Kukui Trail

Trip Start Feb 28, 2008
Trip End Mar 16, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Hawaii
Sunday, March 2, 2008

Last night some group in a cabin close by was having some kind of party or ceremony, I'm not sure which, but they were so noisy that neither Dave or I got much sleep. Dave got up while it was still dark out and collected some fire wood for the stove and warmed up the cabin for us. The hike we were planning to do today was not as far so we took our time getting ready. We were both dragging anyway since we'd hiked so much the day before and then didn't get much sleep. I got caught up on my journal and Dave set up his antenna and played on his ham radio for a while.

Then we packed up and headed for the Kukui Trail. This is down the road a way so we took the car this time. The trail descends 2000 feet in 2 miles into the Waimea canyon. There were beautiful Yellow Silk Oaks at the beginning of the trail. The first half of the trail is out in the open before moving into a forest of Kukui trees, the nut from which is supposed to be good luck. Since this trail descends at the beginning instead of the end, I shouldn't have too many problems with my knee even though there is a lot of elevation loss and gain. The canyon is spectacular! Walls of layered reds are streaked with veins of green from vegetation. The further down into the canyon you went the more breath-taking the views. The open part of the trail was badly eroded and we had to hike in ditches for a good portion of this part of the trail. This time we saw very few people on the trail. I think 2000 feet down turned people off.

About a half mile before you reach the bottom of the canyon and the Waimea river, you come out of the Kukui forest and enter a tall grassland. The grass is taller then me and I had to use my hands to shield my face while I hiked through this part. It was stifling hot through this section. Thank goodness it didn't last too long. Just before we reached the river, we enter woods again and I spotted an orange tree with a number of ripe oranges too far up for me to reach. Dave managed to knock down one of the oranges with a stick on his first try. It was really sweet, but had lots of seeds. It tasted wonderful! This section of the hike also had lots of mosquitoes and Dave and I were getting eaten alive because we forgot to bring the bug juice. We managed to escape them by hopping onto rocks out in the middle of the river. We took off our boots and soaked our feet to cool off while we ate our lunch. We had Hawaiian poke with Ahi tuna and leftovers from last nights dinner. We hung around the river for a while and then headed back up the trail.

When we got back to the cabin we made stir fry pork and mixed vegetables for dinner this time. We spent the rest of the night reading and catching up on our journals.
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