Day 18- A different kind of hike
Today was a different kind of hike for us, no mountains or forest, just dirt roads and sandy trails. We decided to walk Ka’ena Point from our side, Mokuleia. We hit the trail around 8 a.m. and in hindsight, for us 6 or 7 a.m. would have been a little bit better, because the hike back is HOT.
We took the upper, main road and if we wanted would veer off to the access roads to check out the coast line.
We noticed these tall plants (aloe) and joked that they were giant asparagus, radioactive asparagus. We were making reference to Gilligan’s Island when they grow their radioactive vegetables (season 3, episode 3 “Pass the Vegetables Please”).
We finally hit the end of the dirt road and entered the albatross sanctuary.
Wipe off your shoes before you enter the gate.
The signage was information along the trail.
The path here was a bit easier to walk on compared to the rutted road. Though at times the deeper sand hindered a faster speed.
We approached Leina A Ka ‘Uhane, a large rock, which is known as “the soul’s leaping place.” About a mile before this I heard distinct eerie laughter resounding from the hills and I swear it was the ghosts of some souls mocking us. In reality it was probably a bird crying out and his sound was echoing off the walls of the hills.
This is a place that a soul would jump off into the spirit world. I thanked Pele for allowing us to see this (I may not be religious, but I am spiritual).
We walked around the Western tip of Oahu, where the North meets the West.
I waved over to Kauai, sending good cheer to our hiking friend, Eric, that lives there (shameless plug for his hiking business – really hire him if you are on Kauai).
The wave action was fun to watch, along with the soaring birds. Of course, the birds didn’t want to be photographed today.
We followed the trail around the west side until we emerged at another gate. We left the gate and followed the fence line until we reached the road again. Once on the road we noticed some people off the trail. I called over to one and asked why type of research was taking place. We had a feeling they were scientists. The young woman told us they were searching for ants. Ants are not native to Hawaii and are one of the insects that damage the landscape. Who knew? Glad I asked.
We noticed a side trail that led to one of the pillboxes.
We headed up a little way to gain a better view of the landscape.
After that is was a trudge back to the car. It seemed much longer returning, maybe because we had a head wind and the sun was up just a wee bit higher. We did go on some of the side “roads” for different views of the coastline.
This view though, when you are blazing sun, is a little daunting and you wonder if you will ever make it back.
You know you are in desert like conditions when you see a cactus like this:
The advantage of hiking in Hawaii, you can just go right into the ocean to cool off. We unpacked the car when we got home and walked straight into the ocean. AHHHHH refreshing.
If you do this hike here are my suggestions:
1. Start early.
2. Have plenty of water, we each drank two liters and had a coconut water at the tip of Oahu.
3. Wear a hat and sunscreen. Bring more sunscreen to slather on.
4. I should have had a long sleeve lightweight shirt to wear on the way back.
5. It is hot walking back. I thought I just had opened an oven door set at 450, when we hit the road back, it was that hot.
For us this was a different kind of hike, no shade and seeing the ocean in all its glory, from calm to wild.
We spent the afternoon having lunch, picking up a few goodies to mail an aloha box to a friend back in New England, and reading. The hike really took a lot out of us, so it was nice just to spend a quiet restful afternoon and evening just reading and floating in the ocean.
We capped off the night with the last two cupcakes and a sunset.