Date: Mon, 11 Oct 1999 20:16:25 -1000 From: Ribayka@aol.com (Georgina Oka) Subject: Kualoa Campout
October 8, 9, 10, 1999
In order to allow some of our ^”virgin backpackers^‘ to become more comfortable with the idea of backpacking, a three day, two night backpack was arranged, thanks to the efforts of Carmen and Charlotte, at Kualoa ranch. Those that attended were, Carmen, Lynn Agena, Charlotte, Dayle, Patrick, Ken and a co-worker of his, Joyce who has never even been hiking before, Mark Short, his daughter Katie and Katie's friend Jenna, June, Carole, Judy, John Hall, Steve Montgomery, Ruben, Nathan, and myself.
Most of us met Friday afternoon at around 3:30pm, but didn't start hiking till after four. Since the sun sets at around 6, Charlotte switched our exit and entry routes so that we went in by a 2 mile route and would exit by the four. (Have I lost you yet?) Anyway, our two mile route took us through the log from Jurassic Park and Might Joe Young's foot prints as well as a herd of cattle that insisted on following us and numerous cow pies. Ken, Patrick and Lynne probably carried the heaviest packs, all weighing between 45 and 50 pounds.
We got to the campsite as it began to get dark. It is located up on a hill and the valley as well as the back of Ohulehule can be seen from the crest. As we finished setting up tents, Dayle and Judy came by Dayle^“s car since neither could come before then. Kim paid a surprise visit. He had to work this weekend and couldn^“t make it. He stayed for only a few moments before driving off since the roads are not well marked and it was getting rapidly dark.
There is a shelter, complete with two picnic benches and a water catchment and sink, and outhouses at our campsite. A fire pit is located outside the shelter. Our resident pyros started a fire which we later lay around and heard many of Pat's ghost stories. Among them were the man-eating pigs, and men that got rich with stolen drug money and then created PlayBoy Bunnies with stolen DNA. We had intended to use Ken's knowledge of astronomy to star gaze, but threatening clouds prevented this. S'mores were also made since Lynn, Carmen, Judy, and Mark had all brought the ingredients. Jokes and stories, funny and serious, were passed around the campfire before we retired to our tents at about 11:30. Down below us, we could hear the cows faintly, and sometimes not so faintly, mooing. All night long. (stupid cows)
Today, many of us rose before 6:00 to watch the magnificent sunrise. The sun rose behind the pali-like cliffs that towered on two sides of us with Ohulehule in the back and a lovely flat blue sea in the front. The sky in the mouth of the valley was turned gorgeous pinks and oranges. As soon as it rose above the cliffs, though, the day grew hot with little breeze. At about 7:30, Nathan arrived in his car, ready to learn everything about backpacking. After a leisurely breakfast, about 8:30 or 9:00, Charlotte led all of us, save Ken and Joyce who started later, on a fairly short hike through the valley and up in a loop over the saddle.
The hike up was hot and steep with little or no cooling breeze to bring relief. Carmen, Judy, Carole, June and I went slowly, Carmen, Judy and I picking Clydemia berries. Along with Lynn and perhaps Katie and Jenna, we had decided to go only to the top and then head back sown to a small but deep pool that was, if not exactly clean, a little more inviting than the stifling heat. However, because of promises, we did the loop, going down the "shorter" way.
At a four way junction, the group split up. Charlotte took Pat, Dayle, Ruben, Nathan, Steve and Mark down to try and get as far as they could up the south-east ridge to Ohulehule. The rest of us chose to go what we like to call the "smart" way as there are no death defying parts on that trail. John Hall separated from the group when we reached the valley floor to explore the upper road that eventually leads back to the campsite after many twists and turns. The rest of us continued down the shorter road. When we reached the pool, Carmen, Katie and Jenna continued back to camp since there lunches were at the camp. June, Judy, Carole, Lynn and I stayed under the mango tree to eat lunch. Lynn and I had picked awa puhi and had planned to wash in the river, but I though perhaps it would make us dirtier rather than cleaner. While we ate, stories about encounters with spirits were exchanged, frightening even in the day. By this time the sky had clouded over and it began to rain. The idea of a swim was abandoned but Judy used her waterbag to let us all take showers (see Dayle's picture of Mark) when we got back to camp.
First Ken and Joyce, and then all of Charlotte's group minus Pat and Steve returned. Charlotte and her group had apparently gotten to about the black rock dike, and then the rain had come, making them turn around for safeties sake. Slightly bored and tricked into thinking it was later than it was by the overcast skies, dinner had pretty much been eaten by 5:00. Pat and Steve returned shortly before that, notably missing their shirts after exploring the third trail that led around the rim of the valley. Dayle left the campout early in order to attend the club hike in Kealia.
After dinner, the pyros went to work again and a rather smoky fire (since the wood was wet) was created. Patrick proposed a "true confessions" night, but Carmen claimed that was impossible since there was no alcohol. Instead, we told more ghost stories, several about the valley we slept in. Oh fun. The sky cleared a bit more than the night before and large patches of sky were visible for star gazing. We again feasted on s'mores. We retired slightly earlier, most of us leaving at about 10:30. A shower chased the rest of the late night campers into their tents.
We woke early again and were again greeted by a pink sky. Breakfast for Lynn, Carmen, Judy and I was oatmeal with Clydemia berries. Nathan also tries some. They tasted quite good, very sweet and crisp. Ruben refused to eat them, claiming they were poisonous. Does anyone know? I don't feel sick yet. He also said the Clydemia berries sounded very unappetizing so the name has been officially changed by Judy to "Koolau berries".
After much argument, we had decided to try to be ready to hike out by 9:30 though some had voted for as early as 7:30 or 8:00 and some as late as nearly noon. John started off early and most of us were ready by about 9:00.
Unfortunately, Carmen grew ill, (she had had a 101 fever on Thursday) and drove out in Nathan^“s car leaving the keys with Ken who had driven out in Charlotte's truck with Joyce.
June, Carole, and I started a few minutes before the others, but took the lower road. The others took the higher road. After a bit of yelling between the two groups, we decided to go up the hill, which was a strenuous hike in itself, to join the others, even though we would end up the same place.
We walked down a dirt road for about an hour and arrived at the trail head at about 10:00. We climbed up in the breezeless heat for about another half hour before reaching the saddle. We headed down and twisted and turned around the valley for about another hour. We stopped for lunch at an open space overlooking Chinaman^“s Hat at a little before noon. Soon, we continued on into the valley. We found tremendous amounts of cat's claw on the side of the road.
Finally, we reached the main ranch. We studied the huge pig kept there and an equally a huge ostrich that some of the gang insisted on feeding by hand despite the huge beak. Best of all, out in the parking lot, was Ken with chips and salsa, and, best of all, cold soda and juice.
Afterwards, Steve, Pat, Judy, Lynn and I went to the beach to cool off after hiking in the sweltering heat. The Kualoa campout was a wonderful success filled with good times, hopefully, we can do it again.