Sunday, August 24, 2014

Manoa Falls - Walking

Manoa Falls - Walking
Distance: 1.6 roundtrip
Time: 1.5 hr
Manoa Valley
Elevation Gain: 800 feet
Difficulty: Very Easy
Danger: Low
Parking fee: $5 (discount for Kama'aina)

After staying out late the night before watching my niece and her band EMKE perform, I  didn’t want to do a long or strenuous hike. So I scheduled a wicked easy, short walk/hike to Manoa Falls with Darrell and Neil. When we pulled into the parking lot, I knew there‘d be a good flow at the falls as it was pouring. But by the time we were ready to leave the parking lot, the rain had stopped. We got to the 100-foot falls and took our time, spending about half-an-hour admiring the falls, watching tourists, posing and taking photos. On our way out, I showed Darrell and Neil the trail to the Lua’alaea Falls. We only went as far as the Lua’alaea stream and noted a large downed tree. Enjoy some photos I took on our leisurely walk to Manoa Falls through the Manoa Valley. And a Mahalo nui loa to both Darrell and Neil for such wonderful companionship on my hikes here in Hawai'i!








Beautiful, lush valley!

Dryland Taro


White Ginger

Yellow Ginger

Afterward our walk, we headed to my parents house for a post-hike
lunch with my family. Yes, that's Guava Chiffon cake in the top left corner! :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hau'ula-Papali Loop - Hiking

Hau'ula-Papali Loop - Hiking
Distance: 7 miles
Elevation Gain: 700 ft (Hau'ula), 800 ft (Papali)
Difficulty: Easy
Danger: Low
Solemates Hawaii Hikers

If bad luck comes in three's, then today was a day for it! I arrived late to the meeting place, I dropped my 2nd (and last) litre of Gatorade down a steep gulch, and I lost my iPhone (with its Mophie external battery). 

First of all, I should've followed Stewart Ball's driving directions. Coming from Pearl City over H3, I should've taken the exit for the Kaheliki Hwy instead of following directions from Kaneohe along the Kamehameha Hwy. It probably would've saved me 10-15 minutes if I had taken Kaheliki Hwy to begin with and bypassed Kaneohe all together! :-/

Secondly, I should know better than to stand near the edge of a steep gulch and take in a drink from a container that isn't anchored to me! 

And lastly, I should've brought my Mophie Beltclip with me on this trip. I usually snap my iPhone into it and clip it to my backpack strap just above my heart for quick access. Instead, I left it at home and stuck my iPhone in the hipbelt pocket of my backpack. But I got lucky! When I realized that it was gone, I re-traced my steps along the trail and found it!! I had slipped and fell coming up a steep, muddy shortcut between a switchback near the start of the hike. Somehow the hipbelt pocket came unzipped and my iPhone fell out! 

Our group did the Hau'ula Loop hike clockwise first and then onto the Ma'akua Ridge trail counter-clockwise. I was only able to complete the Hau'ula Loop hike. I was halfway on the Ma'akua Ridge trail when I had to turn around to look for my iPhone. The trail conditions were good with several muddy spots on both loops. The valley was hot and muggy, but once up on the ridges, there were cooler breezes and temps. Enjoy some photos of our hike through the foothills of the Ko'olau range.

The trailhead for both loops are located in a residential neighborhood.
Don't park in the neighborhood! Instead, park on Kamehameha Hwy at the far
end of the Hau'ula Beach Park and walk up the Hau'ula Homestead Road.

Start of the Hau'ula Loop trail

Crossing the Hanaimoa Stream


At the lookout on the ridge


Looking into the Kaipapa'u Gulch

Along the ridge

Connie and I headed onto the Ma'akua Ridge Trail

Instead of continuing along the switchbacks, we took the ridge trail on the left.
What beautiful views of Hau'ula in its finest!

Hello Karen!! :)


Willy

Hau'ula (raindrops on the lens)

Lilikoi Blossom

Dark rock cliff overhangs the trail

And there's my iPhone!!! A bit wet, but undamaged! Whew!


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Aiea Loop - Hiking

Aiea Loop - Hiking
Distance: Approx 5 miles roundtrip
Duration: 2.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Danger: Low

Out hiking with my cousins again, this time on the wicked easy Aiea Loop! This trail is located at the Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area at the end of Aiea Heights. It's a short hike with wide, rooty trails. The trail is mostly shady and winds through the foothills of the Ko'olau Range. For the most part, it was sunny but in the middle of our hike it started to rain. But that was brief and the sun came back out by the time we completed our hike. The loop hike starts at the upper parking lot and ends at the campground at the middle parking lot. We spotted two cars so we didn't have to walk back up to the upper parking lot. Enjoy some photos of our hike!

At the trailhead



Wide, rooty trails



H3 from one of many outlooks on the trail

Beautiful blooming i'e i'e

View of Halawa Valley 
You can see the back of Tripler Army Medical Center

We took the eroded trail on the left up to the power-line tower
to check out the views of Halawa Valley and Honolulu.
We continued up the stairs past the tower . . . 

. . . . and came to this clearing.
To the left is a maintenance road with this "No Trespassing" sign.

And to the right is the trail in a grove of Guava trees that is marked with a "pink ribbon".
Take this trail down back to the Loop trail. Turn left onto the Loop trail to continue.

The intermittent 'Aiea Stream


Keaiwa Heiau

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Mount Olympus - Hiking

Mount Olympus (Pu'u Awawaloa) 
Elevation: 2,486 ft
Elevation Gain: 1,562 ft
Trail: Wa'ahila Ridge trail
Distance: 6 miles roundtrip
Duration: 5 hours
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Up and down, up and down - my cousin Darrell and I bagged another peak! Mt. Olympus, with its broad summit, stands in the back of Manoa Valley. Renamed by Punahou students because of its commanding presence, it went by Awawaloa (long valley) by the early Hawaiians. We parked at the Wa'ahila Ridge Trail Recreation Area at the top of St. Louis and our hike was uphill from the get-go. The lower Wa'ahila Ridge Trail was hot and muggy. With the upper trail breezy and cool. We passed 40 other hikers including 4 hunters and about 8 dogs on this hike. And we got alot of inquiries about our Hillsounds Trail Spikes. Enjoy some photos taken of our hike!

At the trailhead

First utility pole

At the Kolowalu Trail junction



Look back every once in a while when ascending!

Roped section (5)





Look back again!

Cloud covered Konahuanui

Darrell on the windy ridge at the base of the summit

Me on the windy ridge at the base of the summit

Summit (2)

8,383 steps, wahoo!!


Views from the overlook. Yes, those are dark rain clouds so Darrell
and I didn't bother staying at the overlook to eat like we had hoped to do.
Instead, we quickly snapped a few photos and headed back to the summit to
search for any benchmark markers. We couldn't find any so we headed back down.

Ka'au Crater

Wa'ahila Ridge, Palolo and Manoa Valleys, 
Diamond Head, Waikiki and Honolulu. 

Ko'oalu clouded

Couple of photos on the way down



My Hillsounds broke on our descent and I used cording to hold it together.