiian ways while western ways were taught to him elsewhere. Kaniakapupu, which translates as "song of the land shells", was originally called "Kawaluna" and was noted in the Hawaiian Annual (1930) as the site of a massive feast. The celebration on July 21, 1847, which commemorated the fourth anniversary of "Restoration Day", was attended by King Kamehameha III, his Queen Kalama, the royal court, and approximately 10,000 guests. In excess of 4,600 horses were present and the menu included: 271 pigs, 482 gourds of poi, 602 chickens, 3,125 salted fish, 1,920 fresh fish, 2,245 coconuts, 82 turkeys, 180 squid, 12 barrels of luau, and the list continues.*

The peaceful silence and serenity of the abandoned cottage, as sunlight poked through to flash upon its slumber, were soon behind us as we continued through the solemn forest toward Pauoa Ridge. Mabel's blue markers came in handy as several orange markers lured us toward a myriad of side-trails We caught up with the gently rippling Lulumahu Stream, crossed, and followed its waters up a slight rise. Lulumahu Stream, at some point downstream, turns into Nuuanu Stream. By 09:30 we had found the white jewel we had been seeking: Lulumahu Falls (elev 1,400 feet).

We spent about half an hour at the base of this 70-foot cascading beauty. It truly was one of the most beautiful waterfalls I've ever seen on Oahu. The pool, about 15 feet in diameter, was shallow and might've left much to be desired for swimmers. The width of the crashing water, today, was approximately 6 feet. However, the water was clear, crisp, and chilling!

The gang shuffled down the trail with the intention of terminating at Jackass Ginger Pool. At an earlier junction with the stream, we took a left instead of heading straight down the path we had previously trekked. The group soon split with most heading up the ridge under the guise of Bill Gorst. At the time, I had no idea where they were going, so I followed Mabel as we contoured the same ridge, then descended past dilapidated flumes and waterworks. Our 9-person squad later found out that the other group had a fun-filled bout with uluhe.

We reached and progressed on a short stint along the Nuuanu Pali Road. A turn-off on the left side led us onto the Charles S. Judd Memorial Trail and a 0.2 mile walk to the deep, murky pool. Soon enough, we were frolicking in the waters of Jackass Ginger Pool, otherwise known as "Kahuailanawai" (which means "site at water is still"). A lively group of local kids kept us entertained with their antics, but the best performance of the day was by our own Chris Atkinson. He leaped from a tree stump about 15 feet high on a rope slung from a 40-foot tree. He did it again for our amusement, when our ridge-hikers finally rendezvoused with us at the Pool, once again proving (by his comment) that monkeys are indeed smarter than humans. Silence even fell upon a second group of local, beer-drinking teens as he executed his stunt. Albeit, kudos to Chris for his bravery!

Our day at an end, we sauntered back to our nearby cars and gathered for refreshments fronting Alewa Heights Spring Reservoir. There, we watched a couple fishing in the water signed "Fish Refuge" and scanned the northern hills for Dayle, Pat, and FWH. We enjoyed our early, 2:30 PM exit and relaxed all we could - we knew treacherous Puu Kalena was to be our next trail clearing mission. With that on our thoughts, clouds appeared over Nuuanu valley and brought light showers to signal us to return home.

Boy, that research made me hungry! =)

Carpe Diem!


P.S. And, of course, my submission for "best lines spoken on an HTMC-event of the year":

(Scene: Jackass Ginger Pool, Mabel in the water, Chris with his shirt off.)

Mabel: "Chris, your body is hot."
Chris: "Ohhh, Mabel!"

(You had to be there...)


* Sterling, E. & Summers, C. "Sites of Oahu", Bishop Museum Press. Honolulu, 1978

Ball, S., "The Hikers Guide to O'ahu", Univ. of Hawaii Press. Honolulu, 1993

Chisholm, C., "Hawaiian Hiking Trails", Print Tek West. Salem, 1994. 8th Ed.

Return to OHE top | Return to Oahu Hike Tales | Email Dayle