Hiking Part Duh: thanks but no thanks

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I haven’t missed home as much as I did on election night.  We tried to find a copy of the NY Times but Foodland only had the Star Bulletin.  And while the Times is going for $100 on ebay, the Honolulu Star Bulletin is going for about $5.05.  The thing that made me most homesick was this video:

We went hiking to celebrate the day.  Until yesterday the book OAHU REVEALED has been a handy guide for us, never steering us wrong.  There are entries in the book that encourage visitors to disregard ‘no trespassing’ signs or wiggle through gate openings in an effort to experience secret beaches or hidden trailheads.  I’ve pointedly avoided those attractions when looking for things to do.  But yesterday we decided to try a hike with an obstructed trailhead to Waihe’e Falls.  I liked it because it said it was moderately easy and that the pay off was a ‘refreshing shower under the cascading waters’

There was an ominous feeling emanating from the quiet person-less street leading to the trail.  Modest houses all with high fences–most with a ‘Beware of Dog’ sign (on one garage a ‘BAD DOG’ sign).  We parked down the street and had to walk past three unleashed dogs loose on their front yards.  Of the three dogs one was a rottweiller and the other was a pitbull.

I love dogs.  I mean I really love dogs and will go up to most and say hello. But everything in this neighborhood felt geared towards making strangers feel on guard.  The rottie and pitbull stopped playing long enough to coolly check us out from afar.  I kept reminding myself to take deep breaths and relax.  I tried to remember what Ceaser Millan said you should do if confronted by an aggressive dog…I couldn’t remember.  As we entered the trail and escaped the clean cut Stepford-on-steroids neighborhood, we noticed big piles of dog poop on the trial.  My mind started racing, picturing a giant frothing rottie step out from the the thick woods onto the trail in front of us.  There was a mile and a half more to go.

The trail for the first mile or so is almost downright ugly.  Lots of gravel and strange abandoned concrete structures.  The book says that on this trail is one of the only dike tunnels in Hawaii.  K said it was like being in New Otherton (referencing the town that the Others lived in on Lost).  I have to agree.  I found the odd relics on the trail menacing.  I told Ken that I kept expecting to be shot by a resident who would later claim he thought we were bears.  That’s what a handful of KEEP OUT, NO TRESPASSING signs will do to you.

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There were definitely some pretty things.  Like coffee plants and wild orchids along the way.  But I mostly remember my own fear and the place smelling kind of bad.  I tried to occupy my mind with happy thoughts as we ascended: Barack Obama is our president and the big bowl of ginataan at home in the fridge.

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We didn’t make it to the end.  I got really winded.  And it felt like it was going on forever with no sense of the supposed pay-off at the end.  At one point we stopped to put mosquito repellent on and as I put my hand to my leg I killed 2 mosquitoes with my palm that were already perched on my shin.  Blech.

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