December 17, 2012

The Kalaulau Trail.

aka:  the hike on which I nearly died.  (ok, not really. just sorta)  So, the plan:  the plan was to hike in to Hanakapi’ai Falls, 4 miles in.  No big deal, right?  Wrong.  Here’s the real deal with this trail:  there are a LOT of hills.  Steep ones.  And apparently, the sad, tremendously humbling reality is … I’m not good with hills.
beginningUp, up, up we go to the first viewpoint …trail 2Breathtakingly beautiful vistas …trail 1Up, up, up some more …IMG_9192IMG_9193IMG_9196Hey, look at that!  A downhill!  Exciting, eh?  (right up until the moment you remember that you have to hike out the very way you came in. oy.)IMG_9209Down, down, down … til we arrive at Hanakapi’ai beach, the 2 mile mark.trail 3trail 4android 2IMG_9247IMG_9246IMG_9253After a rest, we resume the hike to the falls. At this point, the Teen & Little Dude decide to remain at the beach. I determine to go as far as I can (while keeping in mind the return hike). trail 7IMG_9255android 1trail 5And here’s where I turned back.  At about the 3 mile mark.  The last mile of the trail to the falls was traversing the rocks of this river/stream.  And my ankles were DONE.  My knee was a painful mess.  And my blisters were killing me.  And, and, and … I felt like a total loser turning back.where I turned backtrail 6IMG_9283IMG_9287Sigh.  It’s so incredibly beautiful.  I wish these pictures remotely did the landscape justice. 

I returned to the beach.  Gathered the two dudes.  And began in earnest the return hike.  The humbling, humiliating, exhausting, return hike.   The return hike wherein old women with walking sticks and barefoot new mamas packing their babies passed me by like I was standing still (which I was. often. catching my breath.  trying not to vomit.  trying to slow my racing heart rate.)   trail 8I was too tired to even take any more pictures; too sweaty to want to handle my camera.  And, oh yeah, at the halfway point back up the hill, I had passed my camera backpack off to the Teen.  I was, after all, trying my best not to die.  Not one of my prouder moments.  The Teen was a champ, carrying my gear and lightening my load; I think he might have been afraid that I was about to die.

And here we are, back at the beginning of the trail; the Teen waiting for me, with my backpack and me, looking like death warmed over.  That jeep seat never felt so good.the end
Big & Middle Dude made it all the way to the Falls.  I’ll post their pics after I locate & download them from Big Dude’s phone …

That’s the tale of the hike on which I almost died.


alpinekleins said...

Ahhh . . . one of my favorite places on all the earth . . . enjoy . . . ENJOY . . . enjoy!!


Tracy P. said...

Nice foreshadowing with the stretcher in the first photo. SO GLAD you didn't die. ;-) Kudos to the Teen and Little Dude for having the sense to stay at the beach. And to you for knowing when you've met your match.

Heidi said...

But, but, but.... your pictures are *breathtaking.* Surely that is worth some of the pain. ;-P I'm not good at hills, either. Ugh. I'll just be happy to enjoy your perspective. :)

BigDude said...

My ankles! My ankles!...and my Knee!...but mostly my ankles!

stacey said...

Oh my word those views were amazing.
Really enjoyed reading this. :) So happy you did not die. :)