Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pia Valley

From Hawaiian BU

What do you do when you only half the day for a hiking adventure? You find a hike close by that you kinda live by and explore something that you are little familiar with. This was 2-BU Pa'ina's 2nd voyage into Pia Valley, the valley located to the left when you look at Niu Valley from Kalanianaole. Today, our buddy Kawika jumped on the adventure with us, willing to do whatever we suggested. Due to the recent rain fall from Felicia, we felt that it might be good to check out this valley. We drove next to the canal on Halemaumau, and looked to see if there was running. Chinese BU saw a small trickle, so we decided to chance it.

We passed the house on the right, and headed towards the trail. When we got there, you could tell that someone had done some major clearing from the last time we there. Chinese Bu had been reading the HTMC site and informed us that they had just conducted Kulepeamoa the week before, so it made sense that it was all cleared out. We got to the first stream crossing, and there was water running, which made us very happy! The last time we checked it out (the week before we did Kaipapau, BTW) the stream bed was completely dry. I was very encouraged by this new development, and we continued up the valley.

As we passed the junction that leads up Kulepeamoa, the stream started to get softer and softer, until we discovered that the stream bed was dry. Chinese BU was concerned that we might not see the swimming holes all filled, but I pushed them to move on. sure enough, there was more water upstream. We guess that the water is still travelling down the stream, it's just that there must be some underwater tunnel, or the water is going through all the mud lying on top the stream bed. The trail stays right next to the stream bed the whole way, and the water continued to disappear, then reappear all the way up.

The other good thing about our hike today was Chinese BU remembered his camera, so we got pics. Last time, we just did this hike with basically nothing but water on our backs. Chinese Bu got a lot of good pics, especially of the two heiaus that you encounter on the way up the valley. Unfortunately, he had to delete some pics from his camera because he ran out of space on his memory card. I hope he saved the good ones!

We were really disappointed that the two major swimming holes we were looking forward to testing were not really filled up that well. If we had done this hike two days earlier, guarantee we would have found the hole nice and deep. You could tell from how high the waterline got up on the surrounding rock that it would have been sweet! We pressed on, and every single hole we had remembered from our previous adventure was not as deep as we wished. I think that the fact that water was still running inspired us to continue up, and I'm glad we did.

We got to the junction where the stream splits into two directions. The last time we did it, we ran into a bunch of pig hunters with a lot of dogs at this point. They were cool, and gave us some info about the valley. The left leg leads up towards Hawaii Loa ridge, but it is severely steep. The right continues up and has waterfalls when it rains. GOOD waterfalls. Looking to the right, we saw them. And they were pretty. About four of them all in a chain, falling from one to the other. I wish we had brought the ropes! There is no safe way to get up there without ropes. We were able to get Chinese Bu up past the first one, and he went and explored the next two. Kawika and me stayed at the bottom of the first one.

I always get worried when Chinese BU goes and explores with us. I've learned that he doesn't take risks that are out of his hands, and that is good. He eventually came back and told us he got up to third one safely, but there was no way to get up that wall without the ropes. He also saw no trails that led to these waterfalls. Guess that means we might have to make our own way there. He also said that if we had come there a couple of days earlier, we would have seen this thing even bigger than it was.

All in all, a good one to add to the list. If you are planning to attack this one, I would recommend waiting until it rains for a good couple of days, then go the day right after. This way, it should be flowing very well and some of the swimming holes should be full. Hey, isn't there another Hurricane off our islands? Hopefully it brings more rain than Felicia brought.

The twin falls at the first waterfall

View of the second and third waterfall

Chinese BU doing his thang!

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