Date: Thu, 4 Nov 1999 19:07:51 -1000 From: JFEL873@aol.com (Jay Feldman) Subject: Lanipo
Joined the SoleMates for their midweek journey. Eleven of us met at the top of Maunalani Heights to check if Lanipo trail was still extant. Present were Roger, David, Richard, George, Erica, Pete, Rich, Nancy, Bart, Ed, and yours truly. Happily it was cool and we made good time traversing the early undulations with a growing awareness that these downhills would translate much later in the day to wearisome uphills. We could handle it, we assured each other. Nevertheless, George searched for a possible shortcut from Palolo Valley to try next time.
The trail was relatively open and well used, at least to the second clearing and then it got a bit dense. The middle section definitely needs a trim job. Not too much off the top, if you please, but short around the ears. We had lovely views of Ka'au Crater and the waterfall but the trades failed us and until the clouds moved in, hydration was an important aspect of our hike.
As we progressed we split up with two groups stopping separately for lunch leaving only six of us to summit. Rich had hastened ahead leaving us all in his mud. He apparently had stopped at Queen's Emergency on the way in for an intravenous download of cappuccino (he has connections there I hear). We five (Pete, Nancy, Bart, Ed, and I) took our time, and since we met late, 9:30 at the trail head, we summitted just at lunch time, after passing Rich on his return. Heedlessly we pressed on to the true Lanipo and even considered a visit to Wiliwilinui but reversed to our first summit as misty weather began to obscure our windward view. The winds were almost nonexistent with occasional wisps coming from the Honolulu side; for a change it was possible to spit windward without regret.
We ate well and shared Nancy's excellent snacks and finally began our return. Bart left early claiming a desire not to lag behind. We never saw him again. I don't think slow hiking was his problem. We four began to explore the concept of relaxed hiking and found ourselves at one point supine under an immense Koa, our thoughts as insubstantial as our conversation. By the time we returned to the trail, we had stiffened up and I began to wonder exactly who Rich knew at Queens.
We did get back to the cars in daylight, about 5, and headed home, letting the working public carry us out on their vehicular wake. Another excellent hike, enhanced by excellent compatriots.