Sunday, March 28, 2010


Spending so much time on grad school SO...we went to have some fun!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

*Puu Maelieli*

Puu Maelieli was so awesome I had to take the boys.
They had just as much fun as I did and keep asking when they get to go hiking again.

Zeke and Zeph you are the best!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Puu Maelieli

The past couple of weeks we’ve done some pretty long hikes so Beimes and I decided on Puu Maelieli. A short and relatively easy hike, Puu Maelieli concludes at the bunkers facing Kaneohe Bay providing gorgeous views of the windward side.

Today was no different, and after some walking and head ducking we made it to the first bunker. We continued the short distance to the second bunker and WOW. I clearly remember saying, “Wow!” 
Kaneohe Bay in its entirety...
The teals and turquoise and sapphires, Kualoa, Chinaman’s Hat, Home-sweet-home, and even Rabbit Island.
Talk about phenomenal!!! 
I could have sat there for days admiring the view. It was and is undoubtedly why I love living in Kaneohe!
After many pictures we headed out. Hoping to find an easier route or the one that Beimes remembered as a child we opted for a different path as our descent. We did find a shortcut and realized you can pretty much take any one of the turns off of Hui Iwa Street because there are multiple ways to get to the bunkers, most of which are visible from the main road.
I didn’t realize how well trotted Kahaluu is. Beimes said that as a child he hiked to many waterfalls right in his backyard. There is an actual trail exiting his property!  I can’t wait to machete and mark some of the overgrown paths behind his house. Hopefully I’ll get see the waterfalls he did as a child and maybe even more.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Makapuu Tom Tom

Last weekend was the first time we’ve been able to go to the beach in months. Finally free from sports, activities and appointments, and at last beautiful weather the boys and I headed to our favorite beach: Cockaroach Bay. While we were having fun swimming, playing, and catching fish I noticed a puka in the ridge.


Beimes and Justin had seen the puka before too, so we decided to do it. Although most start the hike from Makapuu Lookout we chose to ascend the Tom Tom trail first and end at the lookout. The initial climb was killer. My calves and quads were burning and I was definitely holding up the group. Never again will I do lunges at the gym a couple of days before a hike. After thirty minutes of much huffing and puffing I finally reached the top. The view, of course, was beautiful and we could see all the way to Kualoa.

An optimist, I hoped the rest of the hike along the ridge would be rather flat. Lucky me, the exact opposite was the case. We trekked up and down, and back up and back down, again and again. However, the entire time there were gorgeous views to be admired. To the left was Waimanalo and to our right Hawaii Kai. Beyond each peak there was something new to see. We even got to check out the hang gliding station. You know from below hang gliding looks so relaxing, but from the take flight point I got another perspective: running and jumping off the side of a mountain doesn't seem so carefree. It still looks pretty fun though, and some day I am going to try it.

We descended another ridge and climbed the next. With Sea Life Park in view we knew the puka was near. Carefully we looked at each rock face not wanting to miss it after coming so far. A while later Beimes spotted the puka and we couldn't wait to take pictures with it. At first I was very adamant about not climbing into the hole but decided to get in after all. I’m glad I did and realize the more we hike the easier it is to do things I never imagined.
Up the final ridge we trekked, and back down to the finish line. I was never so glad to see Makapuu Lookout. The thought of four miles didn’t seem long but it took us a little under four hours to complete! Taking much longer than we anticipated we knew cooling off at the Makapuu Lighthouse tide pools would have to wait another day. Instead, we rewarded ourselves with some refreshing shave ice.
We were definitely fortunate that today the cloud coverage and trades kept us cool. On a clearer day the hike is probably a scorcher! Although drained, pretty scratched up from all the shrubbery and having fallen three times, Makapuu’s stunning views were well worth our time and effort.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Kaau Crater

...Today is one of those days...

What can I say about Kaau Crater? 
Words cannot truly describe its beauty and the surreal experience...
The weather forecast looked grim. It had rained all night and was extremely gloomy. The heavy clouds hovering over the Koolau didn’t look promising but the pockets of blue peaking over Kailua gave me all the hope I needed. I wasn’t sure the rest of the crew felt the same so I texted, What’s the verdict?
Justin working in Waimanlo replied, It looks good. 
Beimes tucked in Kahaluu, not as confident, asked, So Kaau? 
And Shasta...well she didn’t even answer my three phone calls let alone a text because she was still sound asleep from last night’s outing. (Shots of crown and patron are highly not recommended on nights before hikes!)
YES was the decision, so we packed our bags and met deep in Palolo Valley at 8:45. Of course everyone was ready to go except for one person. As we waited I noticed the gray clouds were actually high. There was, after all, a good chance that the view from the summit would be unobstructed. 
At 9:15 we began our hike past the “No Trespassing” sign and down a pretty steep and  muddy slope to the stream. We walked along the riverbed, found the Board of Water Supply pipe, and followed it all the way in. The trail was easy but monotonous. Many portions were densely covered in brush forcing us to duck frequently which was rather irritating. Several points were also eroded so we had to carefully watch our footing. Shasta actually fell off the path because she mistakenly stepped on a “tree” that gave way. (Once again I don’t recommend shots the night before a hike!!) However, the cloud coverage made the hike cooler than expected and being submerged in lush greenary with the constant sound of running water is never a bad thing.
About an hour later we made it to the first waterfall. It was beautiful indeed. After taking many pictures we continued to the second waterfall which was even more aesthetically pleasing than the first, and then proceeded to the third and final waterfall. The anticipation of ascending the waterfall in order to reach the crater’s rim both worried and excited me. I had seen the waterfall many times from Lanipo and never imagined it could be climbed or that I’d actually be climbing it. What an unreal experience! Luckily it was not nearly as steep as the first and second falls but it was definitely much longer. We carefully used the ropes and cautiously climbed the slippery rocks. One wrong move and we’d be headed down a not so fun and potentially deadly slide. At the top of the final waterfall we veered right and there peeking through the trees is where I got my first glimpse of Ka`au Crater! I couldn’t wait to get to the rim and hiked faster wanting to get a better view. This is where I probably should’ve waited for Shasta because even though I yelled “right” three times she veered left. As we began our ascent I got a phone call.

Phone Call 1
Shasta: At the pole do I go right or left?
Me: What pole are you talking about? Guys did you see a pole? 
Justing and Beimes: No
Me: Just go up. Go straight towards the summit. Can you see us? Can you see the trail?
Shasta: No. Okay I’m just gonna go straight.
Phone Call 2
Shasta: Are you folks going down towards the ocean?
Me: What are you talking about? No. Can’t you see the trail up to the summit? Did you go right at the top of the waterfall?
Shasta: Where was the top of the waterfall?
Lori: Where the waterfall ended, did you go right or left?
Shasta: I went right. Beep, I have to walk all the way back. I’m pretty deep in. I’m gonna turn around and go back the way I came. Don’t wait for me.
Me: Okay.
Of course we waited.
Phone Call 3
Shasta: I see you folks. Look across.
Me: What are you doing on that side? I told you to go right. 
Shasta: I heard you and Justin on the left so I went left and then right. (Once again don’t take shots the night before a hike!!!)
Me: Okay so are you coming back this way?
Shasta: Yah, don’t wait for me. I’ll be there.
Of course we waited...and waited.
With Shasta in view and headed in the right direction we slowly began the rest of the ascent along the crater’s rim which was muddy and steep. More nerve racking was the strong gusts that could have just about blown us away. On several occasions I had to actually sit and wait for the winds to past. We continued our trek to the summit which required the use of a few more ropes. Near the top, we decided to take a break on a nice grassy area, and what a spectacle it was to have Ka`au Crater in the foreground with the entire south side of Oahu for a panoramic background. I couldn’t wait any longer so Beimes and I headed to the peak. Unbelievably the summit wasn’t in the clouds. We could see from Chinaman’s Hat to Waimanalo to Koko Head to Pearl Harbor. I don't think the hike could've gotten any better!

The blustering wind made it extremely cold so we stayed only a short while before we began the descent. Going down the muddy rim was slippery but surprisingly I didn’t fall. We did, however, purposely slide down several parts which was so much fun. Descending the waterfall was a bit tricky and twice we took the wrong path. Some time later we were back at the first waterfall, and all took a quick dip. It was obviously freezing but definitely refreshing and well worth the shivers. There is no better way to end a hike.

We decided to exit on a side trail which weaved through the forest and onto the Board of Water Supply road. From there we walked to the "No Trespassing" gate (which can easily be walked around), and onto the street leading back to our car. It is probably a better entrance route since it is flat, and not slippery nor muddy.

I am still in awe of the Kaau Crater Hike and fear that the ones to follow will be rather disappointing. It is truly the funnest hike I have ever been on. Three waterfalls, an extinct volcano, astounding views and great friends...
This is the HI Life.

Waterfall 1

Top View

Waterfall 2

Top View

Waterfall 3