Sunday, June 19, 2011

Kaliuwaa Falls

If I could, I would keep this journal entry private. After all, this blog is for my children. Today we went on a hike that I enjoyed tremendously but do not recommend it. If you are like me, and just have to try and experience new things, acknowledge the risks, and take full responsibility, God forbid, anything should happen, then I am sure you would do this hike with or without the existence of my blog. Nonetheless, if you do this hike, you are forewarned of the potential risks involved and possibility of death. YOU are liable for your actions.

Kaliuwaa Falls better known as Sacred Falls is closed indefinitely due to the tragedy that happened on Mother's Day, May 11, 1999. Eight people died and more than 50 others were injured. Because the state advertised the place as a tourist destination, it was found guilty for not adequately warning tourists of possible falling rocks, and in having knowledge of the danger due to previous incidences.

Like countless sites warn and many people have told us, it is likely to get arrested on this hike so Matt, Nate, Moani, Kalei knew  we had to be incognito. We parked our car at the beach and waited until the coast was clear before walking around the yellow gate fronting the once public park. Nat spotted a trail to our left and suggest we take it.
"It's a sign," he said.
We looked at the path but kept heading straight. As we neared the second locked fence, fate would have it. A van pulled up and a man exited to unlock it. We ran into the bushes for fear of getting arrested. We couldn't help but giggle, although this was not laughing matter. Nate calmly walked behind acknowledging that the man had seen us. Yes, we probably looked really stupid but the thought of getting arrested is non-existence in my mind. Plus, I'm sure Nate can outrun anyone, but me, I'd be the first to get caught! We hid as the van drove in and waited patiently for it to pass. We exited the trail which led around the gate and back onto the dirt path. Fearing more cars, we headed down to the stream and tried to walk along it, but in reality spent more time in it.
The hike didn't even start yet and my shoes are wet! UGH! I thought.
But there was little time to complain as the sound of an engine neared and another truck passed.
What are the odds of that? Seriously?!!! Out of all the days and times, we have impeccable timing! 

Having soggy shoes sucked so much that Beimes and I headed back to the road even though we knew there was a great possibility we'd have to jump in the bushes if a third car appeared. My heart raced at the thought of being caught but luckily the coast was clear. We took a left as the road made a "Y." The wide trail split again, and we continued left for a second time on a much narrower path.

From the distinct trail, it is obvious that many people still frequent the falls. Unlike Maakua Gulch it was very clear where to go. We snaked through some boulders, ducked under some hau and crossed the river bed. Once on the right side, we strolled through the load of mountain apple trees. To my surprise they were full of fruits. Not as ripe as I would have liked, but I'm not complaining.

About thirty minutes later we excited the grove and walked up the river bed to the base of the falls. I stood in awe and respected the beauty and power of it. We took tons of pictures and had a blast swimming beneath it. We decided to set the timer on Beimes' 7D to take some final group shots. As we were about to take the last one...DUNK! It was a rock! It had fallen right next to Nate..
"Time to get out of here!" someone shouted.
We all agreed and headed out.

It took about an hour to get back to our car. I cannot believe how easy it was to get to and from the falls. No wonder so many people visited it and still do, even with the potential risks! I am glad I got to experience Kaliuwaa Falls and feel extremely blessed to live in such a beautiful place. However, I still don't think if I'll ever be back...