Saturday, January 31, 2009

Alan Davis

After spending some time at China walls, we decided to hit up Alan davis. Last time, we went to scooter along the path, but it was too packed so we went on the Makapu'u Tom Tom hike. This time, we went down at around 4. The cars were lined up along the pathway, so it was still crowded, but we had parking. Only on the first time I went, I got parking in a stall at the bottom. The rest of the times, I had to park along the pathway. Don't park along the side down at the bottom because you'll get ticketed if a cop comes, and we saw one giving out tickets today when we walked down. The place at the bottom needs to stay clear so cars can turn around.

We take the dirt path that leads down, not the paved hiking path. It was nice and green compared to the brown that we had seen for all of summer. The grass was long, in some parts, but it wasn't irritating; it actually felt good brushing on your legs. After a 5-10 minute walk, you get to the hidden beach known as Alan Davis. Under the shadow of Pele's chair, the beach is usually calm and spear fishers, kids, and everybody else show up to have fun. There's a shore where people can play like at Ala Moana, but most come for the telephone pole sticking out of the rocks. Nobody knows how it got there, and it must have been pretty hard to get it there in the first place.

The pole is about 6 feet above the water, and the water is about 7 feet deep. There are rocks directly under the pole, so you need to jump out. If you don't, you'll hit a rock. If you jump out, you'll definitely hit sand if you touch the bottom. There may or may not be a tire tied to the pole with rope, and today, there wasn't. I guess someone stole it. It makes you think what they're gonna do with it...

That's all there is to Alan Davis. Everything else should be self explanatory when you get out there. It's just another beach, except not as well known. The waves are calm so everyone can enjoy the water. After getting used to Alan Davis, you can upgrade to China Walls, or Spitting Caves.

Return to China Walls

After hiking and lunch, Mits left to go get a haircut and we called up Winston to go China Walls with us. If you wanna know more about china walls, you can read about it here. There's just pics in this entry.

Olomana: Return of the Hikers

Where to today? Back to conquer all of Olomana of course. The first time Mits and I went, we got lost, and you can read about the adventure here. Jared, Mits and I returned to do all three peaks today, and we asked Winston, but he was busy until 3. I got Mits and we met Jared at the spot where we park. We made our way across the bridge and past the guard shack.

Up the road and to the trail entrance we went, and we made sure to take the path with the fallen tree on it. It was kinda muddy today because of the rain that had come during the week, so it was slippery, and on top of that, Jared forgot his running shoes at school. He used his vans and he made it through all three peaks. So back through the hike, with all the steep climbing, and we made it to the top of the first peak in about half an hour. We got pictures of the scenery, and Jared took some pictures to give to teachers for graduation. Onto the next peak...
The descent from the first peak is easy, and you climb down just to climb back up to the second peak, the shortest of the three. There aren't any good views from the second peak; most or even all of the good views can be seen from the first peak alone. But we didn't just come for the view, we came to hike and/or climb all three peaks of Olomana. Mitsuo was going through the trail quickly today. While we stopped for pictures, he just blazed on, so we arrived at the second peak, where he was waiting, and we continued on. The climb down from the second peak is something else...

The second peak is pretty steep almost near vertical, and without the ropes provided, you would have a hard time getting down. The dirt and rocks on the ground are loose, and will easily make you slip, so make sure that you are within reach of the rope if you do slip.

Now after going down that steep hill, you need to go back up the third peak. It's all just easy kine rock climbing, and there are ropes if you wanna use them. The path from the second to the third peak has all the cool stuff. There's a point where you need to scale the side of a rock wall, and you have a rope to help. When you make it to the other side, there's a rock with a hole in it that makes for a cool photo opp. Then, there's a more dangerous photo opp that I got into, or in this case below. There's a hole in the rocks on the side of the mountain. Someone can climb down and a friend can take a picture looking through the hole. The ground under the hole is pretty slippery and is a long way down if you loose your footing, so don't do it if you don't think you can. It was just something we thought of.

Finally we go to the top of the third peak, and guess what, others who make it to the third peak will know you made it there too. There's a medicine bottle with lots of ribbons tied to the branch it's hanging from, probably to get peoples' attention. And in the bottle are pieces of paper to write your names and date on it, as well as any other comments you wanna add. We added our names after checking out the drop on the other side of the third peak.

If you wanna go descend from the third peak bring some rope. There's a 7 foot high drop to get down, and there's only an electrical wire with about 2 or 3 feet of it hanging on the drop to help you. Mits climbed down on the side, but he scratched himself pretty bad. There were scratches everywhere so climbing down at all isn't really a good idea unless you're well equipped. Mits said that there's another drop more on, and the trail there is overgrown, so it would be pretty hard to go down that way, not to mention how you're gonna get back. If you go all the way to the bottom after descending the third peak, you'll be far away from anything, even the golf course, so you'll probably be wandering around for a while.

Anyways, Olomana was a good hike with a good workout, since it's steep. We started at 9:30 and got back to the cars at 2:30, and probably would have finished earlier if we weren't taking lots of pictures. But, I got good pictures, so it was worth it.

There's Mits going down the first peak

Looking back up the first peak

Going down the second peak

Looking up while going down on the second peak

The rock with the hole in it

Climbing up the third peak...

Made it to the top of the third peak

The drop on the third peak descent

The hole in the ground

Back up the second peak



cool flower


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Kulepeamoa Hike

On saturday night, Mits texted me if I wanted to do anything today, and I was up for anything. Today, I got a text around 11, and Mits asked if I wanted to go hiking around Winston's house. When we arrived, Winston showed us where we would hike. A short walk up the street, but it involved us going though private property. Just as we approached, the guy who lives there came out, and we just decided to ask him if we could go in. He wouldn't let us, so we didn't know what to do. It was around 12 and we didn't wanna waste time, so I suggested we do Kulepeamoa. After returning to the cars, we decided that I would take them because Kendall locked his keys in the car. He didn't have OnStar so there was only my car left available anyway.

It took some driving around to find the trail head. We came upon this fence that had a no trespassing sign on it; don't think that's it...driving around some more. We went into about 4 roundabouts and just kept looking down every street until...there it was - the open driveway with the chain as a gate. Only took us about 15 minutes to find it. There was parking all along the curb, so I parked close to the entrance. We geared up and got ready to go. I got to test out the D40 today and from what I saw on the camera, the pics look good. I can't upload them yet because my computer is still being retarded so they'll come up later.

Up the driveway and to a water reservoir. There were three other cars parked up the driveway, but no one was around, and we learned that there was another road down to someone's house. That road isn't the trail, and you have to go along the right side of the fence of the water reservoir. Just look for the first pink ribbon and follow that. You might want to wear long pants because there's grass that grows over your head and can give you stuff like paper cuts in the beginning and uluhe ferns that cut up your legs later on. However, it can get hot so pack some shorts for the parts clear of those demon plants. You cross a dry stream bed and follow the ribbons up the mountain on a pretty steep trail. After going through the grass, you go through a forest, which opens up to a big dirt hill. You can go up the hill or follow the ribbons. Either way, you'll end up on the correct trail. From the dirt hill, it's all steep uphill climbing. You'll get to a part covered in pines where you can rest, but the trail continues on with even more steep ups and some downs. About 3/4 the way in, there's a rope section that would be really hard to climb if you didn't have the rope. It's a near vertical climb, and if you fall, you'll go tumbling down. Don't trust the rope too much, but always keep a hand on it because the dirt is loose and you could slip. After the rope section, you climb up and down some more sections before finally reaching the top of Kulepeamoa. In front of you at the summit are Waimanalo, Lanikai, Makapu'u, Kaneohe, Kailua, all that good stuff and of course Olomana, the hike Mits and I just did yesterday.

So the descent back down had us slipping and sliding on the loose dirt. We grabbed onto anything near for stability. It took us about an hour and a half to get back to the car from the top after about 2 hours of climbing to get to the top. No one ate lunch because we didn't expect to hike Kulepeamoa, so we hit up Zippys after and had some food. Winston hadn't hiked anything like that before so he wasn't in shape for it, but he made it all the way. He went to Maunawili with us before, so he had been on a hike, but today's steep, four hour hike was a lot more than Maunawili. It was a pretty fun weekend making us ask, what's next?

I had a piece of dust on the sensor that day so the pictures that are brighter in the middle have a noticeable gray spot on them. I fixed the camera but I'll need to go in photoshop and fix all the bad pics later. I tried to pick pictures that didn't show the annoying dot.

Loading up.

At the trailhead

Tall grass

Signs of life on the trail

the hill and winston decided to change from jeans to shorts. seemed good then until we got to the uluhe ferns...


still going up

Now to get to the summit...

Mits and Kendall got ahead of me and Winston so you can see them in the middle of the picture

They're already done with the rope section

Almost there...

Winston's turn

The summit is in view

Nice view

Olomana Hike

On Saturday, we did Olomana. My computer is acting up so yesterday i just stayed off of it and let the virus programs run. It still isn't fixed, but I'll at least type about what I've done. No pictures yet, but when I fix the computer, then I'll have them up.

I didn't really know if I would be doing anything on saturday because Mits said he might be busy and no one else said they would come. Luckily, Mits was able to go do stuff on saturday, and we decided to hike Olomana. I'd looked up info on how to get to the trail head, so I went to Kahala to get him, and we took a trip down to Kailua.

*If you wanna hear about hiking, then skip this part. This is the part where I talk about cameras.* I asked Mits to bring his DSLR, but he didn't know where or what make it was. It turned out to be a really good Canon EOS Rebel Xti. He let me use it while we hiked, so we both took pics with it. Before, I was debating on whether or not to get a DSLR, but after seeing his pictures, I got a Nikon D40 off of craigslist. I was just using a Pentax Optio W60 to take all my pictures, a $300, 10 MP point and shoot, and I like it because it's waterproof to 13 feet. However, the pictures have a good amount of noise. Since I barely need the waterproofness when hiking unless it rains or we come to a stream or something, I decided to get a camera dedicated more to imaging, so I looked for a DSLR an ended up with the D40. The optio W60 or the Olympus tough brand cameras are the perfect cameras for hitting up the beach. Olympus caps their video length at 30 seconds, though, so I didn't want to get that camera. Now onto the hike...

We went down the Pali highway and basically went to the Luana Hills Country club. You need to park before the bridge because they will tow your car if you don't. We got there at around 9 and took a 5 minute walk past the bridge, up the road until we got to the guard shack. There was another guy behind us who came to hike Olomana by himself, and the guard didn't stop us. All he said was to enjoy our hike. We went up the road about a mile in, and came upon the trail head sign on the left. We followed the dirt path in and got to a fork where one path was marked with fresh pink ribbons and the other had a fallen tree on it, so we followed the ribbon path. That was where we made our mistake. Because we followed the pink ribbons, we were off trekking the Maunawili trail, not the Olomana trail. After following the ribbons through a forest, up the side of Olomana, and to a barbed wire fence, we were lost. We hopped the barbed wire fence and found more ribbons further on. We wandered around for an hour and a half, and were seemingly on the right trail, since we saw ribbons, but the Olomana's peaks became more and more visible, which meant that we were going the wrong way. We ran into two hunters, about 10 hunting dogs, and asked a hunter what trail we were on, to which he replied, "uhh...this is the Maunawili trail." Damn. We were on the wrong trail, and had wasted and hour and a half trying to get up to nothing. We wandered around for a little more and climbed through the trees and bushes all the while getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. I could actually see the cloud of mosquitoes following Mits. Every branch we touched was brittle and easily broken. After breaking a branch off and stumbling, we discovered that the hollow innards of the branch had been burrowed out by ants that swarmed out and all over our hands, but surprisingly didn't bite us. There was no trail to follow and we just wandered aimlessly, trying to find the path to the summit of Olomana. Finally, Mits wanted to leave because he was hungry so we decided to give up and just go back down. We would have to come back later and find the correct trail to Olomana.

So we stumbled around to find the last place we saw with a ribbon and go back out. We passed two other people coming up who warned us not to take a wrong turn further down. We thought that there was only one way to go and wondered what they were talking about since there was the marked ribbon path and the unmarked, tree-in-the-way path. Returning back and almost to the trail head, we see two guys, two girls, and their three dogs come up. The guy in the front, which we later learned to be Pat, asked us how it was up at the summit. We explained to him how we got lost and gave up, and he enthusiastically suggested that we accompany the four of them to the summit of Olomana. It was up to Mitsuo, since he was hungry, and he didn't mind so we were on our way to the summit of Olomana with Pat and his friends. By then, it was already about 12:30 so we went without breakfast or lunch that day; all I brought was three Special K 90 calorie bars because I didn't expect to get lost or go with Pat to the top.

So we followed Pat and his friends along with the three Hungarian Vizslas, Kira, Copper, and Gatsby, to the top. The dogs were very playful and energetic. Kira, the only girl of the three, is also older, and Pat took her on the Olomana trail before, so she blazed through the trail. As we approached the fork with the ribbon trail and the tree-in-the-way trail, Pat led us over the tree and up that trail. We felt so stupid because we couldn't deduce that the tree-in-the-way trail was still hikeable. Anyways, the path is defined and straight up from there. There are about 4 or 5 sections on the way to the top of the first peak that involve climbing, and there are ropes on those sections to help. The dogs went up those parts quicker than the rest of us because of their superior paws and grip. There was one part where they were just waiting for us to come up, and when Mits and I were at the same level of Copper, he slipped. We grabbed him, but he slipped out of our hands. Fortunately, we slowed his fall down and he was back up the wall in no time. Pat helped the dogs up a more difficult rock climbing part later on. After the climbing parts, the trail returns to just dirt and rocks, then comes to the final climb to the summit of the first peak, a near vertical rock wall about 15 feet high. You could use the ropes on there, but remember not to rely on them too much in case they break. After the near vertical, you climb another easier rock wall and are finally at the top of the first peak of Olomana, about 1600 feet. Only Kira was experienced enough to come up to the top, and even she needed help from Pat. The two girls waited with Copper and Gatsby as the four of us and Kira went up. It was about 2:00 then, and Mits was even hungrier, so we decided not to hike the second and third peaks, but will come back another day to do them. I'll be sure to get some good pics when we do all the peaks later on. When the guys came down, they watched Copper and Gatsby so the girls could go up. Pat and his friend sat around and shared stories with us at the bottom of the near vertical rock wall. We later thanked them and were on our way back down. It took about an hour for the trip back down, and we were hungry, but very satisfied that we essentially did two hikes in the six hours we were out. Many thanks to Pat and his friends, and also the three Vizslas who made our hike to Olomana the most memorable of all the hikes Mits and I have been on. Pat told me he wanted to do the Dupont hike, and Mits and I would be happy to go with him, but we didn't give him our numbers or emails. If Pat ever reads this, give me an email and we can go hike Dupont one day.

Ok here we go i got the pictures up-

We parked here...

went across the bridge...

and to the guard house

this is the last picture i took before we got lost and the trail we went on wasn't really worth taking pics anyway

now round 2 going up with Pat

This is either Copper or Gatsby. Kira had a collar on so we could tell which was her.

the near vertical rock climbing part

Looking back down the climb

At the top of the first peak and the highest point of Olomana

Panorama. You actually have a 360 degree view up there