OHE KST 2000 Day 1

From:	"Dayle K. Turner" 
Subject: HTMC KST Backpack 2000 (Day 1)

According to Tom Yoza, the theme of last year's HTMC KST backpack
was mud.  This year's theme was wind, something there was no shortage of
from beginning to end.

In addition to Tom and I, this year's group included Stuart Ball, Lynne
Masuyama, Larry Oswald, Kris Corliss, Henry Davis, Ed Gilman, and John
Darrah. The crew was a mixture of KST first-timers and those with
previous experience.  Tom, of course, was with us on last
year's trip.  And Stuart, of course, wrote "the book" featuring the
KST.  Five other folks had reserved spots for the outing but
cancelled out in the week prior for reasons ranging from injury to job 
commitments. Roger Breton, who joined us enroute last year, would do the
same this year by hiking up the Papali/Waiahilahila/Castle trails to the
KST on Sunday. Unlike last year, we'd end the trek in Waikane rather than
Wahiawa via Schofield.  Similar to last year, we began the trip up in

Except for John, who drove directly to Pupukea, we met at 7 a.m. on
Saturday morning (5/27) at the little beach park between Waiahole and
Waikane Valley Roads.  From there, we drove a mile over to Kay Lynch's
home in Hakipu'u where we left some vehicles for our post-trip
transport.  Larry, Ken Suzuki, and Dusty Klein assisted with pre-trip
transport from Hakipu'u to Pupukea.  Much thanks to them and to Kay.

After the drive along the windward coast past Kaaawa, Punaluu, Hauula,
Laie et al, we arrived at Pupukea around 8.  After readying our gear and
comparing pack sizes and weights (John, Tom, and Henry were neck and neck
for top honors with packs in the 40-45 lb range), we launched, heading out
around 8:20. The first part of the day was a 3-mile walk along a
dirt/gravel road to the head of the Koolau Summit Trail.  The road and the
first mile of the KST is the domain of the US Army, and I had a permit
allowing us access to the area in case we were questioned by military
personnel.  Except for some day hikers and early morning joggers, we saw
no such personnel on the walk up the road.

Warmed up after the road walk, we regrouped at the junction with the road
and KST, and then set off into the mountains, with some of us looking at
each other with that do-we-really-want-to-do-this? expression.  But we
were committed and off we went to see what the KST had in store for 
us.  Tom, Henry, and I were carrying walkie-talkies, and these came in
handy for on-the-trail communication.  I was attired very similar to last
year's trip except, instead of cleated Nike Sharks, I was wearing Montrail
Vitesse trail runners, which ended up working very well (for info about
this shoe, see http://www.montrail.com/shoe.asp?Id=2

One of our major concerns was drinking water, particularly at our first
night's campsite at Kawailoa.  A lack of rain in recent weeks has
created very parched conditions on Oahu, and this was evident on the KST--
drier than I've ever seen it.  So mud-deprived was it that we were able to
sail along at a pace that put us at Kawailoa nearly two hours
faster than last year.  It was amazing to be so non-dirty when we pulled
into Kawailoa. In fact, so unmuddy were we that several of us even slept
Saturday night in the same clothes we wore during the first leg.  I know
sleeping in used trail clothes sounds grotesque, but we do what we must to
minimize effort and carrying weight/bulk.  Such is life on the KST.

About 20 minutes before Kawailoa is the summit of the Laie Trail.  Henry,
Ed, John and I were the first of our group to arrive there, and just as we
plopped down for a short break, we noticed three backpackers about 150
meters makai coming up Laie.  Seeing the trio and anticipating that they
were likely bound for Kawailoa, I beckoned the others to rise and
commence heading over to Kawailoa to stake out a camping area for
our group and to scout out the questionable water supply there. I radioed
Thomas to keep him abreast of this development.

Moving fast, we booked over to Kawailoa and dropped our packs at a
clearing to the lee of a pu'u on the windward edge of a marshy area that
used to be populated by a grove of Australian tea (the grove is no more,
having been leveled by an environmental team). This was the same clearing
used by Ken Suzuki, Pat Rorie, Carole Moon, and June Miyasato on last
year's trip.

Thanks to info we received from Lorin Gill, Stuart and Pat Rorie, we
followed a trail toward the upper end of the marsh that led to a shallow
ravine that had some small pools of water in it.  Initially, we obtained
water from a murky pool at the base of a small waterfall, but Henry found
some better pools above the waterfall.  Using filters and iodine, we were
able to get all the water we needed.

As we were setting up our tents, the trio we'd seen coming up Laie arrived
at Kawailoa.  I went over to chat with them and found out that they
planned to camp out at Kawailoa that night, pack over to Poamoho the next
day, and then continue on to Schofield and exit in Wahiawa on Monday.  The
gist of our conversation led me to believe that they'd read/heard about
our KST backpack and decided to tag along with/behind our group as we made
our way along the KST.  They asked for advice, including the location of
the water source and the best place to camp, and I pointed out the H20
source we'd found and the lee side of the wooden platform puu for camping.
They thanked me and I had no other conversations with them.  I later saw
on the news that these three were rescued by an HFD chopper after going
off course in the area above Sacred Falls.  I'm not sure of the specifics,
but they might have mistakenly gone down the Castle Trail and then went
further astray after doing so.

Anyway, Saturday at Kawailoa featured plenty of wind.  Larry and Kris had
a very elaborate set-up near the top of the pu'u the rest of us were
camped behind.  In addition to their Eureka Apex XT tent, they had a tarp
staked out as a large vestibule.  While the tarp afforded good coverage
from rain, it flapped like heck in the wind.  The wind also victimized
John's tent, which was de-staked by large gusts.  Ed, Tom, Henry, and I
slept in low-profile bivy tents or tarp tents and were less effected by
the wind.  Stuart and Lynn's tent, a North Face, also fared well.

Before bedding down, we consumed our evening meal.  The menu included the
usual freeze-dried/dehydrated fare, military MRE (Henry), a grain grool
that looked like squidless squid luau (John), and sardines (me).  For
the trip, John was the hands-down winner for the most unusual food
consumption, which featured his grool, handfuls of raw water cress
eaten horse-style, and fluidless consumption of fist-fulls of vitamin
pills. Larry and Kris were well-stocked with provisions, including a flask
of rum used to spike up some hot apple cider on the cold KST nights.

Nobody reported having a particularly troublesome night sleepwise, but I'm
sure no one slept as soundly as we usually do in the comfort of our beds
at home.  A thunderstorm rocked parts of Oahu that night but we were
spared from the fury although we saw a few lightning flashes and heard 
some muffled thunder from afar.  Rain pelted us in a few short spurts but
was nothing significant.

Next:  Day 2--Poamoho bound in the fog and wind.

Return to OHE top | Return to Oahu Hike Tales | Email Dayle