Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Modern technology has come to the point where we can forsake many goals and objectives, especially those that took effort and desire to accomplish and achieve. We can now look at pictures that other people took of places, and "imagine" ourselves in that spot. We can listen to podcasts, streaming audio, and MP3s for a musical fix. We manipulate artwork and pictures from online resources to "place" ourselves in a situation that, truth be told, we were not really a part of in the first place. In fact, you probably came here to read up on one of the hikes you're interested in, and, you may not even be interested in seeing some of the things we've seen. But we can transport you there in our tales.
The "Eddie" is a worldwide phenomenon. People from all over the world come to this event, and they get to taste a slice of something that really came from Hawaii, surfing. And this contest is no ordinary contest: it's a BIG wave contest that only a select few surfers are invited to, and it doesn't happen every year. The rules are so stringent, that Waimea Bay needs to have precise wave measurements and solid clear weather for it to be conducted. Over a 25 year span, the contest has only run 7 or 8 times!
The prestige gained by winning this event I would imagine takes a surfer to new heights of notoriety. In fact, I had four different people alone today ask me to identify Bruce Irons, the last winner of the Eddie. I'm pretty sure Bruce really hasn't won as many titles as say his brother Andy or Kelly Slater, but because he won it last time, many people were pulling for him and had great expectations of him. (I must say that he did pretty well in my opinion, he rushed some pretty big monsters when he was out there.)
But to be honest, the thing that impressed me the most about this whole Eddie experience was the whole thing in general. The gestures I witnessed and the "aloha" that was shown made me so proud to be HAWAIIAN! Chinese BU and myself spent two nights out at Waimea, hoping to catch a glimpse of this once in a lifetime event. Everything I saw proved to me how positive Hawaii can be and the impact we can have on people around the world. I met people from Brazil, Connecticut, Tahiti, Japan, New York, Arizona, and probably some other places as well. Each was in a different situation throughout the two day experience, and each was in a very normal human interaction. The guy from Brazil wanted water, so I gave him some. He later ended up helping a local kid get his lost slipper from over the rocks. The couple from Connecticut asked to use the tent I was under for shade for their infant, and of course I said yes. They were happy and talked story with me for a bit about the contest. The guy from Tahiti (he was wearing a Teahupoo shirt, so he may or may not be from Tahiti. He kinda looked Tahitian) needed help carrying his bike over some rocks on the path. He gave me a big shaka and "Mahalo Cuz!" The Japanese Couple wanted to go to the toilet, and one of the neighbors let them use the one in their house. The New York guy needed help with parking, introduced himself to Chinese BU, then invited us to his art show in Haleiwa later this week. And the two local guys and the guy from Arizona helped me break down my tent when I had to go.
News reports claim that there were possibly 30,000 people that went to the Eddie over the entirety of the day, and this doesn't include the previous days. The majority were Hawaii residents, but there was absolute representation from all parts of the globe. I have complete faith that Aloha was demonstrated time and time again. I'm not silly to think that it was all Pono, but I know good will was in force, from many locals, myself and Chinese BU included. And in my humble opinion, that is what truly makes the Eddie special.
You can't really appreciate the massive power of 40 foot waves from your TV or Computer screen. You need to see it, feel the sea spray, and gaze at the panorama for yourself. You can cheer for your favorite surfer from work or the comfort of your sofa, but it was a whole other thing to see the whole Bay (and I mean, EVERYONE watching the contest, at the beach, from the lookout, from the road) stand in unison to cheer for Slater when he caught that Monster wave all the way in (one of my actual favorite surfing moments today: the most decorated surfer of my generation getting huge love for his efforts. The roar from the crowd almost, ALMOST, drowned out the the roar of the surf.) And I know this: you can't experience the Aloha from everyone there unless you get involved for yourself.
I'm not condemning anyone who could not go. There are always priorities in our lives that we need get done at certain times that are non-negotiable, the most notable being work and schooling. I will never argue against those vital precepts of life. What I am advocating is that if there is even the slightest chance to get to see this event in your life, make the necessary plans that you have to to get there for yourself, if possible. Trust me, having to trade with someone at work is something I don't regret in the least. Completely worth it. Hey, we met this teacher who called in sick today!
And here comes the tie-in to our page: you have to get out there for yourself if you really want to find out what something is like. The Eddie, just like hiking, is not meant to be watched from a computer or TV. Get out and do it for yourself. Find out the true meaning of Aloha. Remember, Eddie Would Go!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
So forgive us for not keeping up, it's been a pretty busy time, and other things have gotten in the way of us getting out into the wilderness. But we were finally able to get ourselves going with another waterfall hike, one that we tried before but really couldn't find. Unfortunately, the weather and our previous experiences led us not to get to the end of this hike as well. Let me fill you in:
We seriously wanted to get to a waterfall we hadn't done before. Koloa fit the bill, and everything we had read led us to make that call on Sunday. However, it had rained the previous night, and we were well aware of the overcast skies and the potential for another Kaipapau experience, being that Koloa was a gulch, and a stream that you needed to cross over 20 times before getting to the waterfall. But knowing our need for the adventure, we trekked forward anyway.
Directions? Park at the beach park just past the mall in Hau'ula on your right. Walk towards PCC until you see the white mansion. Across the street, Mauka side, you should see a dirt road that leads towards the mountains. Follow it until you get to the chain link fence. Go over it and head on up. There are two signs: the first one on your left describes the trail and the different plants you can find. It also tells you to get a permit from Hawaii Reserves (something we didn't have, but will fix for next time). The next sign on your right is actually a plaque. It a tribute to Jonathan Taylor, a Scout that lost his life on the trail, because of a flash flood. He would have been 26 if he were alive today.
That gave us all the info we needed about the dangers that are possible. Not that we needed reminding, given our own previous experience. But it led us to be very cautious, so much so that we had two "sleepers" ready in case something bad happened. We use "sleepers" as people who phone for help if we don't contact them by a certain time. Good policy for all of you to follow.
In the beginning, the hike is very similar to Laie and Malaekahana. You have to gain the ridge line, making your way past dirt, Ironwoods, Strawberry guavas, and knee high grass. However, the cutoff point down to the gulch is significantly shorter to get to than the other two. The left goes up the ridge, the right goes down to the gulch. After making your way down to the valley floor, it's time to start crossing streams.
This is where we stopped and looked at the water. I must admit that it was very beautiful and tempting, but I was in no mood to have to fight another rushing wave of water, just because I wanted to get to the end and see the falls. The first river crossing was at least shin high from the previous night's downpour, and that was good enough for both of us. We both reread the Ball book, as well as Kaleo's write-up on my Blackberry, and we determined that it was better if we just enjoyed the view, and made our way back. If we were lucky, we could catch the surf meet at Sunset.
I know Chinese BU would like to do the hike again to the finish, most likely during a drier month than November. I most certainly want to see it, but I think I've grown a little more wiser in my old age. I got too much Hiking to do before I die, too many things I want to see. I know I'll get another chance.
BTW, Rock Climbing was cool. Maybe Chinese BU will post some pics from that. Peace!
Monday, October 26, 2009
Tu Bu Pa'ina is making the move to join Oahu's oldest and most established hiking club, the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club, better known as HTMC. Their membership include the most knowledgeable people you'll find in regards to those secret, unheard of trails that exist on Oahu, as well as the Neighbor Islands. It really becomes a no-brainer to join their organization if you are enthusiastic about hiking as we are here at Tu Bu.
In order to join their club, you need to do three (3) hikes as a guest with them during a twelve (12) month span before you can apply for membership. So, I made the call to Mr. Wil Kawano, the hike coordinator for Kulana'ahane, a ten (10) mile hike in Moanalua Valley to a nice overlook of Haiku. Titled Kamana Nui on the HTMC website, Wil gave us the lowdown on the hike and what we needed to do, and looked forward to meeting us.
The first thing I noticed was the amount of people coming on this hike: LOTS of them. And the amazing thing about this was the majority of the hikers were members of the club. In fact, I noticed only two other names next to mine and Chinese Bu's name on the Guest List. What a positive sign about the club: active membership! The other thing I immediately liked was the amount of names I recognized at the briefing before the hike. There were many names mentioned that I had read about online from various sites, as well HTMC hike coordinators besides Wil.
Now, I'm the first to admit that I'm still trying to get myself back into reasonable shape so I can attack many of these trails. I must share with all of you, HTMC members consider hiking their religion. They are some of the best in-shape people I've met, they know historical facts about the hike, and they're extremely helpful. They are also alot older than me and Chinese BU, and I was quickly corrected when I kept using last names to address them. Always first names I was told with a laugh!
The hike itself starts out on a dirt road through the old Damon Estate in the back of Moanalua Valley. The best thing about this is the various historical sites you encounter along the road. I think the HTMC gang realized pretty quick that I was into that type of stuff and engaged me in conversation about stories of the valley and Pu'u Keahi a Kahoe. And one of the gentlemen (I forgot his name) was well versed in Sites of Oahu, and I had a great long talk with him about the valley.
After a two (2) mile walk along the road, you come upon a Na Ala Hele sign that marks the beginning of Kulana'ahane. You start crossing the left fork of Kamana Nui Stream multiple times, walking through an excessive amount of Hau tangle along the way. Of course we noticed the stream and got excited to find a good water hole to dip in. There were no good jumping spots, but there were decent dunking spots along the way. After all the stream crossings, the final challenge awaits.
It's not really that far in terms of distance, and I've done steeper hikes, but the final push up the mountain was tough. The main reason for that was because it was a muddy mess with not many solid footholds in several sections. I realized that I should've been ahead of everyone else, because you could tell that everyone had slipped as well and trampled the trail into mush. It just took a little longer than I thought, but it was still great to get to the top and enjoy the view. Everyone on top was happily enjoying their lunch, and gave me some smiles and thumbs up. Yes, I felt very special.
The return trip was honestly kinda boring. I did the whole butt slide thing down the muddy ridge. We took a dip at a nice little swimming hole at one of the stream crossings, cleaning all the excessive mud off the legs and body. We trudged back slowly, taking pictures of the various cool things we encountered, and talking story with more of the members. We ran into a pig hunter in a Nissan truck trying to find his hunting dogs. We got some great pics of the Petroglyph rock. And then we finally arrived back at the park, ready to wash off and head home.
Well, one hike down, with two more to go. We haven't decided yet which one to do next with HTMC. We'll look at their schedule and find another suitable one to jump on with them. Both of us appreciate the help we got from HTMC, and we can't wait to gain membership into this venerable club. See ya later and catch you on the next hike.
A Great View Of Pu'u Keahi a Kahoe
Hawaiian BU all tuckered out at the top with Haiku in the backPetroglyphs on the rock.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
This is possibly my most favorite waterfall on this island, by far. There are many waterfalls that you can go to, discover how wonderful it is, and then share it with others. The only thing about that is that pretty much all of those waterfalls can be found in several different literary publications and online resources. Waiakeakua is written about, but you really got to search for it and be able to decipher the route on your own with your own skills. The first time I ever did the route, I had just graduated high school, and I was told through my family about this secret waterfall that I needed to find. Mind you, this was before the advent of this wonderful technology called the Internet, so all I had to go on was the basic instructions given to me. Let's just say that the first time I did it with my friends, we went the wrong way for over an hour and a half, and I hate going the wrong way. The most confusing thing about the hike was the fact that there were really no ribbons that marked the path to the falls. There are ribbons you could've followed, but they just marked trails that lead upward, or to another area. When we finally got there, the only way I was sure was to take this old picture that I had from the family archive and match it up. I must tell you, Waiakeakua has some of the most refreshing water that Oahu generates, and its COLD!
Basically, I didn't really give you any directions to the place, nor do you know where on the island it is from this description. I honestly hope that you are willing to earn it like I did. Do the research for this hike. Find someone that knows about it and can help you. I do this because I believe that it is worth the effort to get to this place. Read the legend about Kane and Kanaloa like I did. Look at BWS maps like I did. You will see for yourself how special this place really is when you visit. Hopefully, this will translate into you having a healthy respect for Waiakeakua, and having the feeling of true stewardship for the land.
Chinese BU and I led the Atherton students on this hike today. This group has demonstrated time and again that they respect the land, and understand the importance of the places we visit. I'm thrilled to report that they absolutely fulfilled what I expected from them. They enjoyed the experience and most of them agree that this could be one of the best adventures we've gone on this semester. Chinese BU had taken Dawn with him a few months ago and wrote about it here. (Ooooh, he may have left some details in that write-up) He didn't go as far as he wanted last time, but today, he took some of the squad up the falls and then some.
The trail had an abundance of mountain apples, and they were ripe and juicy. The ginger was also in full bloom, as were the mosquitoes. The students also had a good time taking pictures of the junked cars on the path as well find multiple excuses to dip in the water at the nearby stream. If you are into walking into a native Hawaiian Rainforest, this is the hike for you. The plants you discover along the path is numerous and exquisite.
I'm always thrilled to visit Waiakeakua. The place will always hold an esteemed place in my hiking heart. I wish you well if you decide to take on the quest of finding it. If we trust you and like you enough, maybe we'll take you too one day. Take care everyone and hopefully Chinese BU puts up the new pics from the top of the falls.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
So I guess we did get in a new hike this weekend. The original plan was to take the teenagers up the Crystal Canyon and spend some time on top of the Waianae Mountain Range with them. However, people had some reservations about us taking the teens climbing with ropes, so they made us change the plans to something more acceptable to their wishes. The only logical choice we had was to take the crew up the Kealia trail, located a stone throws away from Camp Erdman behind the Dillingham Airfield. All of the higher-ups were more satisfied with this plan, especially since it was a nice wide trail that 5th graders had done previously. Even though, they still made sure to send Camp staff with Chinese BU, brother Mitch, and me to ensure that all went according to the plan.
Kealia is a one hot hike. It's a whole bunch of switchbacks that zig-zags up the side of the mountain, periodically providing some excellent views of the Mokuleia Coastline. There is not much nature to speak of as you progress up the mountainside, aside from a few trees here and there at the beginning of the hike. You discover this hidden pond located behind the airstrip that you have no clue is there from the main road. It looked very green, so I'm not sure me and Chinese BU are going swimming there. You also get to see all the prop planes taking off from the airstrip, dragging gliders behind them on a slow, steady upward ascent.
And that's the basic idea for the hiker as well. You keep climbing up the switchbacks until you eventually get to a covered picnic bench (?) bordering an Ironwood grove. This ended up being where we stopped, mostly because of our timeframe and the added troops to the hike roster. Chinese BU and myself most definately wanted to continue exploring past this point, but we had bigger responsibilities and ended up doing the right thing by the teens that had joined us. Honestly, there were a lot of ideas that we had (Trust me, nothing bad or dangerous, just exploratory, I promise) and we knew the teens with us would have been down for the ride, but we both made the good choice.
We also got to do something up there that we had never done previously. We were able to sit down with the teens under the Ironwoods and share some positive ways that we were looking to make changes in our lives. With a big assist from Mitch, we discussed about making improvements with yourself, thus allowing people around you to find ways to improve themselves, which leads to growth and positive changes for all. It was awesome, being able to share this type of stuff with the Teens. We need to do that again!
I would do Kealia again, but only because I want to go past the bench and get to Makua Valley. I imagine that there are many unexplored secrets to be discovered up there, especially the path that leads to the top of Crystal Canyon. Many other ideas come to mind, but I'm alright for now and look forward to future opportunities. Hopefully, Chinese BU took some good pics.
BTW, gotta give some love to Kaleo Lancaster. He took on Piliwale, and left with some pretty major battle scars. I know that won't stop him and his crew from continuing their Island Trails crusade. Do me a favor and go visit his blog. His stuff is mean! Can't wait to read his write-up about Piliwale.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
The original plans we had mapped out for today was to tackle Koloa Falls, mostly because Chinese BU was looking forward to some water after his trip from LA. Honestly, I flaked on doing enough research on this hike, but we ended up finding the location to not only Koloa Falls trailhead, but to the secret PCC falls that we had read about from several websites. I also think we were hesitant from the excessive rain that had come down the previous night in Laie, and of course, Kaipapau was fresh in our minds. This led us to come up with an alternative to spend our Sunday. With the upcoming Teen Camp that we are both attending at Camp Erdman, we decided to investigate Crystal Canyon, especially since we were both put in charge of leading it due to our "hiking guys" status.
Before we continue, some clarifications are needed. I consider myself to be a hiker, not a mountain climber. Chinese BU is down to do whatever I think, yet has no real experience climbing mountains. We are both pretty capable of finding paths up mountains when it's a designated trail, even if it's steep. If you are unfamiliar with Crystal Canyon, it requires a short hike to the base of the Waianae Mountain Range from Camp Erdman. When you get there, that's when the challenge begins. The path is an old dried up waterfall that needs to be climbed with the aid of ropes anchored to trees at the top of each flat level. There are many levels that need to be climbed, some not that steep with many footholds, and some that are sheer rock faces, with minimal to no footholds to speak of. And we decided to explore this thing and see how far we could get, thus having an idea of what we would encounter this coming Saturday with the teens
I think we made a good choice climbing this thing, because we learned a lot from this task. The first rope climb is no problem. The second rope climb is about 2 stories high and fairly flat on the way up. There is this maze of banyan roots that makes its way down the wall. With the roots and the added rope, you should make it up no problem. However, I kept praying that the roots and the rope would support me that whole way up. I'm a bigger guy and always wonder about this whenever we do a climb. I'm not really that afraid of the height: it's whether or not the support system will stand up and give me what I need to get up. And I really didn't trust the rope. It was one of those lines that mountain climbers use to scale mountains. I know it can support my weight, but I didn't like the fact that it had no knots to help a brother out. We're bringing our own rope this Saturday.
There was a small section to be climbed with the aid of a rope (not that difficult) which led to the next challenge. The fourth one is fairly manageable when you have a partner tell you where the footholds are. I'm so happy Chinese BU got good eyes and told me where each one was. He's a great hiking partner. The main thing we've developed during our hiking time together is a trust in the judgement of each other to make the right call. This was another rope I didn't like because it had no knots.
If I remember correctly, the next series of ropes requires you to cross over a thin ledge holding on to the rope while being accomplished. You must then gradually ascend the right side wall of the mountain with the aid of ropes that have been anchored to the rock wall with rock climbing pins. You need to remain absolutely focused during this portion because the footholds are not that wide, and you must use a swinging maneuver to get to a ledge to your left. I was okay with these ropes, yet I didn't feel like falling either. After safely navigating this test, the next big workout starts right out.
You are presented with two ropes: one the mountain climbers use, and one that is used to moor tug boats to a dock. Needless to say, we both used the big guy. And, you need to climb up nearly 4 stories with this guy. There are some decent footholds along the way, but there are some other parts that it's just you, and that big rope, and flat rock. Truthfully though, I had more confidence in this rope: It had nice big knots to help you out, and I knew this one had no problems supporting me. Even though this ascent is longer than the second, I liked it better and felt more secure. When I got to the top of this level, I saw how well anchored the rope was, and it made me even more confident.
Well, that's about all the joy we got for the day, because the next rock face to be climbed was an absolute monster. At least six to eight stories tall, by my estimate, considering what we had done previously and had been able to look back down upon. And there was no normal rope to help this time, just mountain climbing rope. Plus there was this family that was trekking up, loaded with carabiners and ascenders and rope and children! I was impressed, but we both knew that this was where the party would end for us today. There was this side trail Chinese BU explored for a bit, but that only led to another amazing set of mountain climbing ropes and mountain climbing guys.
Can we take the Teens up here? I think we need to seriously evaluate each of them and see what they can take. I think it's doable up to that point with the right equipment and the right minded individuals. I'll tell you, I'm tired right now, like we just did a 7 mile + hike or something, most likely because I used many more muscles today than normal. But I'm glad we did this beforehand.
This week, we're taking Chinese BU's middle schoolers to Hamama Falls. Should be fun. Also, we're camping this coming weekend, so we probably wont have any updates next weekend. Take care and happy hiking.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
I debated about posting this, but I ultimately felt that it was worthy of placing here because the only way to truly experience this priceless jewel is to walk the entire way and soak in everything that makes Ka'ena special. I took the Atherton crew to investigate the one remaining untouched beach left on Oahu. I think I speak for all of them when I say that if you want to find out what it means to be a lover of natural things on this island, you must spend time at Ka'ena Point.
We took the North Shore route to get there because we decided to combo some other North Shore things with it. (Shave Ice, Shrimp, Lost, etc.) Just follow the road all the way until the end and park in the lot on the right. Be sure to bring lots of water, a hat, and some sunscreen. You could take a dip in the ocean in some spots, but unless you are familiar with the currents and are a super strong swimmer, I would recommend against it. The only possible place to safely swim is in the tidepools.
All you really need to do is follow the dirt road until you get to the blocked off gate that protects Ka'ena, where it becomes a bird and monk seal preserve. For the most part, the only people you encounter are fishermen, 4x4 vehicles, and people making the trek to Ka'ena Point. you also may want to bring some slippers with you as well because the point has a lot of sand and it would make it easier for some to continue walking.
When you enter the Point, stay on the paths! Don't be going off and trying to disturb the birds' nests. Also, if you encounter a monk seal (which we were blessed to have one in our presence) you need to stay at least 150 feet away from it. The seal we saw must have been almost 200 pounds, a big, grey hulking creature sunning himself on the rocks near the tip of the point. I think he alone made the trip worthwhile for everyone who came. Absolutely blessed!
I think the major thing that you experience when you visit Ka'ena Point is the pure mana of the place. You can see the convergence of the waves at the tip, bashing against each other and creating an amazing visual spectacle. From near the tower, you can see down the coast line of both Waianae and Mokuleia. Above you, the Waianae Mountain range looms with the Satellite Tracking station coming into view. And how could I forget to mention the Leaping place for the departed souls so nearby. Just sitting there by yourself and absorbing everything about this special place allows you to really find out what you treasure and why you treasure it.
I would recommend this walk to anyone that wants to really see what Oahu was before buildings and Burger Kings. I honestly feel transported to another time each time I make the journey to Ka'ena Point. The hike itself is not that difficult. Prepare yourself to find out what true natural, rugged beauty is when you decide to visit Ka'ena Point. It will be worth the effort to walk that long, dusty , dirt road, I promise.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Well, I was out my Favorite Chinese Buddy for the weekend, so I needed to get my Hiking fix in somehow. I figured why not get some of the college students to, ummm, plan an event. Oh you want to do a hike? Well, what type of a hike? A waterfall one you say? I have a few suggestions.
You can see how that went. Suffice to say they "picked" a hike that, lo and behold, I've never done before. And I must admit that it turned out to be a good choice for the group that I was trucking up the mountain. I know they had a good time.
There's not too much to report here for this hike, basically it's like a carbon copy of Laie Falls. You park at the same baseball field, walk the same road, until you get to the Laie Falls sign. Then you stay on the road some more until you get to a big blue Private Property sign, then go through the gate on your left. The hike reminds me of the same thing we did for Laie Falls: up the mountain towards the the main junction, encounter big stretches of dirt patches, go through the ironwoods, past Uluhe ferns, and choke Strawberry Guavas. Even the view is almost the same, just one ridge over.
The biggest difference is the path down to the falls. It's waaay longer and more treacherous than Laie. You need to be vigilant going down the mountain and maintain focus. But the reward at the bottom is pretty damn awesome. A multi-tiered waterfall to the right, and a big beauty to the left. The water was cold and a little murky, but a welcome reprieve nonetheless.
I was very happy for the students because they got the chance to get to a waterfall that was working! (Read Kalauao to find out what I'm talking about) They really like the hikes we've picked for them. Not that strenuous, but still a challenge, with a great reward at the end. I might need to change the scheduled hike out to Kaena Point with them and take them on another adventure like the previous two. Or I might not, I'm not sure yet, because I really like Kaena.
Malaekahana Falls? It was alright, it made you work hard to get to it, but not unattainable. I don't know if I would do this one again, maybe if I was on that side of the island, and I got sick of Laie Falls. I think both hikes are very similar, but at least I get to say that I did both of those waterfall hikes. Put another feather in the cap!
Oh, you guys probably figured out that I'm not a picture taking type of guy, but I will try to get some of the students pics that they have. I'll say something like we need them to file a report on the activity, or something like that. Honestly, I love this group of students I'm working with. They are hella cool!
The Hike up to Malaekahana Falls
The Coastline View
Brother Dan about to jump from the upper falls
Monday, September 21, 2009
It's been almost 7 hours since we attacked Olomana, and I'm still feeling the effects. I must admit that this one hike made me do probably the most research I've done since we started the blog. I read the Ball book 4 times last night, dissected countless web pages, poured over my Bryan's sectional map, and focused in on the Site of Oahu Book. It was important to get it right, so that my mind was in the right state. In fact, I woke up at around 1:30 AM (after crashing at 9:30) and couldn't get back to sleep for another hour and a half.
The Matterhorn of Oahu. 3 distinct peaks solitarily located just past Luana Hills Country Club. Waiting to be climbed and share its secrets. I knew going in that the first hill to climb was the one that was going to really be the one that mattered. We parked our car at Maunawili Park and made our way towards the access road towards the Country Club. Only later did we realize that you could park much closer (Next Time). The guard at the front gate was very polite and gave us some positive reinforcement. After about a half mile walk on the road, we got to the sign that marked the beginning of the trail.
As I suspected, the first hill was the hardest hill to conquer because you need to gain 1600 feet just to reach the first peak, called Olomana. Not necessarily a lot of ropes to deal with (a few here and there on the way up) but just having to truck up all that way is really lung-busting and calf-burning. Reaching the peak of Olomana is already a victory in itself. And the reward at the top is unparalleled anywhere else on the island.
Imagine being able to have a 360 degree view of everything that makes Windward Oahu special: Makapu'u Lighthouse, Waimanalo, Lanikai, Kailua, Keolu Hills, Enchanted Lake, Mokapu, Kaneohe Bay, Chinaman's Hat, Mauanawili, Konahuanui, The AG land in the back of Waimanalo. You can see all of that from there, no problem. And if you're lucky to have a clear enough sky like we did, Molokai and Lanai come into view as well. I'm so happy I invested in some binoculars!
We also found the cache located at Olomana Peak and added some flavor of our own. If you want to find out what it is, I guess you're going to have to haul yourself up there like we did. Of course the next order of business for Chinese BU and myself was to make the next peak, Pakui. I called my Mom to tell her where I was, and of course she had questions. I did the best I could to answer all of them as well as Dad's questions since Mom put him on speakerphone. I love sharing with my parents about the adventures we go on. I feel like I do them proud and maintain the hiking heritage they instilled in me.
Now the second peak was about all I wanted to get to, but I didn't really know why. Call it a feeling more than anything else. The background info I read all say that the most difficult portion of the hike is the descent from the second peak (Pakui) to the saddle so you can reach the third peak (Ahiki). Chinese BU couldn't wait to tackle the rope section, and I was down to track him from Pakui. I was trying to overcome what I thought was fear and will myself to the third peak, but there was a strong voice in me that said that the time was not right for me yet. I don't know if you believe in that stuff, but I've always trusted that little voice we all have. It's never steered me wrong.
We made the second peak and I knew I needed to call my Mom for more info. I sat down under the tree overlooking the descent to the third peak and followed Chinese BU with my Binos. While I did that I called my Mom. I told her where I was and the name of the peak I was on, Pakui. Almost immediately, she reshared a story she had told me before but now made so much sense to me. Mom and all my Aunties had made a pilgrimage to a very sacred Heiau on Molokai. In fact, they had to truck up this huge hill, make some offerings, and ask permission to enter. What they experienced there I will not share here. Let's just say it was intense. Oh and the name of this Heiau- Pakui. I looked back towards Molokai, then realized that most likely, Hawaiians somehow had linked that sacred luakini Heiau, to this amazing peak. Mom also shared with me that there is another Heiau by the name of Ahiki (the name of the third peak) but she wasn't sure where it was. It was at that point that I realized that I need to journey to Molokai and see what I need to see at this heiau, get whatever it is I need to accomplish, then I can continue to the next peak. It was a big revelation for me.
By the way, Chinese BU is part Billy Goat! That guy absolutely flew up the third peak like nothing. I was watching him while talking to Mom, and I couldn't believe his progress. That guy got no fear! I'm thinking he'll be joining Kaleo and his crew before too long for some of their unreal hikes. I was keeping everyone updated on Twitter and Facebook (good job Blackberry!). He's the man!
After he returned, we made our way back to the first peak, relaxed for a bit, then started the long trek down the hill. I had some regrets not joining him, but now I know that I have a purpose, and I need to accomplish something before I can complete this hike. I think the best thing about this hike is the first peak. The view is spectacular, and you deserve applause for getting to it. However, I know that I need to complete this hike all the way to the third peak, after visiting that Heiau on Molokai. Anybody wanna go sometime soon?
By the way, I hope Chinese BU shares his thoughts on the hike, since he made the third peak. He claims to have some good video to share with all of us. I'll be waiting.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
I really have no idea what to title this thing, because technically, we were on five (5) hikes today that combined together allowed us to re-familiarize ourselves with some well-known trails as well as prep for future adventures. After yesterday's hike to Kalauao, I stayed up late hanging out with the Atherton students and went to bed at about 2:30. Got up at 6:45 and met my friend Alton for some football (my old Sunday tradition). Then made my way back to Atherton to meet up with Chinese BU. We were not sure what to do for today, so I figured why not hit up Tantalus and all the great trails there. I knew Chinese BU was in a serious hiking mood, and that he wanted to hit a waterfall or swimming hole. So I came up with a proposal to do Pu'u Ohia, connect to Pauoa Flats, spend some time at the Nuuanu Overlook, retrace back to Nuuanu Trail, connect to Judd Trail, then finish off at Jackass Ginger. Of course he was down.
We set up his car at the Jackass Ginger pool, then headed up in my car to Tantalus and the Pu'u Ohia trailhead. (One small tidbit before we continue: as I was driving down old Pali Road, right before the church on the right, to get to Tantalus, I saw this older man in his sixties or seventies walking on the street with a bamboo pole. More on him later) The hikes that extend around this area are some of the finest trails on the island, and my family used to spend AMAZING amounts of time investigating all the trails in the area. You could say it was where I was taught about hiking and the seeds of this urge were planted. I was very excited to visit the old stomping grounds. Chinese BU had never been on any of the trails, so he was eager to explore.
Both of us work for the YMCA, so naturally we talk about work when we hike. Chinese BU works with Middle Schoolers, while I work with College Students. We were sharing experiences hiking with our groups, and future places we could possibly take them. I told him that Tantalus is a great place for his kids, and that we can investigate more another time. I already took his kids up Pu'u Ohia before, and showed him the various side trails and where they lead.
We got past the Telephone Relay Tower and had our first glimpse of Nuuanu, and naturally we focused on Konahuanui. Yep, that's on the radar, and hopefully we can get to it sometime in the near future. We headed down towards the junction of Pauoa Flats and noticed massive amounts of the vegetation chopped off for no apparent reason. Anybody know why they do this? We passed the Manoa Cliffs Trail, and got to the sign with all the trails. This is like the meeting spot for all the hikers. Consider it Nature's Intersection.
Everyone that hikes these trails intersect at these various points all along this section of the trails in Tantalus. The trails are connected from various areas and lead to this central location, Pauoa Flats Trail. We met people that came from Manoa Cliffs Trail, Aihualama Trail (from Manoa Falls) Kalawahine Trail, Nuuanu Trail (our exit point), and from Konahuanui. Each them were parked in different places, but all met up here, just like a traffic intersection. It's pretty cool. I think Chinese BU was impressed with all the different options, and I know he wants to try each one.
The plan was to get to the Nuuanu Overlook, take a break, then head back down Nuuanu trail. Guess who we see at the Nuuanu Trail Junction- that same old guy I saw on Old Pali! And I was impressed! We got to the Overlook and took some pics there, and here came Chinese BU's "rush'em" mentality. He wanted to take pictures of the top of Lulumahu Falls, but that meant going up Konahuanui part of the way. I agreed, and we made our way up. We finally got to the spot from above the Falls, and took the pics, and headed back to the Overlook.
When we got back, we took a break and I looked at my phone. There was full bars of reception, something that doesn't normally happen when we hike. I made a comment about if we ever got in trouble somehow, we needed to get to the Overlook. Chinese BU said "from the Ninjas?" I said "yeah, the ninja pigs!" We laughed and headed back to get to Nuuanu Trail and the descent to the pool. Nuuanu Trail is probably the only trail connected to Tantalus that I have never done, I think because Mom and Dad's car were not at the bottom.
As we did this leg, I became more impressed with the old man. How in God's name did he do this so quickly? I'm not saying that he's not capable, but going up Nuuanu Trail ain't no walk in the park. I would say it's a good test for guys our age, but that old man made it up this thing in pretty quick order. The other thing that we came across was an actual pig! Chinese BU heard him first, and saw a black form in the bushes above us. I saw it's tail and it's okole. I think it heard us, but didn't see us. I told Chinese BU to run down the mountain past him. The pig made more noise , but it didn't follow us. Damn Ninja Pigs!
After connecting with Judd Trail, I was all spent and ready to get to Jackass Ginger. The pool was packed, but I didn't care. We were going for a swim, we deserved it. As I write this, I'm absolutely tired from this weekend of Hiking, and will probably sleep at least 10 hours, maybe more. If I don't answer the phone, sorry, it probably is not working anyway with all the moisture in it the past two days. A good day of hiking. If I remember correctly, I believe we are going to Olomana this coming Sunday. Oh boy, hope it don't got Ninja Pigs!
Where we started
The Relay Station on top, continue to the left
The main sign listing all the trails
Pauoa Flats sign
The Nuuanu Overlook
Nuuanu Trail Sign
Saturday, September 12, 2009
We actually did this hike a while back, and I'm going to write about that trip first so you can get a small idea of what I did today with the Atherton students I work with. Kalauao is located off of the Aiea Loop trail (yes, that Aiea Loop trail) and most people don't go to this falls, either because they don't know it exists, or they have no idea of the exact turns that they need to make to get to the bottom of the valley. And to preserve this gem, I won't go into detail here about how to get there. You'll just have to try and interpret the best you can from my description.
My sister and her boyfriend took my parents to this waterfall and of course I had to get to it, being the waterfall lover that I am. On the hike was myself, Chinese BU, and our friend Robin (Grandma!). My sister had given me pretty solid directions and we had made our way down the side ridge, but couldn't figure out which way we needed to go right, down to the valley floor. After waiting for her to call her boyfriend and get the details, we found the mango tree and headed down.
My Mom had said that it was pretty steep..and she was right about that! This descent to the valley floor was some of the most dangerous yet enjoyable hiking outing I had ever encountered. There are many different trees that line both sides of the path, sturdy enough to hold onto and make your way down the ridge. Just take your time so you don't fall head first 1000 feet to the ground. After about 25 minutes of careful zigging and zagging, we had reached the valley floor and the stream trickling by. This was where we made a big mistake by not memorizing this spot. More on that later.
We ended up going up the valley, crossing the stream several times for about a mile + more and got to this extremely impressive waterfall with a nice big swimming hole. It wasn't raging, but it had a steady flow, and you could see the potential for some massive amounts of falling water. The hole was nice and deep, and it felt like you were in an arena, with all the rock walls surrounding you and the falls right in front of you. At that point, I knew that I liked this falls and would return to visit it again.
On the return trip back downstream, we couldn't find the way up. There were several ribbons in places that looked very similar, but we couldn't decide which way was up. This is the first time I learned that Chinese BU had the "just rush'em" mentality. Him and Grandma rushed headlong up the mountain into something that kinda looked like the way up, but as you probably figured out, wasn't even close. We ended up taking almost an hour and a half just to regain the side ridge. We ran into sheer rock faces with no visible way to climb, so we had to go around. We ran into all types of tree tangle. We also came upon a patch of Strawberry guava trees. Good thing right? Wrong! This part of the mountain had loose gravel and dirt, and we kept slipping back down, lurching for branches. I tried placing my foot at the bottom of a guava tree and the thing went tumbling down the mountain. I basically pulled my groin trying to maintain balance and not join the tree on it's plummet down. And that slowed us down even more.
Eventually, we found this old Boy Scout trail that thankfully led us to the side ridge, but I was hobbling the whole way, and a pain to be with because I was so slow. I told Robin and Chinese BU that I was going down the side ridge towards the small subdivision and would meet them on the road. My leg was in no condition to keep going uphill, and it was easier going down instead of up. Both of them trucked it back towards the start of the trail, and left me to limp down to the road.
None of those problems came into play today. I had a big student group that really wants to see the "real Hawaii", and I decided to bring them here. I made absolutely sure that we found the tree, and that we all marked the bottom of the valley. The only thing that didn't go right was the falls. It was bone dry, so badly that you could see the bottom of the swimming hole. That thing is about 20-30 feet deep, depending on the water volume. The students were obviously disappointed, but they loved the hike. By the way, the proper way up only takes about 30-45 minutes with a large group like the one I had.
I still do like this falls and the hike to it. Someone from Central Oahu pray for some rain so that it gets flowing again.
PS this was before Chinese BU got into picture taking our trips, so we don't have photos from the first adventure. I'll try and get some from the students later. Peace.
The path to Kalauao
The Empty Waterfall
Sunday, September 6, 2009
So as some of you know, we had originally planned to do Pu'u Keahi a Kahoe today, using the Middle Ridge to ascend to the top of Haiku Stairs, then make our way down the stairs. However, if you saw the clouds we saw when we were in Moanalua Valley, you would realize pretty quickly why we changed course. The cloud cover stretched halfway down the valley, and we were both unwilling to risk a socked in ridge hike for all of the most dangerous parts of the hike. So it was an easy decision to try a waterfall hike, especially with the potential for added precipitation.
One of the first things that a successful group of hikers will do is research the hike they are planning to do before attempting it. Chinese BU and I were very prepared for Pu'u Keahi a Kahoe, but when that didn't occur, we started reading up in the Ball book for background info on Laie on the way there. We also utilized my Blackberry to pull up a website we were familiar with but wanted to revisit before starting the hike: Merlin and Friends. These guys started an old site that has pictures of them doing some sick hikes of waterfalls on the North Shore, including Laie Falls. They were BYUH students that were down for some serious adventures, and have the pics to prove it. I guess Merlin got married and that ended their trips, but the site is still up, so we were able to brush up on the background info.
Laie Falls can be very confusing to get to, but using both the website and the Ball book, we found the trailhead and proceed the trek up the mountain ridge. Being Sunday, no one was in Laie at 9:30 in the morning (probably at the Temple, which we will discover was instrumental at the end of the hike). We pretty much had the hike to ourselves most of the way up, except for one family that we encountered going down. They were unable to find the waterfall cutoff, and decided to head back down.
The trail itself can be very confusing at times. There are many opportunities to take side trails and alternate routes, but if you stay with the pink ribbons, you'll be alright and make your way there. One of the things we noticed about it was the excessive amounts of Strawberry guavas in bloom all along the trail. (the Olos) The trail also has many wide patches of dirt that needs to be traversed on the way up. We met the family on a flat part of the trail, with tall grass growing on either side of the path (Chinese BU's favorite portion of the hike). After they left us, we busted out the Ball book and refreshed our memory
Thank goodness for the book! I can't tell you how many times that thing has led us in the right direction. I keep telling my friends to buy their own copy, it's worth the money. With a quick peruse of the trail description we continued onward up the mountain, past the Pine Forest, and into a long stretch of Strawberry guava trees. After what seemed like a long time we finally reached the right turn to head towards the falls.
Now remember the reason we changed course today? Well, at the elevation we were at the cloud cover was starting to come in. But it gave us no trouble as we descended towards the falls. But it did lead us to a very pumped up waterfall! The falls was flowing at full capacity, and it made Chinese BU nervous. I convinced him that we didn't need to go in, that we could just take pics. So he did, and I chilled there, eating my orange. After we took pics, Chinese BU wanted to figure out how deep the pool was, and stupid me, I said I would go in and find out. This was the last thing I should have done. (Let the criticism begin!) Only when I jumped in was when I realized that I would be very cold, and I do mean very cold. The water was probably one of the most frigid things I ever experienced, it chilled me to the bones. After discovering the pool was about 8 feet deep, I came out and the cold cloud cover bit me in the butt. I was shivering!
I had left my change of clothes at the Y, and I had a damp shirt with no towel. Well, as I was shaking, I got on my shoes, put back on the wet shirt, and thought of the next move. During this time, Chinese BU was like "Hike to the Summit?" and I was chattering telling him "We need to get off this mountain!" Luckily, I had a poncho in the bag, and I threw it over myself to keep in the body heat that I generated from hiking. So we started the slow process of heading back down the mountain. And the cloud cover was not doing us any favors. You couldn't see any part of the valleys, but the trail was okay, and that was all we needed.
When we finally got away from the high elevation, I started feeling better. The poncho was working, and I was building up some heat from hiking. As thoughts of Hypothermia finally started to leave my brain, the view got better and we got a great panorama of Laie. Absolutely beautiful! I was silently praying for some blessings for my stupidity, and we ran into a whole bunch of people on the way down. There was this big group all energized to go to the falls. I told them to be careful. There was this guy riding a horse and escorting another one. Graceful creatures and they made me smile. There were these two local guys riding dirt bikes up the trail. One got his bike stuck, and we talked with them for a minute. We then ran into four people mountain biking. All of these were great signs to me that I was okay, and that it was worth the effort. The best sign waited at the bottom though.
As we were nearing the car, I saw a familiar face. It was my cousin's husband Marcus. They had just come from the Mormon Temple for the blessing of their newborn baby Sarah (I hope I spelled that right!) Anuenue greeted me with a big smile, even though I was a wet mop. Their children were running around in the lawn, and Lahela ran up and gave me a big hug. I was so thrilled to see them, and had no idea that this was where Marcus' family lived. They gave Chinese BU and I food that was delicious and water. And I got to meet Sarah for the first time. What a sweet little princess she was! Talk about blessings. It was more confirmation to me that the world is a great place indeed.
The Hike? I would do it again. Yes, I'll make sure to bring a shirt and a towel next time. It's a great hike on the North Shore. And I got some relatives at the bottom. Not bad at all I think. On the drive back, we took the Kaneohe route. As we passed Pu'u Keahi a Kahoe, we looked up and saw how socked in it was. We were both in agreement: we had made a good choice for today.
The Four Olos
The flat area (Chinese BU's favorite part)
Laie Town from the ridge
The Summit, all socked in
Chinese BU at the top of the first falls
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sorry we haven't updated in a bit, it's been a busy time for both members of 2-BU Pa'ina. We actually tried the double loop a while ago, and we never posted anything about the hike at the time. I pretty sure I speak for both of us when I tell you that Kahana Valley and all the potential hikes that you could do within a couple mile radius of this place might just make it the Mecca of hiking on Oahu (giving the trail system connected to Tantalus a great run for the money). We both knew that we wanted to explore the main valley trail first, since we love any place that links to waterfalls or swimming holes.
To get there, you need to enter the park next to the Ahupuaa O Kahana sign on Kam Highway, and drive in past the Welcome Center. You end up coming to the portion where the Native Hawaiian Families have homes, and you need to find a suitable place to park. I would recommend taking your Hawaiian friends with you if possible, that way the local people there will be willing to let you park next to their homes without giving you too much drama. Since both Dawn and I were part of this hike with Chinese BU, the neighbors were very nice and we got to park pretty darn close to the locked gate. I got to talk story with some of them, and I could tell right away that we had their blessings. I also saw a couple of the kids giving "stink eye" to some tourists. Oh well.
We walked past the locked gate up the paved road till we got to the main hunting sign. This led us to our first encounter with the wasps. I don't know what it was about that, but it felt like throughout the hike, we encountered these dangerous fliers, nearly 3 or four times on the path.
After he buzzed away, we checked out the sign and made our way on the Nakoa trail. Early on in the hike, you discover these signs posted describing the various native plants and the different designations given to each. They have really done a wonderful job of trying to reestablish the native rain forest that is so rare in our islands nowadays.
Another thing you discover early on is the views of the valley and how expansive it is. One can explore this gem for days and still find amazing things, both on the valley floor and from the ridge lines. We're saving the ridge lines for another time. We also heard the power of the stream that flows below you as you hike Nakoa. Man, we couldn't wait to get to the bottom!
We ended up coming to a junction in the trail, with many options to take. We had read Ball's description, and knew that we were doing a double loop, we just weren't exactly sure which way to take. After picture taking at the abandoned bunkers, we decided to head down to the path on the right of the bunkers. This led us almost immediately to a y junction in the bamboo forest. I made the call, and we went right, which turned out to be the right way. From the side of the ridge, you could see the stream below, which looked almost like a river instead of a stream. The whole time,we wanted to get down, but it seemed like we were going to contour the ridge forever. Thankfully, we finally hit the valley floor and made our way to the stream.
The water that flows there could possibly be some of the cleanest and clearest water on this island. It's also refreshingly cold! We chilled a bit at the first pool, ate lunch, then headed down stream. We came upon this magnificent deep pool next to a Mango tree. A Hawaiian mother and her adult daughter were swimming there, and I decided it was a good time to jump in and make friends. They were cool and gave us a good description of the valley and things to look forward to. The pool was deep enough that you could jump from the rockface bordering the backside (about 30-40 feet up). After cooling out for a bit, we left their company and headed downstream.
We found the bottom of the Bamboo forest, headed up the path, then ended up at the original junction. We were pretty confident that we had figured out the double loop, and headed down the return trip of the Nakoa trail. After meeting up with the stream again, I was very confused. The trail headed right (away from the opening of the valley) after the stream crossing. Chinese BU was in the front, and said that the path led that way. With no discernible alternative, we went with the cleared path. It was a slow uphill climb. It wasn't hard, it was just going the wrong way, and if there is one thing I don't like on hikes, it's going the wrong way. Thankfully, we encountered another junction on the trail with a sign that told us we had hit point 3 of the Nakoa trail, and that the correct path led us in the right direction towards the mouth of the valley.
We took this path all the way back down towards the stream, which ended up being the famous Kahana Valley swim hole with the swinging rope and the dam crossing. This hole is deep, but you need to be aware of the tree branch sticking out when you swing from the rope, or you could end up getting impaled. I also decided to take the running leap on the opposite side of the dam, from the bluff overlooking the pond. That was fun. From there, all you need to do is hike up about 100 yards and you end up at the first hunting sign.
Kahana Valley is awesome. There are so many different hikes you can do. Read up on some of the stuff Kaleo has done, or Eric at Hike Hawaii, or get yourself the Ball Book. If you're like me and want to find the historical Hawaiian places on hikes, Sites of Oahu is the bible! Other than that, we're definitely heading back to Kahana. I've already taken another group on the double loop, purely by chance, but it was a good excuse to reexamine this lush tropical oasis.
On the big tree
Pond next to the big Mango tree
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Koko Head was done on August 21, 2009. Yes after the Waiakeakua Stream hike I did this hike. I took a break in between of course so I ended up on the start of the trail around 6:30 p.m. The sun was still up but setting already.
Damn this was a really heavy hike... I absolutely hate steps already. I got to the top around 6:55 p.m. Took some pics and came back down in the dark. Actually i had a flash light. I also met some very friendly people going down.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Hike was done on August 21, 2009. Today it started as a late hike. On the roster was Dawn and I. We started a little after 1 p.m. and got out by 4:15 p.m. I decided to do this hike again because it was Dawn's first time and my third time. Its probably the trail that I've done the most in the past 2 years.
Alot has changed the last time I came here. Waiakeakua is better known as "Seven Bridges." The last time I was here there were at least 5 bridges and now there is only 3... I think. There's a new fence on the trail as well.
We got to the first good pond with the pipe on top within the first 45 minutes. I thought to myself we shall come back and swim. We got to a major junction in the trail and went right after the smallest foot bridge on the trail. (The one that looks like its gonna fall apart) We went to the right instead of following the major stream. We came to a sort of dry waterfall and turned around. Back at the major junction we went left now and followed the stream and 15 minutes later we were at the falls.
The first waterfall, the hole below is pretty darn deep. At least neck level, I didn't check. We climbed up the right side with a rope and got to the second falls. It was a twin falls. I took a dip and saw another rope on the left side if that waterfall. The hole for this falls was only waste deep for me. I climbed the rope, it was at least a story and a half high. Got to the top and saw two more waterfalls. One was a little cascade and the one behind it was at least a good 60 ft waterfall. There was a rope on the left side of the 60 ft waterfall but I wasn't feeling that adventurous today. Plus Dawn was waiting for me at the bottom of the second falls and I didn't want her to worry. Came back down and chilled for a good 20 minutes.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
We did this hike a while ago. It wasn't actually a hike more like a stroll to a pond. Hawaiian Bu wanted to jump off of something that day and he knew of this place. I just really wanted to go swimming.
On the roster that day was Me, Hawaiian Bu and Dawn. We were actually in search of this place called Tin Roof. We had found Tin Roof but Hawaiian Bu was curious if the stream had more to offer. So we followed the stream up and found this nice pond. The pond is really deep and pretty cold... but not as cold as Kahana Valleys stream.
After about 20 mins of swimming and jumping off the rock we decided to head down stream and go to Tin Roof and swim. We rock hopped all the way back. We actually found people at Tin Roof. We decided not to go in and just called it a day.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Today I had planned to go on another hike. Just yesterday we did Pia Valley and I was ready for my next adventure.
Todays plan was to meet up with Dawn at 12:30 and go hiking. I was planning to go to Waiakeakua because the last time Hawaiian Bu and I went with our group she hadn't gone. But I guess I'll save that for next time because she got stuck doing something today.
Around 2 I started to drive around and started to wonder about how Manoa Falls has been doing. I decided thats a short hike and I'll be out before anyone knows it. I drove up to Manoa Falls parking and SURPRISE!!! parking was $5!!! Damn I didn't know they charge for parking. So instead I tried to go up to the Lyon Arboretum but I guess that place was closed. I finally just decided to park out on Manoa road and just walk up.
I was on my way up passing all kinds of people. Never have I been on a hike passing so many people besides Diamond Head. I made a few stops along the Manoa river and took some pics. The water looked like it was in better condition than Maunawili Falls, I was pretty surprised. Less than an hour passed and I made it to the falls. I hadn't been up to these falls in possibly over 10 years. The only thing I remember as a kid was all the leptospirosis signs and teachers telling me not to play in the water. This time around at the falls area there was a roped off section where people couldn't go. It blocked people from the falls because there was a landslide back in 2002 near the falls area.
I actually went and took a dip near the falls and people were chattering, "WTF?! are you seriously going in the water." I came back out looked at them and smiled and left. On my way out I met a couple hosting a Japanese person. They talked story with me all the way out on how they know the Tantalus trails and what not. (Something I've been wanting to do for a while)
Anyways heres the pics!