OHE November 17, 1999 (Kealia)

Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999 01:30:54 -1000
From: Roger Sorrell (alohaboys@attglobal.net>
Subject: Description of Kealia trail hike, 11-17-99: 

Kealia Yearnings

We Solemates had not done Kealia trail in a long time--not since last February--and it seemed suitably fresh to many of the 20 who gathered at Dillingham Airstrip. However, to others, it was an old friend, often enjoyed. Some were looking forward to its special places--its spectacular Makua Valley overlook, or its glorious undulating ridges as it intersects the Kuaokala trail and heads northwest to Waianae and ocean views. To at least one of us--Fred Boll--it was a place he knew like the back of his hand. And all would find that particular place in paradise for which they were longing.

Solemates clambered up the trail's opening switchbacks and took the rest breaks needed from this initial treadmill to greet our returnees and new hikers with our usual hearty sociability. We lounged under the shade of the native Soapberry and Wiliwili groves, admiring the showy orange Wiliwili flowers, and sat with relief at the picnic shelter at the ridge top. While a few headed directly over to the jackpot of the Makua overlook, most chose to follow Fred, who offered to show us a potential loop trail to the overlook. Just how much of the area Fred knew, and how well, we learned as we wandered right and left, up, down, and over old roads until we were quite ready for lunch and then--only when Fred had given us a good workout--we found the deep green revelation that Makua Valley is this time of year, after the rains. We looked across toward Ka'ala and Ohikilolo, sharing stories of those we knew who had tried the latter narrow dike ("Scooped out brains" in Hawaiian), to their peril.

After lunch, our multiple yearnings for a further taste of paradise returned, and we divided into three further groups. One group chose to descend at their leisure. Another group decided to enjoy the scenery and talk story along the familiar high ridges. Still another, enticed by a yen to explore more of this area, followed Fred along the Mokoleia firebreak road and then down, down, down, through forests and fields, then looping back overlooking a canyon, and finally sweeping around from the south to regain the picnic shelter area with relief. (What a surprising extent of area with no "No tresspassing" or "Private" signs, open for hikers to explore!)

How many times did we relish those splendid Kealia views of central Oahu over to the Ko'olaus, or look down to the North Shore and hear the blue waters crashing below--when we were not ducking to avoid the gliders overhead! Such things always make Kealia a treat. Doing Kealia in the "winter" rewards us well also, because we have all this with the low, southern sun, making for plenty of shade in the exposed portions, especially returning on the switchbacks in the afternoon.

Well done, Solemates! Till next time, happy trails! Roger and David

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