Sunday, January 10, 2010

Kaena Point

There is an interesting myth that you can drive "around" the island of Oahu. Pure myth, even if at some point some intrepid souls could make the journey. Even when we say we drove "around the island," what we really mean is that we drove around the eastern edge, up to the North Shore, and then through the center of the island from Haleiwa through Wahiawa back towards the south. Yesterday (Saturday) we decided to go hike at Kaena point, the big circle-island-road fail point. Our group requires two cars; had we thought about it beforehand, we could have parked at opposite sides of the point and each done the hike in opposite directions, swapping cars at the end; we didn't, so we hiked to the point and back again on the western (Makaha) edge.

Among our first sights on the trail at Kaena was a tourist who "has done this before" (probably over 30 years ago...) and who "comes every year" who didn't realize that there is no such thing as going around the West/North border (aka Kaena Point) to complete a circular drive around the island. They got stuck about 1/4 mile in. As we walked on we saw them get free of their ditch and start backing towards the trailhead.

On the trail:

BittyPrincess spent about 5% of the trail like this:

And my camera spent about 99% of the trail in my backpack.

We got to the nature preserve at the tip of the island, and did see some albatross, a few brave ones even nested pretty close to the trail:

Later we saw some of the birds in flight, but again, the camera spent 99% of the trail in my backpack.

The point itself:

And some Hawaiian Monk Seals (a critically endangered animal, probably not least because people don't seem to bother them at all):

Here are a few photos of an area where the road just doesn't even exist at all anymore:

A pause to explore a rock bridge:

Plodding our way back (OMG it was HOT!). Boyness and Girliness actually jogged portions of the trail with their Tutu, doubling back to meet us. You would never guess it by the time we got back to Tutu and Papa's house, what with all the swimming and running around they did...

And a last view to the point from about the halfway out, before we couldn't see it anymore.

The hike was heinously hot. I remembered it (from doing this about 13 years before) as a "thirsty" hike, so I brought 6 40oz water bottles and Tutu brought her camelback, but we still did the last half mile or so thirsty and out of water. Oh cruel world, the water wasn't potable at the trailhead, so we had to drive out before we got another dose (the dog was suffering particularly badly). So (and I know this happens occasionally) if you've reached this blog doing an internet search and are deciding to do this hike, LOTS OF WATER.

Despite professing extreme weariness, the kids bounced around and sang the whole car ride back. Swimming in the pool. Plate lunches at the beach for dinner. Lots of rowdy for kids who'd just been on a tiring hike. Apparently there is no wearing them out...ever.

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