From Hawaiian Bu
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.