From: "MARK SHORT" (MARKESHORT@worldnet.att.net> Subject: Waianae Kaala & Waianae Kai Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 13:09:18 -1000
Went to top of Mt.. Kaala yesterday. There have been recent write ups so here are some quick highlights.
At about 2pm my son & I parked at the hunter check in. This added about a 1/2 hour walk up the paved road to get to the parking area in the Hiker's Guide to Oahu. A little after the water tank a young very skinny pit bull decided to follow us. He refused to turn around and just kept looking very friendly and followed quietly about 20 feet behind us
In the valley the stream was flowing quite nicely, at the crossing a very pretty waterfall could be seen upstream.
At the Power poles on top of the ridge another large waterfall could be seen coming down Mt.. Kaala on the Makaha side of the ridge. Because of cloud cover we couldn't see how high up it went and because of our location we were not able to see how far down either. The waterfall may have been quite long.
The dog was unable to continue past the third boulder section and as we continued he howled the call of the wild. The climb up to the bog was wet & slippery, with slippery & muddy cable. But this was expected. Thank you to the trail clearing crew. The blackberries were well cleared with only the occasional stray reaching out to grab my hair or shoulder. It was cold & misty & very windy up here. At the nature reserve sign I put on my wind jacket and was a little worried about my son, who didn't bring any jacket.
Crossing the bog was a real highlight. I don't know much about the plants but they were beautiful. It was very wet with water covering the boardwalk in a few places. We went to the lookout on the North shore side but the cloud was very thick with no chance of a view.
The dog was waiting for us at the boulder on the way down. And my son finally admitted he was cold with numb hands. We passed the power poles and continued on the return portion of the Waianae Kai hike.
About 2/3 of the way down from the ridge we saw a big black pig, who noisily crashed through the under growth into the gully on the left. At the bottom of the gully we met a group of hunters with their pack of dogs. We asked them if they had lost a dog and it took about a minute for them to realize the dog who was following us was with their dogs. They said it wasn't theirs so we continued, as our dog followed us they called out that they knew the owner so we stopped while one of them came up with a rope so they could take the dog home.
It was pretty much dark now but the trail could be seen as a black area on the ground. This entire trail was very clear and the undergrowth was non-existent by Koolau standards. I had a flash light but actually enjoyed walking in the dark so it was not put to use. It was just before 7pm that we arrived back at our car, which was completely intact!