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

Monday, January 7, 2013

Haiku Stairs & Pu’u Keahi a Kahoe – O’ahu, Hawaii

Haiku Stairs (2,800ft)
aka Stairway To Heaven
Elevation Gain: 2,560ft

Pu’u Keahi a Kahoe (2,820ft)
Elevation Gain: (2,580ft)

Trails: Kamananui Valley Rd, Kulana’ahane Trail
Distance: 8.5 miles
Duration: 6.5 hours (includes stops for breaks along the trail and at summits)
Difficulty: Easy to Very Strenuous
Danger: High (exposed/narrow ridges with steep drop-offs, steep staircase, high winds)

The beauty of lush, tropical ridges and the Haiku Stairs summit in clouds coupled with high winds made this hike both beautiful and amazing! Not only did this hike peak my curiosity, it commanded my respect. A truly unforgettable hike! Shoots, an unforgettable walk from Honolulu to Kaneohe!

My cousin and I joined up with 3 others to hike! Our original plans were to hike all 3 peaks of Olomana but the night before I checked weather reports for rain and it looked like it would be way too slippery for Olomana. We were invited to hike to Haiku Stairs via the Moanalua Middle Ridge from the Moanalua Valley Park. So my cousin and I decided to go for it! 

The Kamananui Valley Road trail is a classic stream hike that took us over several Moanalua Stream crossings. This portion of the hike was easy to navigate as it winds through the lush valley. Shortly before taking the Kulana’ahane trail, we met up with the Hiking Oahu Trailblazers (H.O.T.). My Kahtoola Microspikes got a lot of attention. I didn't realize that I was the only one wearing spikes. Several of the hikers in the HOT group asked me about them. 

From the get-go the Kulana’ahane Trail gains elevation quickly and doesn’t let up. The trail along the lower ridge is overgrown in some spots. Some sections of the trail were board and other sections were narrow with very little or no foliage to offer the hiker a sense of security or grip. As we continued our traverse upwards, there were many long, steep climbs where ropes had been installed. I was so glad for the ropes as the trail got slicker as we gained elevation. I was also glad that I wore my Microspikes!

The higher we hiked the wetter it got and we continued to
slop our way up muddy trails that were just a foot or two wide!
More butt sliding, this time downward (video)
We finally summited Pu’u Keahi a Kahoe (Kahoe’s fire)! There is a small wooden sign as well as 3 benchmarks to distinguish the summit. We continued on and the winds grew stronger and we were in the clouds more often! :)

Video of the views from the last ascent before reaching the top.
The winds here had to be 25-30 mph!
(Still shots really couldn't capture the magnitude of the winds like a video can!) 
After 5.5 hours, we reached the CCL (Communications Control Link) building.
Now for the fun part, descending Haiku Stairs.....all 3,922 steps!

Haiku Stairs descent (video)
Warning: Haiku Stairs is officially closed and it is illegal to access the stairs.
If you attempt this hike, you do so at your own risk. 

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...