It was raining and since I didn't want to get muddy, I went to my old standby, the reef runway. Started out with my raincoat on but by the time I had been hiking for about 20 minutes, the rain ceased and the humidity began to rise, so off it came. Since Kona winds prevailed, the planes were taking off and landing while heading in the ewa direction, which was unusual to see since trade winds typically are the norm and planes take off and land while proceeding in the direction of Diamond Head. Didn't run into anyone during the hike, which wasn't surprsing because of the dreary weather.
I headed up to Aiea Heights to join the HTMC on the Aiea Bisectional Trail. Rainy weather continued from the day before which probably was a factor in the small turnout--nine hikers. Novice hikes on Saturday are typcially well-attended by non-members but only one showed up--Ann Battles, a visitor from Florida who I had exchanged email with and had invited to the outing. The bisectional trail is an offshoot of the popular Aiea Loop. About 15-20 minutes up the loop trail in a grove of paperbark trees is the junction where the bisectional trail begins. From there, we descended steadily on a ridge, passing a couple of powerline towers. We bottomed out at a stream, passing a small waterfall and a tunnel on the right.
I joined the trail clearing crew of the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club for work on the awe-inspiring Pu'u Manamana trail. A dozen of us showed up on this muggy morning, including Mabel Kekina, John Hall, Kost Pankiwskyj, Charlotte Yamane, Naomi Nasu, Ralph Valentino, Jason Sunada, Paka-lolo Rorie, Jarrod Kinoshita, Mike Mottl, and Steve Poor. Mabel, John and Kost worked on the ridge that bottoms out on Trout Farm Road while the rest of us climbed up the route that overlooks Crouching Lion.
The stiffest climbing came early on, with a 1,200-foot ascent in a half-mile span putting lung and leg power to the test. I'm not sure if it was the humidity, a bug I picked up, or fatigue from a church league basketball game I'd played the night before, but I suffered during the initial ascent and felt a need to drink a lot of water. I had brought a gallon but I could already tell by the rate of my consumption that that amount wouldn't be enough.
And being dehydrated and woozy is the last thing you want when negotiating the narrow ridges and cable sections atop Manamana. But we made it okay, with Ralph being particularly helpful on the steep, cabled rockfaces. Mahalo also is extended to Naomi and Charlotte who gave me extra water they had after I ran out after lunch. Without that H20, I would probably have had to be carried off the mountain.
Paka-lolo ramrodded the group for most of the day, which was sunny early on but turned rainy in mid-afternoon when we began the steep, slippery descent of the ridge to Trout Farm Road. And yes, those knife-edged ridge sections lower down live up to their billings.
Hopefully, Paka-lolo, Jarrod, and Ralph--OHE-L members one and all--will fill in the gaps. Frankly, I'm considering taking the day off to recover from an okole-kicker of a hike.
Safe hiking to all,