OHE October 31, 1999 (Maelieli)

Date: Sun, 31 Oct 1999 19:30:16 -1000
From: Greg Kingsley (gkingsle@hawaii.edu>
Subject: Puu Maelieli, 30OCT99

Saturday's club hike with the HTMC was a short jaunt to Pu'u Ma'eli'eli (elev. 718 feet). A large crowd gathered and departed as a mass clump of hikers from Heeia State Park. I followed up the rear a few minutes after the throng disappeared into the woods just above Kamehameha Hwy.

Taking the lead of the few stragglers, I began the scramble up into the woods when a Hawaiian middle-aged couple in a pickup truck pulled up along the roadside and began calling out to us. "Trespassing" and "private property" were amongst the words yelled our way. They claimed to be caretakers for the owners of something in the shallow valley nearby. I assured them we were all staying on the ridge and not dropping down into anyone's yard. After about five minutes of haggling, they seemed to be content with our words and I resumed the hike.

I caught up with a small group of seniors enjoying a leisurely pace through the lilikoi vines, young Christmasberry, and assorted shrubs. Ahead of them was Steve Brown, one of HTMC's committee chairs, and Lyn Black. Congratulations are in order for the two as they just announced their marriaged engagement!

After a stumpy pu'u and wooded shallow rift in the hill, the trail switched from a low-lying treeline into dry forest. I caught up with the main group, here, as they shuffled single-file at a steady pace. I had no idea this was the first group as I had seen the very same model of blue car resembling the Pat-mobile at the parking lot. Thinking Paka and others were far ahead, I slipped by on the rather wide grassy trail and headed for the front (of what I thought was the "middle" group). It was apparent that several people recognized me and/or my name (even though they're not on OHE-L or in contact with me) because of my "interesting" Makapuu/Tom-Tom rock experience several weekends prior. I joked and summarized the event a little bit as I passed.

The first of the hikers were in close tow of Miles Brubacher, one of the hike coordinators. Wing Ng was there with his trademark scream-laughs. Reaching the "foot" of the main ascent to Pu'u Ma'eli'eli, a couple of hikers bypassed Miles and I followed. A myriad of well-used side trails branched off from this trail, so often that pink ribbons were a welcome sight at a junction or two.

Jennifer Rodrigues, a new addition to the OHE-L, appeared behind me as we continued to the top. We talked shop as we scrambled up the final ascent.

The actual pu'u, topped by a concerete fixture for the benchmark's non-existent triangulation sign, is cluttered with Christmasberry and other trashy non-natives. None, an herbal ingredient with medicinal value in ancient Hawaiian culture, were spotted amidst the shrubs and branches.

The two of us didn't pause for very long at the concrete "bench" and continued about 30-feet to the abandoned WWII "pillboxes". And what a pleasant reward it was for such a short hike! Standing on the concrete roof, we took in the expansive view of Kaneohe Bay - Heeia Pond to the right, Ulupau Head and the USMC base across the bay, and the Waiahole/Waikane shores to Chinaman's Hat on the left. Just behind was the morning's misty shroud hiding the peaks of Ohulehule and Kaaumakua within. Only Puu Kanehoalani was standing free of the clouds as the rest of the hikers strolled in several minutes after our arrival. It was barely 10:30 when all had arrived. It was nice to meet and talk with Fred Boll, another OHE-L member.

The return was quick and uneventful and I had a chance to get to know Dave Sanford, one of the HTMC's hike coordinators. One of the senior couples accidentally locked their keys in their car, but a coathanger and our assistance remedied the situation without harm!

A nice, short hike indeed!

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