Manana Valley and Stream - July 12, 2009

Two days ago was a failure. I shouldn’t even have rose to the sound of my cell phone alarm to hike because I really didn’t want to, but I forced myself out of bed at 6am anyway. A birthday party with a lot of alcohol on Friday, coupled with a few hours of sleep and a whole day of work on Saturday destroyed me. My body was beat, and the feeling stayed with me till Sunday morning. Daniel also felt the hellacious feeling of exhaustion; he had hiked to Lai’e Falls in search of a higher waterfall well mauka of the fifteen-foot waterfall. His attempt in finding the higher waterfall failed, for the trail became very overgrown, and he had abandoned his hiking companions who were patiently waiting for him at the fifteen-foot waterfall. Halawa Ridge had been the original plan for Sunday, but a cloudy Ko’olau summit would have hindered any blessing of a photo opportunity. Plus, it had been raining in the mountains for a good three days, so a waterfall hike sounded like a good idea.

I don’t know why, but I ate fast food for three days in a row prior to hiking this past Sunday. I totally binged on Jack-In-The-Box and McDonald’s, and although I shouldn’t have, it was unbelievably delicious. (Side note: Try McDonald’s new one-third pound Angus burger. You’ll feel dizzy after you eat it, and your heart-rate will pulsate at an frightening speed.) Breakfast before the hike consisted of a Breakfast Jack meal from Jack-In-The-Box with buttermilk, a pre-hike meal I will never opt for again. After eating, my stomach felt uneasy, but Daniel and I headed to Pacific Palisades anyway to search for a forty foot waterfall in Manana Valley. After doing some research and checking out some topo maps, the hike to the waterfall looked to be a four-mile one way hike – might be more though, considering the trail we chose to descend into Manana Stream backtracks us not more than one-fourth of a mile.

We set off at 8:30am and reached the Iliahi Ridge junction from Manana Ridge at around 9:30am. The weather was great, and as we descended into Manana Valley, we could hear the stream flowing. This was a good sign, for the waterfall must have been flowing. When Daniel and I did the Iliahi Ridge loop, the stream crossing was a dry one; this time, the stream was ankle deep.

We reached the junction that headed towards the crest of Iliahi Ridge. We headed mauka to follow the stream. The trails we followed were faint, overgrown, and thick. I had tied some ribbons to branches just in case we couldn’t find our way back. It’s easy to say to follow the stream, and you’ll eventually reach the waterfall, but this stream was different. Rock hopping in the stream wasn’t possible; it was too deep. Vegetation was extremely thick, and without pants (attire we did not have on), it would be impossible to come out of the hike without dripping some blood from the legs and arms. More importantly, the trail disappeared at a point where a ridge came in from the left. It looked as though a pig trail climbed up and over the small ridge hump to gain access beyond, but we decided to not push further. We had been hiking for only half-an-hour and hadn’t made any worthy progress, and with the bad condition of the trail for only the first mile, hiking for another three-and-a-half and back out would’ve took us all day. We turned around.

At the beginning of the steep hill to climb back up to Manana Ridge, my body started to feel really weird. Body aches pulsed through every muscle below my waist; it felt as if I just did a ten mile hike. I knew something was wrong. I headed home, took a shower, and got chills and fever, twice. The feeling went on into the wee hours of Monday morning, but I felt better after drinking a huge Gatorade at work on Monday. Case in point: never hike on a hangover, very little sleep, and a stomach full of fast food crap.

Manana Stream’s waterfall will have to wait. A machete and long pants would definitely be a great idea for hiking to a waterfall that I assume not many people have seen. Mosquito repellent is a definite must as well. It would be a blessing if the HTMC cleared a trail along the stream (hint hint), but for now, the trek along Manana Stream will be a memory of failure.

P.S. The pictures we took weren't even worth posting. If you'd like to see pictures of the valley and stream crossing, check out the Iliahi Ridge hike.


Anonymous said...

I was just wondering if you have done or thought of doing stairway to heaven, and if there is any info you have of that trail that you could pass on...

kaleo said...

i'm actually thinking of doing stairway to heaven to moanalua valley in august. we'll be starting before the security guard is there, hike to the top of the stairs, then descend moanalua valley's "middle ridge" to avoid getting caught on the way back. plus, it's just an excuse to make the hike more interesting because doing the hike in reverse sounds kinda boring. our hike will end at moanalua valley park...

Anonymous said...

We just di Stairway to Moanalua Valley last Sunday (haven't been updating my blog recently). We saw no evidence of any security gaurd, but did start before 6am. There were several other groups on the stairs, which are in very good condition. The hike down the ridge and through the valley was pretty muddy, and we were blessed with some rain and a cloudy summit. We're planning on going back, but starting from the valley, looks like lots of trails and we want to get to lowback, either this weekend or next.

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