Hiking this trail isn’t easy to come by. It’s a permitted trail, only allowing hikers and hunters on the weekends and federal holidays. The permit enables five people and one 4-wheel drive vehicle. It’s a 45-minute slow drive up a rutted (if it’s been raining, muddy) road. But once you arrive, it is all worth the effort.
My effort was very minimal as I was one of the five that didn’t have to apply for the permit or drive the truck. All I needed to do was to arrive at the meeting places at a reasonable hour (7:00). I’m a lucky girl (really an old lady). Haha.
Our group of five hiking friends that met through my cousin, “E.” There was “L,” “J,” “R,” “E,” and myself. Pretty well paired with each other as hiking ability goes. Several of them have excellent knowledge of fauna and birds on the trail. Always nice to have that on a hike.
The weather was beautiful; winds picked up from earlier in the week. Sunny, with a minimal amount of clouds. It had been dry the previous days before making the mud at a minimum.
The trailhead looked different because of the tall grasses surrounding the sign. Hiker “L” heard the trail upkeep might be lacking because of the quarantine. Grasses were tall but still walkable.
It has been at least two years since I last hiked the trail. It was a similar type of day; dry and sunny. I’m happy because of the stories I’ve heard slipping, sliding, and walking out mud up to mid-calf doesn’t sound like fun.
On the way up, we were met with a brisk breeze around every corner, making corners something to look forward to. The trail was narrow, on foot in front of the other in places. Making it a good workout on our balance.
Much of the Strawberry guava was past it’s prime. The fruit flies were swarming in those areas (needed to breathe through our nose or get a mouthful). And where there wasn’t guava, there were ferns. I’m not sure what type of fern, but a sturdy variety as it saved me from falling into the mud.
Once you reach the summit, you understand why this is one of the beautiful hikes in Hawaii. You can see all the way to the east side beaches. On this day, the breeze was more than a breeze but a Pali Lookout style winds.
We had our rest and back on the trail. It was as comfortable as the morning as the sun had risen high in the sky. Turning the corners, we were not greeted with a gust of wind. But we made our way to the last bench for orange slices and the last of the water to get us out to our truck.
We all feel accomplished finishing the 7 miles and dreaming of our next hike together.