From Hawaiian BU
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.