OHE October 18, 1999 (Kawainui Stream)



Date: Mon, 18 Oct 1999 15:25:20 -1000
From: Patrick Rorie (prorie@k12.hi.us>
Subject: Gently Flowing Kawainui Stream

Performing a mutiny of sorts, a significant number of regular HTMC trail clearers decided to join MEL YOSHIOKA and a handful of Sierra Club folks to clear the Kawainui Stream Trail in the Leeward Ko'olau Range above Hale'iwa. The "rebels" included LYNN AGENA, KEN SUZUKI, CAROLE MOON, JUNE MIYASATO, JAY FELDMAN, THOMAS YOZA, BILL GORST, STEVE MONTGOMERY, GREG KINGSLEY, DOUG KLEIN, SANDY KLEIN and myself. Also among the group, the usually jovial LESTER OHARA.

We met in famous Hale'iwa Town on O'ahu's northshore in an open dirt area at 8 a.m. this past Sunday, a magnificent day weatherwise (trades 10 to 20 mph, an abundance of blue sky and sunshine). After MEL felt everyone had arrived, he gave brief instructions, and a small caravan of vehicles proceeded under the Hale'iwa Bypass to a gate where a guard waited to check us in. From the gate the convoy continued inland for about 7 miles, DOUG KLEIN'S Saturn leading the way. We parked in a dirt lot less than half a mile beyond Palama Uka Camp, reassembled, and in classic Sierra Club style counted out loud, our party numbering twenty all together.

Continuing on foot, we descended steeply along Pa'ala'a Uka Pupukea Road. Once at the Kawainui trailhead, each member of the group removed his/her cutting implement and headed into the woods around 9 a.m. Due to access problems, the footpath sees far less hiker traffic than in the past. As a result, quite a bit of work needed to be done - lantana, guava, Christmas berry, and palm grass falling victim in our effort to clean the trail of overgrowth.

Further ahead, we discovered a plentiful supply of ripe (red) mountain apples and almost everyone in our party partook of nature's bounty. After crossing a small side stream, ATOMMAN KIMM took KEN and THOMAS on a side trail to show them a tree containing basketball shaped jack fruit probably weighing twenty pounds each. Amazed by the size of the specimens, botonist SUZUKI exclaimed "Awesome!".

Pressing on, we improved a short section through uluhe fern before dropping down and fording Kawainui Stream for the first time via a stone dam (ten more crossings would take place in route to the normal terminus of the hike). Encountered clidemia and more lantana beyond the dam but the pesky weeds were no match for the veteran crew.

Following another steam crossing, BILL GORST and a few of the Sierra Club dudes, as well as LESTER OHARA and KEN SUZUKI did outstanding saw work on the hau alleviating much of the pain associated with maneuvering (ducking) through the tangle.

A few minutes past 10:30 a.m. CAROLE MOON, GREG KINGSLEY and I reached the large circular pool that makes the Kawainui hike so special. MEL had already taken a refreshing dip and I did not hesitate to jump in myself wearing only a shirt and red speedo! STEVE MONTGOMERY and LYNN AGENA watched as I swam to the other side of the pool upstream until the waterway became shallow. Out of sight of the others, I walked along the bank to a spot where the stream flows around/between several boulders wedged together. I sat down under the natural jacuzzi, closed my eyes, and gained pleasure from the soothing therapeutic action of the current. Later, while sitting on a boulder warming up in the sunshine, I observed two of the Sierra Club dudes approaching from the circular pool but only one of them decided to try the jacuzzi.

Eventually, I returned to the pool. As I emerged from the water and rejoined the group at the pool's edge, JAY FELDMAN, incredibly jealous of my awesome body and youthful appearance (compared to his... uh, perhaps I shouldn't go there!) commented, "Patrick, I'll pay you five bucks to put your pants back on". CAROLE MOON, on the other hand, shouted "Take um off! Take um off!". :-)

The trail clearers finished consuming lunch and enjoyed the beautiful surroundings, the green and light yellow (the leaves of the kukui trees) heavily vegetated slopes of the gulch contrasting nicely with the deep blue almost entirely clear sky above, gentle trade wind breezes and lots of sunshine. Also visible nearby, many 'ohi'a lehua with their red blossoms.

I could have spent the rest of the afternoon there but a few minutes beyond 12:30 p.m. members of our party began the return leg, and I reluctantly departed myself before 12:45 p.m. bringing up the rear accompanied by JAY FELDMAN and LYNN AGENA. On the way back, some did touch up work on the trail while others harvested more mountain apples. I hiked as slowly as possible lingering at especially scenic locations until ATOMMAN prodded me to keep moving. The last of us emerged from the trail and accomplished the road walk up to our vehicles by 2:30 p.m. We enjoyed each other's company and sodas MEL provided but certainly missed MABEL KEKINA'S ono grinds.

Notes: STUART BALL writes "The circular pool at the end is the most beautiful one on the island. It is also one of the largest and is great for swimming."*

On Sunday, October 31, the Sierra Club will conduct the Kawainui hike lead by MEL YOSHIOKA and ATOMMAN KIMM. MEL told us that 1000s of dollars worth of crops have been stolen recently from farmers in the area, thus the reason for a security guard and more gates. With access almost completely cut off from Kawainui and the fact that reserving Palama Uka Camp is no guarantee (just ask LESTER OHARA), I strongly recommend those of you on this list that love Kawainui like I do to make it a point to attent the hike on the 31st.

REFERENCES

* Ball, Jr., Stuart M. THE HIKER'S GUIDE TO O'AHU. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1993.

== Paka


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