Ok, well, really, it was Day 3, but Day 1 was minor so I’ve just sort of skipped it. One of the things that my parents wanted to do was see the “Real Hawaii” and stay away from mostly tourist activities. My dad really wanted a hike through a rain forest setting and Wes and I were having trouble figuring out a good hike. We received a book on Oahu hikes for Christmas, but most of them were very small, 1-3 miles total and all categorized as Beginner. But on Saturday we happened upon a Patagonia store and found a great hiking book for Oahu. The book had three times as many hikes as our other book and they looked to be a bit harder. So we picked it up and found what looked to be a great hike for the following day.
Now, whereas the first book was filled with way too easy hikes that were talked up to be more difficult, this book was filled with hikes that were made out to be easier than they were. The hike we picked was described as “Novice/Intermediate” and passed a waterfall. The pictures that accompanied the hike showed people swimming under the waterfall and we thought this would be a great hike – waterfalls, bamboo forests, and rain forest all in one. We also thought that it would be fairly simple. I ended up wearing my hiking sandals, to make swimming easier. Which would have been fine if the hike had been anything like I imagined. But it wasn’t.
In 2002 there was a mudslide that closed to the waterfall area for swimming. So it turns out I wore my bathing suit for nothing.
The waterfall was still lovely to look at, as most waterfalls are. Cold clear water falling down the rocks – how can that not be a beautiful sight?
Walking up to the waterfall was muddy. But also beautiful.
We had to walk about half a mile to get to the trailhead through a neighborhood (one of the consistently nice neighborhoods we’ve seen here in Hawaii).
By the time we got to the trailhead I already had to pee. Luckily there were outhouses near the beginning. Unluckily, they were disgusting. So disgusting that the first time I walked in I ran out gagging.
And, yeah, I know I have a gag reflex, but these outhouses were disgusting. They were donated by the t.v. show Lost in 2006 (?) and I don’t think they had been cleaned since. It’s a hugely popular show, I’m thinking they could spring for an upgrade before they depart the island for good.
I haven’t done much photographing since we got the puppy, which means I haven’t learned a lot about how my camera works. It was so great having my dad here to give me pointers on what ISO setting to use and what shooting mode I should be in. I ended up getting some great photos thanks to his help. But we also ended up lagging behind for the first part of the hike.
When Wes hikes he goes fast. He’s not so keen on taking time to see all the surroundings. Consequently, he spent a lot of the hike looking back at us.
Wes was kind enough to hold this tree apart while we passed.
There was a lot of restoration on the trail, and instead of using real wood there were steps and paths made out of fake wood. Slippery, yes, but sturdy enough to last. (And yes, I’m aware that “fake wood” isn’t the most accurate term, but I can’t remember the name of it so this will have to work.)
Just before we got to the waterfall there was this great canopy that was perfect for framing a picture. Again, Wes is waiting for the shutterbugs following him.
After the waterfall there was a break in the darkness of the trees and the trail opened to this view of . . . more trees. But different trees. I’m not sure what these are called, but my parents loved how they seemed to fit together without having to be trimmed into place. For the rest of the trip they kept pointing them out and saying, “I love those trees.” They even spent some time plotting on how to get them back to Idaho and planted in their yard.
After the break the trail continued through the bamboo. We would shake these branches to get some of the water off and cool us down.
Look, I know this tree starts with a ‘B’ but I can’t remember the name. The branches grow down. In the city they get trimmed up, but out here they were growing wild and I love the way they look. I’m sure there are lots of creepy crawly things in there that would having me screaming, but I love that it looks like a house from a fairytale.
We had to cut the hike before we finished to get back to Tsunami in time to play with her before dinner in Waikiki. My feet were so muddy that I couldn’t see my toes and when I washed them off in the shower (after rinsing them off in the stream on our way down) the water was muddy. Perhaps next time I’ll wear hiking shoes, no matter what the guide tells me.
Even though my parents were stressing the non-tourist activities, what’s Hawaii without dinner on the beach? The Hula Grill in Wakiki has a great early dinner special. And yes, I realize that makes me sound a little old, eating before 6 o’clock, but the deal is so great and the views awesome at that time that I just don’t care.
Wes ordered a beer and I ordered a lemonade drink with alcohol, which, strangely, didn’t contain lemonade even though it was part of the name. And I won’t lie, when they brought it out it tasted like soda water. My dad ordered the same thing and since he isn’t afraid of sending things back, we did. It wasn’t the best drink ever, but it did taste more like the description.
For an hour dinner, we were gone for nearly four hours. Such is life living in the ‘burbs. We cut a lot of things short to be able to spend time with Tsunami since she had to be kenneled the entire time we were gone. I think all involved parties are looking forward to visits were she isn’t such a burden on our time.