From Hawaiian BU
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!