Sunday, August 25, 2013

Crepes, Lulumahu Falls - Hiking

Lulumahu Falls 
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Danger: Low to High (slippery, muddy spots along trail, several water crossings, potential loose rocks/debris at top of waterfall)

My last day of hiking on O’ahu was spent with Neil and my cousin Darrell. Delicious crepes, hiking a beautiful lush valley and great hiking companionship....what more could a girl ask for!

The morning started off with Neil treating us to a pre-hike breakfast at Crepes No Ka Oi in Kailua. I have to admit, I’ve never been to a Creperie and I didn’t know what to expect. But Neil highly recommended this eatery, and I’m sure glad we ate there. We got there 5 minutes before they opened and Neil pointed out the menu that was posted in the window. I was surprised to find out that they also made meat crepes. Neil suggested the Popeye’s Power crepe made with fresh spinach, sautéed onions, melted Jack and Cheddar cheeses, honey ham with a side of Hollandaise sauce. I love fresh spinach so Popeye’s it is! 

It was fun to watch them make the crepes on these special griddles.

Popeye’s Power Crepe - it was a simple, but filling meal. Actually, I couldn’t eat the entire crepe. Just under the orange slice there is a white orchid and its edible – it tastes like lettuce! 

Berry Heavenly Crepe  - a Hawaiian sugar crepe topped with fresh raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries topped with whipped cream and powdered sugar! (sorry for the blurry iPhone photos!)

The place is cozy, but very clean with lots of good light and local paintings on the walls. I really love the crepes here, better than pancakes anytime. Can’t wait to eat here again when I come to visit O’ahu! Afterwards Neil took us to hike to Lulumahu Falls and to Kaniakapupu (the ruins of King Kamehameha’s III summer home), both in Nu’uanu Valley.

The trail leading to the falls is a beautiful walk in the woods! 
Strawberry Guava and Wild Awapuhi grow alongside some portions of the trail.
There were several stream crossings and this hike is easy with slight elevation gain.   

Darrell testing his smartphone underwater

Manoa Falls to Nu'uanu Valley - Hiking

Manoa Falls to Nu'uanu Valley
Trails: Manoa Falls, 'Aihualama, Nu'uanu, Judd 
Distance: Approx 4 miles
Hawaiian Trail & Mountain Club 
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Danger: Low to High (slippery, muddy spots along trail, several water crossings, potential loose rocks/debris at top of waterfall)

Another amazing hike with the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club. This is my last hike with them as I'm due to leave Hawaii in 3 days. I met up with hike organizer Wil Kawano and several other members at the I'olani Palace.  I checked in and paid my donation fee of $3 and had Will sign my HTMC member application. His was the second of two signatures that I needed. Then followed Bryan up to the residential area just before the entrance of Paradise Park where other hikers were waiting. We hiked to the the Manoa Falls trailhead and Wil gave his spiel. The part about 'Aihualama Trail being closed due to a landslide several months ago caught my attention, we were going to hike it anyways. Two club members were already at the landslide section of the trail and had done some work on it to make it passable for the club hike today. Enjoy some of my photos of the our hike from Manoa Falls into the Nu'uanu valley.

At the Manoa Falls trailhead 
Manoa Falls
 Along the 'Aihualama trail

That section along the 'Aihualama trail
that was brought down by a landslide (6)

 John Hall standing in the middle of the trail

Along the Pauoa Flats trail
From the Pauoa Flats lookout
This photo taken at the Pauoa Flats lookout. This trail looks like
it could go up along the ridge and to the top of the Lulumahu Falls.
 Along the Nu'uanu Trail (6)

 Along the Judd Trail (2)
 Crossing Nu'uanu Stream that leads to the Jackass Ginger Swimming Hole (4)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Mt. Olomana - Hiking

Mount Olomana (1,700ft)
Elevation Gain: 1,600
Trail: Mt. Olomana Ridge   
Difficulty: Strenuous
Danger: High (ledges, cliffs, exposed/narrow ridges with sheer drop-offs, rock scrambling, steep sections along trail) 

Finally got to hike Olomana, and "ticked" it!, YEEEEEESSSS! Darrell, Neil and I met up with Daniel Howzitboy for this hike. It was raining lightly and Daniel texted me "oh oh!" but when we met up in the parking lot, the rain stopped. We walked passed the guard shack and instead of ascending the ridge from the trailhead, we took a shortcut, which was just a few feet from the guard shack. The climb to the summit was steady with cool rock scrambling near the summit. I either strained the tendon or got a cramp in my hand while on my way to the summit. Each time I put any weight on my palm, there would be pain from my wrist to the ring finger of my right hand. I almost turned back but decided against it, taking Advil instead and pushed on. It was interesting climbing and scrambling with just my left hand. When we got to the summit, my hand was still sore but the Advil had taken off some of the bite of the pain. I hated to have to leave, but after an hour at the summit enjoying the quietness, comfortable temps and 360 degree views, we descended. Please enjoy some photos I took of our hike to Mount Olomana!

**This trail contains many steep sections. This trail contains narrow ridge sections with vertical drops. If you aren't comfortable with heights or do not like rock scrambling or rope climbing, this is not the hike for you.

Mahalo Daniel for the Olomana video!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Kualoa Ranch - Hiking

Kualoa Ranch - Hiking
Solemates Hawaii Hikers
Distance: 7 miles loop roundtrip
Duration: 4 hrs (includes stops along the trail as well a lunch break at the top of the saddle)
Difficulty: Moderate

Danger: Low

I finally got a chance to hike with the Solemates Hawaii Hikers! I had been in email contact with Tom Mendes and the only hike I would be able to join while on O'ahu would be to Kualoa Ranch. Kualoa Ranch is a working ranch with cattle and other livestock so dogs aren't allowed on the hike.  Kualoa Ranch is also in the business of providing outdoor activities for a fee.  So everyone paid their fee ($6 for seniors, age 60 and above and $10 for all others) and was also required to sign in with our names and ages. At the end of the hike we were also required to sign out as well. This hike is not accessible to the public.

Our hike took us through the ranch, over a 600 foot saddle in the summit and into the beautiful Ka’a’awa Valley which has been the setting for many productions such as Jurrasik Park, Pearl Harbor, 50 First Dates, Karate Kid, Hawaii 5-0, Fantasy Island, Magnum PI, LOST. 

We started at the Keiki Pavilion and proceeded  up through pasture land around the makai side of Pu'u Kanehoalani (the sharp peak above the ranch) getting views of Kaneohe Bay, Chinaman's Hat and Moli'i Ponds before making our way uphill to the saddle. The ridgeline at the saddle is a lunch spot, nicknamed "Lunchbox".  The descent into Ka’a’awa valley was muddy in a lot of spots, but there were several spots that were roped to make the descent easier. By this time I had my spikes on and it helped immensely. 

The last mile through the valley seemed long but it didn't matter, I was surrounded by beautiful mountains! And although there were 65 hikers signed up for this hike, there were times when I was alone on the trail, particularly through the Ka'a'awa Valley. This portion of the hike was peaceful and reminded me of my many solo hikes through the New Hampshire White Mountains. 

Sorry for the dirty lens. I do clean it but a lot of times I leave the lens cover off while I hike and then forget to wipe off the lens before I snap away!

YouTube Channel - Hawaii Girl Adventures

Check out my YouTube channel at:  Hawaii Girl Adventures I will eventually be phasing out blog posts and be posting videos of my climbing, h...