Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lazy Tuesday- Pali Notches Scout and Ka'iwa Ridge with my Son

Normally Tuesdays are my day to get out and find a trail in the Ko'olaus to spend the day.  Today we had plans to hit Aiea Ridge to Halawa (we've been stuck on this for about 3 weeks now) but again the weather looked bad this morning at 4:30 so plans were cancelled.  It actually turned out for the better anyway because our dog ended up needing to go to the vet again anyway for even more pills and a shot.  Cancer really sucks.  Anyway, the weather cleared up so nicely that I couldn't resist a short trip up to the Pali Notches to check out the last remaining segment of the Eastern Ko'olaus I need to complete.

Above the Pali Lookout
The notches have all kinds of stories and legends associated with them.  Some say they are man-made others natural but what is known is that in the Battle of Nu'uanu artillery was emplaced in them because of their commanding views of the valley.  Kamehameha's generals were so concerned about them that they sent warriors who climbed up Konahuanui  and scaled down to the notches to sack the cannon crews.  It was their footsteps I was interested in retracing.
Parking at the Pali Lookout I headed up the steep network of trails towards the notches.  To be honest with you, last time I did this trail I was probably 15 and it was with a bunch of guys and a case of Budweiser.  The trail climbs through a few tangles of Hau to a clearing where you can get your first views of both the windward side and of Nu'uanu.
Nu'uanu Valley

After grabbing a couple shots, I spotted the remains of a potted plant and a metal marker that someone hammered into the mountain.  No idea what the story is with that.  Continuing on, the trail steepens up a bit and the rock gets a little less solid in places.  It's always a little disturbing watching the rocks wiggle in place as you climb them.  Eventually I reached the notches and stopped to enjoy the view.  The wind was really pounding by now and as inviting as Konahuanui looked, I didn't feel good about continuing.  I headed back down the way I came and back home to spend some time with Mauka Dog.  I ended up falling asleep next to her on the brutally hard tile floor until the kids came home from school.

Carion flowers stink!

My son was thrilled when I asked him if he wanted to go to Ka'iwa Ridge to do the pillboxes.  He's five years old and getting better each time I take him.  Normally we head to the second bunkers and then one peak further to what I call "big rocks". Today I pushed him a little and we made it to the old geodetic survey site on the Enchanted Lake side!   A little more work and hopefully I'll be able to bring him for my normal routing to Wailea Point and back!

The other neat thing about hiking with him now is that he's more and more interested in  learning about everything he sees.  Today's lessons included "nui" and "iki" for the mokolua islands and about the carion flower which smells like a dead animal to attract flies for pollination.  Good stuff!

Today's trails were pretty tame and I'm really falling behind in my personal goals lately.   However, spending an afternoon with the boy and some time with our poor dog are far more important.  The Ko'olaus have been there for ~3 million years so I think they can wait a little longer for me.

I'm thinking about hiking Halawa Ridge to the Hidden Stairs in the morning and maybe even further depending... we'll see how it goes.

Aloha and mahalo for reading.  More pictures of this trail and others I've done can be viewed at Flickr.

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