Once we reached the junction with the ridge trail, the rain had turned to a drizzle and the skies blued suckering us into continuing like the fools we are. Luckily I had planned ahead and put my wallet and my phone in zip lock baggies and had a larger plastic bag for my D90 and lenses because my backpack was soaking through.
|Aiea Loop Trail|
|Aiea Ridge Trail|
|Pu'u Kaiwipo'o shrouded in clouds|
Things were going from bad to worse as the trail itself became a stream of water. By now everything I owned that wasn't in a plastic bag was soaked. My hiking partner II's phone shorted out with all the dampness and although he tried to dry it out later it was fried for good. Aiea Ridge: 1, II: 0!
|Aiea Ridge Trail/Stream|
|Ohe mauka's flower|
As we climbed through the cloudy ridges another favorite showed up in huge numbers- lehua papa. This endemic form of ohia grows only along the upper reaches of the Ko'olau mountains and can be found no where else. Metrosideros rugosa has deeply veined and stiff leaves and grows as a small tree or shrub. It's flowers are always red but I do know of a certain individual that is pink. If you like lehua papa Aiea ridge is a great place to see some fabulous examples.
|Lehua papa, tree, leaves, and flower|
After about 6 miles it really sucks to turn around but we knew we were probably done for way back when we started so at least it wasn't a shock! Heading back down was slippery and muddy but nothing changed. The rain hammered us until we neared the Aiea Loop Junction when it slowed to a drizzle again. We were also shocked to see that there had been a sizable landslide taking out a little chunk of the trial while we'd been hiking. Looking at the size of the trees and limbs that had been damaged it must have been quite a sight to see!
I simply don't have the time to do many not so great videos but here are a couple clips of things along the way. Raw and uncut:
Clouds rolling in at Pu'u Kaiwipo'o
Passing through the Hapu'u fern section
Checking out the landslide
While we may not have finished what we set out to accomplish that day, it was still a great experience...
Aloha and mahalo for reading. More pictures of this trail and others I've done can be viewed at Flickr.