OHE November 6, 1999 (Poamoho)

Date: Sat, 6 Nov 1999 20:14:23 -1000
From: Carmen C. (carmenc@pixi.com>
Subject: Poamoho

This morning a group of fifteen HTMC trail clearers went up the Poamoho Trail to rebuild the Cline Memorial. In attendance were myself, Jim Yuen (coordinator), Mabel Kekina, Georgina Oka, Carole Moon, June Miyasato, Jason Sunada, Kris Corliss, Ken Suzuki, Bill Gorst, Mike Algiers and friend (HTMC member), Stuart Ball, Lynn Masuyama, and Kost Pankiwskyj. We began meeting at the Helemanu Plantation shortly before 8:00. At about 8:30 Jim began to tell our group about Geraldine Cline, her short life, HTMC and Sierra Club history, and her tragic end. We also learned the history of the Cline Memorial to the point we were at this morning. AFter a short explanation of the work we were going to do and a divying up of equipment and supplies, we loaded into cars and trucks to drive to the trailhead.

At exactly 9:28 we hit the trail and began a steady ascent to the summit. The day was beautiful and the sun broke out shortly after we summited at about 11:15. As we reached the top we passed a beautiful lobelia in bloom. At the base we'd talked about the chances of seeing them in bloom and us amateurs were told that only renegades bloom in November. This was a full blooded renegade (though it almost got squished by a slipping hiker). The top of the Poamoho trail was incredibly windy. Now, I know that many people on this list have seen the extreme conditions at the summit, but Jim commented that he'd never seen the wind this strong at this particular spot. I took a great picture of Jason looking like a fallen angel as he leaned into the wind over the cliff. Anyway, like ping-pong balls we made our way to the top of a hill where the wind was weakest and partook of lunch. (Sidenote: It was commented that Kost looked like a guru coming up the hill with wind whipping through his thick hair and beard.) A small group went ahead to begin clearing the trail between the trailhead and the Poamoho cabin. During lunch we were given the bad news. The plaque, which fit perfectly on the old frame, was now about a quarter of an inch too big to fit into the current monument. It was depressing news because we all looked forward to seeing the monument secure and complete before our descent (and because we had to carry everything, including the plaque, back down again).

After lunch we decided to throw ourselves into phase two of the trip and we embarked on the trail toward the cabin. Clidemia was our primary foe, followed closely by uluhe. Our little group did well. Each group of two to three people picked an area and we worked our way way through. I had made a small joke during lunch about not needing to clear the trail three feet wide. In fact, thanks to some hearty people it is MORE than three feet in some areas. It was exciting to see parts of the trail cut back to where they were in the 1930's. There was a visible difference in height between the old and new. Kost, Carole, and myself ended up at the cabin around 1:45 and took a short break for Kost to eat and the rest of us to rest. Jason and Georgina followed soon thereafter. By 2:05 we made sure the cabin was secure and headed back to the trailhead.

On the way back we took time to assess the fruits of our labors and talk to the die hards (Kudos to Kris and Mike for their work with the hedgetrimmer and June and Ken for their "freeway"). By 2:25 we were at the trailhead and after a short stop to talk, redistribute gear, and account for all 15 people, we began the trek down. Because it took a little over an hour and a half to get up, we were sure down would be faster. NOT... At 4:15 we finally saw Mabel and cars and began to quicken our pace.

Because of the long distance from the main road we waited for the rest of the group near the cars and headed down as quickly as possible. For most of the day the wind had been up and some people, myself in particular, were freezing to death (exaggeration, but close). By 5:15 we were at the highway and getting ready to go. Mabel made sure that we ate cranberry cake or pumpkin bread before leaving, knowing we had a far way to drive. From the comments I heard, there was not a member of our party that is not exhausted this evening.

Overall it was a beautiful day with no rain, excellent views, great company, and a fulfilling hike. While we were disappointed about the monument not being completed, Jim is working on the beautiful plaque probably as I type and he will let us know when it's ready for placement.

Carmen :-)

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