Saturday, October 31, 2009

Joseph and Leanne Deguzman's Wedding


 Best wishes in your future life together.  

It was a beautiful wedding. Great decor and food. The Halloween suitabilities were blended in nicely. It was great seeing everyone and hope to see you soon. Have a great honeymoon!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Kaena Point

Trails: Kaena Point
Distance: About 5.2 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: relatively flat
Hiking time: about 3 hours including time just hanging out at the point
Area: Leeward side of island, western most point
Trailhead: Yokohama Bay, end of Farrington Highway on the Leeward Side
Trailhead Coordinates: N21 33.366 W158 14.909
Sights: Kaena Point, the ocean on both sides, possible monk seals, dolphins in the distance, and whales
Directions via bus: Catch the 11 from Alapai Transit Center.

Directions via car: Take H1 west towards Ewa. Follow the highway and it will become Farrington Highway, a local highway. Continue to the end.

Recommendations for hike: Sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, liter of water.
Trail Conditions: This trail is a dirt road that follows the coastline. It's dry and there's no shade. It can be done in slippers. Not very challenging. There's hardly any elevation gain.

Not much variation.

So today, Hillary, Nicole, and I set out to reach Kaena Point from the Leeward side of the island. It's a peaceful hike along the western coast. This side of the island is much dryer and lacks vegetation. There are no trees and little shade along the trail. The trail follows what I believe is Farrington Highway. It used to connect the Leeward and North side of he island  before it was destroyed. A landslide took out part of the road. It starts at Yokohama Bay at the end of Farrington Highway.

The trek was easy and it had some breathtaking views. At Kaena Point you're just surrounded by water in most directions. We saw a monk seal too! In the winter, you can spot whales sometimes.

Looking back from the starting point.

Fortunately, I don't have much to steal

Just some views along the coast. The tower in the back is our destination.
So at one point, we heard this loud noise. At first I thought it might have been a monk seal or something. After climbing down a bit towards the coast... this was the culprit. Just a blowhole.

So this is where the landslide was that took the road out. Didn't look to safe but Nicole and Hillary proved me wrong. There's a little cavern by that plank of wood.

From the cavern! Pretty cool. Smelled a bit musky but whatever.

Just looking back.
Almost there.

A monk seal!!!

A closer view. It didn't wake up yet. We named him/her Shalhoub! We ended up just watching this guy lay out for like 15 mins. Later he got up and bathed in the water a bit. His flippers were tagged with orange tags and had N12 written on. Later Sahlboub.
Didn't really expect to see one but here was some info on them.

So these last series of pics are from a single point. Just various pictures in every direction. It's very peaceful and serene. It really reminded me that I'm on an island thousands of miles from any large body of land. Usually in Waikiki and downtown I don't even think about it. I wonder what it's like there at night. Must be amazing. The sunsets at this end too so I'll probably go back for a sunset.
Hope you enjoyed.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Weaving a web

So everyone has a story to tell.... everyone I have met has their own unique story... often including their idea life... how it unexpectedly changed... and for the better... what they've learned... how they've grown. That's the basic template.

Me... I reluctantly say that I follow that template... though I hope to share a story not so common... out of the box... a bit more adventurous. Rather, I hope that I don't have to share but that people will talk about it. That isn't the intention but rather how I would like it to play out. I want to see the world... because there is so much to see... I want to experience so many different things... experience that which most do not have a chance to experience. I want to make that chance occur. I think I can do it all and though it's a young outlook on life, I want to embrace it. I want to live in paradise (check)... be a ski bum (soon enough)... learn different cultures (a bit further down the road)... and absorb the best of everywhere I go. I want to see the world from a perspective that most have not been able... to sit on top of Denali and peer through the clouds.... come across a pack of wolves, comfortably without fear... swim with some dolphins not because I'm paying some tourist company but because I want to and they want to.... live in various states... whether rich, poor, peaceful, or chaotic... because people are trying to survive and enjoy what they have and respect what they wish for.

The comforts we have... what we consider basic necessities... well not all of us... but I know... I... take it for granted. Though I only have a peering view of it... I still take it for granted... not fully understanding what taking it for granted means. It doesn't mean that some of us have not earned the right to take it for granted. Many of us work hard so we can achieve those goals... enjoy the luxuries... but those of us born into that level of comfort... well we know nothing else. We may still strive to maintain that status, however how can we understand to the same degree as those who gave it to us? People may argue (myself included) that we should utilize those to achieve more... hence the progression of success... often measured by wealth in our society.... accept the basic comforts we have as necessity so we can gain more. Maybe it's a more puristic sense in me... but shouldn't we have an understanding of what was initially achieved or does that impede our progression, as an individual and as a coherent society? Well if we all sat in awe of what we have... well I feel that we would be content and not try to pursue...

These are the questions I want to find peace with.... along with many others... and only with more perspective can I find a justifiable answer... rather a justifiable life style... something to live by... in the mean time, I look to capture life.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Kalauao Trail to Kalauao Falls

Trails: Kalauao Trail via Aiea Loop Trail
Distance: About 4 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: about 60 ft
Hiking time: about 2 hours
Area: Aiea Heights, Kalauao Stream
Trailhead: Keaiwa Heiau State Park (same as Aiea Loop Trail Head)
Trailhead Coordinates: N21 23.874 W157 54.049
Sights: Kalauao Stream, Kalauao Falls
Directions via bus: Catch the 11 from Alapai Transit Center.

Directions via car: Take H1 west towards Pearl City. Take the stadium exit and head onto Moanalua Rd. Take a right onto Aiea Heights Dr and it will bring you into the park. The park is a loop and you want to drive all the way to the opposite end. You'll 3 (or 4 depending on how you count one of them) parking sections. Park by the restrooms.
Recommendations for hike: Sunscreen, bug repellent,  water. Though manageable in my walking shoes, hiking boots are highly recommended.
Trail Conditions: A bit muddy at parts especially near the falls. Most of the trail is easy but once you drop down to the stream (middle section of the hike), it's pretty steep and sometimes muddy. The last part is along the stream so prepared to get wet.


The left picture is our actual hike. The right is the one you want to take. We overshot a part of the trail that lead down to a side road on Aiea Heights Drive. So if you want a shorter hike, take the side road.

So I've been in this area before and hiked Aiea Loop Trail. It can be found here:

The trail is easy enough to begin. It's pretty flat and well marked as you're on Aiea Loop Trail. A bit before 1/2 mile, you'll see an unmarked path on the left. We found ourselves going through strawberry guava trees. It might seem like you're going in the wrong direction (heading back to town, facing South East) but it's correct. You'll be on a low lying ridge for a portion, pass some powerline towers. You'll have a decent view of Pearl City at certain angles.
So we followed this section to the end. We missed the turn. So we trekked back.

If you're following the correct path, the turn off will be on your right and it will head downhill. It'll look like a switch back. It's marked by a mango tree with an orange ribbon. This little descent is short but pretty steep. I enlisted the help of nearby trees quite often. Had to climb around rocks. Fun! Just remember you have to climb back out. It's a bit rocky and a bit muddy towards the bottom. Watch out for patches of leaves too. It took awhile to get down but we made it.

At the base of the decent, looking downstream, Kalauao Stream.

At the base of the descent, looking upstream. Fogged lens.

At this point, you should be a Kalauao Stream. You'll be heading upstream. The trail crosses the stream about 8 times. It was dry enough that I could just hop rocks and make my way up the stream. Wasn't too promising. I wondered how the falls was going to be but I've been proven wrong in the past. After another 1/2 mile, you'll reach Kalauao Falls and pool. It was pretty low. The falls was trickling and the water was stagnant. It was hardly feeding the stream. The deepest part was roughly 5 feet deep. I falls is two tiered and starts about 25 - 30 ft up. The pool is pretty wide but due to lack of rain, it recessed towards the fall. I didn't go in... a bit disappointing. From other pictures I've seen (see links below), the pool can be quite large. I'll be back after heavy rainfall.

Along the stream.


Finally! The falls. As you can see, its just trickling.
Looking down from the top of the falls. Maybe 25 - 30 ft high (from the water).

Well I'll be back after so heavier rainfall.

Hear are some other people's hikes of the trail that may give you a better idea of the trail

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Search for Mo'ole trail

The green part is just hiking to and from. Unfortunately the bus doesn't go around the starting point.


So today I set out to find a trail that has hardly any references. I found a couple, the main ones I used are:

It's in the Nuuanu Reservoir area. On the Northern side of the Pali Highway before the tunnel to Kailua. So I started out at the last stop up the Pali Highway. Walked up the Pali... not fun... no sidewalk and hardly any shoulder.... it's open though and the curves are gentle so cars could see me. Anyway... so I get to the second intersection of Nuuanu Pali Drive and Pali Highway. This is where the highway cuts through the old road. 

So after crossing the highway, I follow the fence North, looking for an entrance. There's an irrigation ditch along the highway. At one point the irrigation ditch passes below the fence. Bingo... there's my trail head.

So after entering, I find a couple of pink ribbons but for the most part, the trail is not marked. Following my senses, to the left, I come across a trail which leads me to a dry irrigation ditch. I wasn't sure if I was on the right trail but after crossing there was a path along the ditch. Eventually I came across a pipe which I thought was what the articles were describing. As I went around and followed the dry stream bed. It split and I stayed in the middle to follow the left stream. I walked along the dry stream bed for quite some time. Ducking under branches, climbing over others, climbing out of the stream bed only to return to it and follow it up. 


So just some pics along the way. It's really just me wandering around in the wood for 2 hours.

Fallen tree... would make a good shelter if it had rained.


So this was my final destination. Not much. I imagine if there was some heavy rainfall it would be a nice tiered fall but not today.

After getting back and looking at the data, I find that I was following Makuku Stream. I never found the proper ditch. I should have immediately crossed Makuku Stream. I'm not sure where I went wrong but I'll be heading back. I think I"ll just follow the stream.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Random thoughts on losing items and donating blood

So, I was just thinking, as usual, about everything that I've lost this past year. I mean an object that I've physically lost. Then I began to list the things I've broken as well. It's a lot of stuff!!! So here it is

Bicycle - Stolen
Moped - Stolen
Old Phone - lost (on a bus)
Electronic cigarette - broken
Sunglasses - lost (I think at Hanauma Bay)
Coffee pot - broken
Drinking glasses 2 - broken
Office and apartment keys - lost
Candle holder that I won playing a game at a baby shower - I broke this within 2 hours
2 disposable cameras - on my backpacking trip
Ear bud headphones

I'm sure there is more that I'm forgetting. I'm not accident prone but jeez... wtf. Guess I'm just aloof and careless. Fortunately they are just objects. Maybe that's why I don't have much stuff. I break or lose everything. My mentality now of being a minimalist  suits me. :)

Is donating blood good for you?
On another note, I donated blood today. I expected to be lite headed. When I was in high school, I was washing some dishes and one of the bowls broke in my hand. The base of my thumb jammed into the ceramic side and hit the bone. I remembering losing a lot of blood and when I sat down on the couch, this lite headed feeling like I was going to feint. Mom said I was probably going into shock so I suppose it was a combination of rapid blood loss and seeing it. I thought it might be something like that after but I felt fine. So I have this idea that by donating blood it will help filter out any unnatural and unwanted materials in my system. Just like constantly diluting a solution. I suppose it will remove the good cells and such but those will be naturally replaced. I need a way to measure it though and what would I measure. Hemoglobin, iron, cholesterol.... but all these can vary depending on my diet and exercise. Right?

Okay after some quick research. It doesn't help with your cholesterol as your body will regulate it and produce more to replace the lost cholesterol, as indicated in this article. I question if all types of cholesterol are replenished to the original rate though.

Another article, ( reflects it helps prevent iron overload. I'm lead to believe that this will help with any other substance that your body does not produce and builds up in your system. Though I'm sure our body can regulate them to a degree and expunge any unnecessary minerals or substances. This one supports the above:

Now I'm not sure. Of course there's the benefit of helping someone else but that's not my primary reason. Just a bonus. 

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sacred Falls Trail

Please disregard the distance in the elevation profile. 

Warning: This park is closed. On May 9, 1999, there was a landslide that killed 8 people and injured many more. The rockfall occurred near the falls.

Trails: Sacred Falls Trail
Distance: Approximately 4.5 miles to and from falls
Elevation Gain: about 600 ft
Hiking time: about 4 hours
Area: Laie around the Mormon Temple Windward coast, Hau'ula
Trailhead: Sacred Falls State Park
Trailhead Coordinates: Entrance of Sacred Falls State Park N21 36.053 W157 53.878
Sights: Sacred Falls
Directions via bus: Take the 55 from Ala Moana Center. Pass Kahana Valley and pass Punalu'u. There is a stop right around the park. It takes about 1 1/2 hours.

Directions via car: Take H1 to Likeke or Pali Highway or H3 northward. Take Kamehameha Highway up the windward coast. After Kahana Valley and pass Punaluu. After Puhuli St on your left, the park entrance will be blocked on the left. Not sure where to park cause the state park's gate is closed.
Recommendations for hike: Sunscreen, bug repellent,  water. Though manageable in slippers, I would recommend sneakers. Swimsuit or shorts.
Trail Conditions:A bit muddy at parts especially near the falls. Not too steep. A majority of the trail is rocky.

So I finally got a chance to go to Sacred Falls. I've been wanting to go for quite some time but it's tough to find information on the trail since it's been closed. So at 10 a.m. this morning, Nicole and I headed out in search of the trail head. We got lost. A lot of other internet resources tell you to get onto Koolau Rd. Guess what? Most of the maps, including Google Maps are incorrect. The road is not connected as shown. Plus the state park can be seen from Kamehameha Hwy.
Once I walked into the park, I noticed how abandoned it was. There are no facilities and  a fence in the distance. There was no parking and everything was covered in grass. See image below Sacred Falls State Park. Though the entrance is fenced off, on the left there is a pine covered trail towards the left. After following the right most path, I was beyond he fence at a dirt road. It's peaceful and I heard plenty of birds chirping and singing. The road is overgrown with grass. I heard some near by locals from beyond the tress. Sounded like some construction.
As I followed the dirt road up, I noticed a dry stream bed. The falls didn't seem to promising at this point but I was determined to go. Soon after, there was a path to the left as the road went up and slightly to the right. The left path was a little narrower but the path is clear. The brush surrounding me was a couple feet taller than me. Only one way to go and I came across an open area. I'm guessing this is the official trail head for Sacred Falls trail but all the signs have been replaced with warnings. At the opposite end of the area, there was a narrow path. Onward!!!

As I entered the trail, there was an immediate stream crossing, but it was dry. The trail is short and not difficult at all. The entire trail follows Kaliuwaa Stream. At first, the trail was on my left. Then after crossing twice and it was on your right. I know it doesn't make sense but the stream makes this jug handle type of bend. There will be mountain apples on the ground and plenty of gnats dining on them. It was kind of annoying but no biggie. The trail is a bit unclear at times but follow the stream and you'll be fine. At one point, it will digress slightly from the stream but I was able to hear the stream the entire time.

Soon enough, I reached the mouth of the valley. It's an amazing sight! I've never been in a valley with the walls so high and valley so narrow. It was at least 40 feet across but still. From this point, I followed the stream. Just be careful some of the rocks are not as sturdy as they look and of course some are slippery.While I was chilling there, there was a helicopter tour entering and leaving the valley. I noticed 2 prior, on my way up to the falls but this one was quite annoying. At first I didn't mind, but when it left, it left me unsteady and my hearing was off. I tried to equalize and couldn't. It was odd. Maybe something with the vibration between the rock walls but it was an unsettling and just plain old annoying feeling. As I hiked down, I was able to equalize but it wasn't until I was out of the valley. I wonder about the science behind it because it doesn't make much sense to me.

Sacred Falls State Park

The dirt road. It's less than a mile to next marker.

 Trail is to the left.

 I think this is the trail head???

This is the terrain for the most of the trail. There isn't much sun light until later on. There are constant branches that I needed to hop over or duck under.

Mountain apples. See all the gnats? Yummy...

 This was taken at the mouth of the valley of to the left. Pretty sweet!

Looking up. It's tough to capture the landscape.

What's that in the distance?

YESS!!! Victory!!! Spoon!!! (The Tick's battlecry)

So I took a quick swim. Very refreshing especially after walking through all those gnats. A bit chilly but not bad. The falls is like 80 ft high. The pool is about 40 ft or more across. Water wasn't the clearest and I'm not sure how deep it was. 

 Looking back from where I came.