Thursday, July 8, 2010

Maunawili Demonstration Trail

Lauren has the hiking bug!  After reading a description of the 9.75-mile Maunawili Demonstration Trail hike in her copy of Oahu Revealed, Lauren thought it sounded like the one for us.

We pulled off the side of the road at a hairpin turn on the Pali Lookout...

...and then proceeded to hike for 20-30 minutes down a false trail.

To our credit, the bogus trail started immediately to the right of the Hawaii State Parks trailhead sign, and it looked solid enough at the beginning.  But as the mud rose to our ankles, and as we crossed a stream for the fourth time, and as we found ourselves increasingly uncertain about where the trail actually was after coming around a bend -- well, we pulled out our photocopy of the Oahu Revealed pages saw the trail described as "very well-maintained," and wisely decided that we must have screwed up somewhere!

Once we trekked all the way back to the car, I noticed a little footbridge 20 feet down the road, which was the start of the real trail.  And it was everything the guidebook promised.  Well-maintained, scenic, a challenge over the course of the day but only steep for very short stretches.

We hiked for the next 4-5 hours, enjoying the incredible views that popped out every once in a while between trips through lush forest.  We went through all the usual stages of hiking: enthusiasm, hunger, PBJ satiation, optimistic distance estimation, pessimistic distance estimation, boredom, singing, deep boredom ... and finally, victory!

One of the coolest things about the hike from this Florida boy's perspective was that we could look back from the end of our hike, and see the entire curve of the mountain that we'd just traversed.  You don't often get the opportunity to look at so much terrain back home.

Here are some of my favorite shots, starting with a short video.

[As my discerning readers are doubtless aware, PBJ improves any vista.]

Last but not least, huge thanks to Grammy for picking us up at the end of the hike and driving us back to the car we'd parked at the trailhead.  I was not eager to hike the 9 miles back. :)

I'll be posting all the pics I snap from the wedding and honeymoon trip to this smugmug gallery, and all the pics from this hike are up there.