It was a nicer day today so we managed our trip to Kailua beach finally. We set up a tent and brought the boogie boards, and the kids had a grand time. Becca and Tony both caught a bunch of waves, and Naomi really enjoyed puttering around with her swim-wings on out past the break, where she could just float around. The sun was out, the water was warm, the breeze was mild. But after several hours we were beat, and headed back in time to get lunch, pick up Paul's girlfriend, and head out in our very-packed van for some hiking.
The Aiea Loop Trail (it has a different name, after the heiau - temple - that it begins at, but I can't remember it and neither can anyone else...) is 4.5 miles long but very, very hilly and, after that initial clear patch, tangled in roots and rocks. In other words, it was a TON of fun for the big kids at first but quickly became tiring. And I didn't have a backpack carrier for Naomi, so we had to carry her, even after she fell asleep.
About 3 miles in Becca declared a need to go to the bathroom and an absolute unwillingness to stop, so my dad rushed her on ahead. He says it took them only about 15 minutes to complete the trail (whohoo, good pace...she ran!) but I lugged an unhappy (and not too silent about it) toddler and a worn-out 4yo the same distance in about an hour. The last quarter mile or so, Paul even carried Boyness on his back. But we eventually DID get to the end (there's an END?) of the trail. Every time I hike this I say "NEVER AGAIN" but then look at the pictures and say "oh yeah." The trail follows the ridge-rim along a valley, then dips down to the valley floor and back up to return you to your starting point. At your peak elevation, you are perhaps 100 vertical feet below the highest point on the island (which we hiked to LAST year on the Stairway to Heaven) and at your lowest point you are slogging around in stream beds and oppressive humidity. About at the point where you've gone 4 miles and are slogging up the hill in very humid and completely breeze-less air, tripping on roots because you're just sick of looking at the damned things, you just...HAVE...to decide never to do it again.
At least the views were nice! And I'll be damned if it isn't working; you remember the pretty and you forget how fucking miserable the trail is while you're actually ON it.