For the last couple of weeks, I have been plagued by a low-grade fever. You know the type--well enough to function, but just no energy. Last week Sunday, I dragged myself up Aihualama and over to Manoa Cliffs/Tantalus Drive. The original plan was to head up Puu Ohia, but no umph. Strange weather. Some parts of the trail was bone dry, and at other times, the rain pounded you. Met only a few hikers--the rain (& thunder) kept most people away. White ginger & red lehua blooming now.
On Saturday I meandered across the valley to Puu Pia. It has been years since I've been up there (usually I skip it to go up Kolowalu). Puu Pia used to be covered with beautiful Koa trees, but (as in other places on Oahu) something is killing them off. I was pleasantly surprised to find that some of the Koa survived the onslaught. The uluhe was making a comeback (the two-spotted leaf-hopper killed off most of the uluhe up there). And, the naupaka looked pretty happy. Last time I was up there, everything was dead & dying. My heart happy, I sat down & listened to music drifting up from Paradise Park & scanned the Manoa hillsides for hikers.
Sunday I gave Jim a call. I felt well enough for a short hike (ie. without slowing them down too badly). He decided on Kaneohe. We started off at Kawaewae Heiau -- the place where Olopana (king of Oahu) tried sacrificing Kamapua'a (Olopana was killed -- he wasn't wise enough to have enlisted Gene R.'s help) The trail past the heiau was a bit overgrown but easy to follow. We made it to the ridgeline fine--especially w/the help of ropes (mahalo person who put them there!). The ridgeline was very easy--a bit of cooling rain made it better. The highlight of the hike was looking over to Haiku & seeing beautiful, multi-tiered waterfalls coming down the Pali. We left the ridgeline to make a really fast exit at the Friendship Garden -- the rains that caused the waterfalls on the Pali were headed our way. Too bad. I do enjoy meandering around the Garden. Next time! :-)
Thanks for the write-up, Mae.
The trail from behind Kawaewae heiau to the top of the ridge was hammered out by HTMC guy Doug "Dusty" Klein, who probably left the ropes, too. Dunno if he's done much work on the trail lately. The last time I was up there, probably a couple months ago, it was getting overgrown.
I did some work on the trail that leads from the ridgetop above Friendship Garden (which is near the end of Kokokahi Place) to the highpoint above the ridge above Kawaewae. That whole ridge system is unnamed on any maps I have; accordingly, I call it Kokokahi Ridge.
Had an interesting encounter with a "spirit dog" while working on the trail. Even wrote a piece about it and posted it to my Oahu Hike Tales website.
Mae didn't mention this, but the ridge also is home to the "C" rock--well known to Kaneoheans--where a couple generations of kids from Castle High have slapped some white paint on a rockface to honor their alma mater. Right by the "C" rock is a fenced-in cell phone site. On a couple occasions while working on the trail, I ran into guys from Honolulu Cellular working at the site (they were choppered in). They told me they rarely saw anyone hiking along the ridge and were quite surprised to see me there and even more curious about why I was hacking away at bushes up there with my machete. Just gotta know the feeling, I suppose :-)
I should also mention that it's possible to hike the ridge all the way to the new veteran's cemetery behind Hawaiian Memorial Park. For part of the way, the trail leaves the ridge and follows an old dirt road that is part of the quarry complex on the Kawainui Marsh side of the mountain. Kinda interesting if you haven't been up there before.