11/1/09

Pali Puka - November 1, 2009

It's been three weeks since I fell fifty feet, head first off of Piliwale Ridge, and the healing process has been hell. My staples were removed a week after the incident, and my stitches are the kind that dissolve when the wound heals. So far it's been decent, but I had excruciating pain sensations shooting from the left side of my torso to my back after I got out of the emergency room, as well as a badly bruised tailbone. My doctor told me the left side of my torso experienced major internal bruising; the fall folded my body when I hit. He put me on some great pain medications (I've never heard of 650mg Ibuprofens, but whatever), he told me to stay off of work for two weeks (two weeks of doing nothing is depressing), and he told me to get some rest. Rest I did, but with all the medications I was taking for the pain, I started to develop onset insomnia. I couldn't sleep off the bat. I would have my eyes closed for four to five hours, but I wouldn't fall asleep, and this was all due to the medications I was taking. It was so frustrating, so I had to stop taking my medications and deal with the pain naturally. This went on for about a week until I got a full night's rest about several days ago. Bathing has been a bitch, too: I always forget that I can't put my wound directly under a running shower head, but sometimes I do, and it ends up bleeding when I'm done showering, and it just really fucking sucks. Plus, I always have to clean it with hydrogen peroxide after I bathe, wait for it to dry, and then plaster a layer of Neosporin. Then when I sleep, I have to remember not to sleep on the side that harbors my wound; I did that last weekend, and there was so much blood on my pillow that I thought I had opened it up all over again. But some stitches have healed, and aside from the wound being soft on some areas, the part that was stapled has been looking pretty good this week, so I told myself, "I'm gonna do a short hike," and I did. I did a REALLY short hike.

I just found out about a trail that starts right off of the Pali Lookout in Nu'uanu. It's called Pali Puka, and it's actually a really popular trail. If you look it up on the internet, there are loads of pictures, videos, and write-ups about the hike. With that said, it's an easy trail to find, and one I'm not going to bother giving directions for. Just remember that the trail starts at the left side of the Pali Lookout parking lot near where the buses park.

Daniel decided to hike with me today, and he, too, was on pain medications and muscle relaxers for the past two weeks for a pinched nerve from falling off Piliwale Ridge as well. I'm glad he's feels a little better. After Piliwale, I don't think I'm ever going to hike a non-state trail by myself again.

Walking across the Pali Lookout parking lot, we could see the trail start behind some bushes. It initially climbs steeply through a bamboo grove and eventually meets up with a utility pole. Past the utility pole, the trail hugs the edge of the ridge. The drop to the Kaneohe side of the ridge is vertical, and falling here would definitely be fatal. We took our time, and made it to a point where it looked like it was the last section to the "puka." (*Note: There is a hole in the ridge that was used by the Hawaiian warriors to spot incoming enemies. Pretty cool.)

Daniel led the way, and all of a sudden he was startled by a bunch of bees buzzing around a section on the ridge. "Not again," I thought. There was no way Daniel and I were going to get attacked by bees again with Piliwale fresh in our memory. And guess what we did? We turned around. Yep, I swear to god, Piliwale Ridge traumatized us, and I don't think we'll look at bees the same way we did before. And I know people do this trail all time, but there were a lot of bees around a certain section along the ridge. They weren't being aggressive, but we didn't want to risk triggering an attack. I mean, there wasn't as many bees on Piliwale, but there's gotta be a hive somewhere along the Pali Puka trail, and that made us turn around. I can't believe it. Just twenty minutes into the hike and we turned around. What a disappointing failure.

The Pali Puka trail is extremely short (not even half of a mile), and it is a bit dangerous. We didn't reach the super narrow section that I seen in the videos and pictures on the internet, but I will reach it once I gather up the balls to get over my fear of bees. I'M APIPHOBIC (for now)! WHAT THE HELL! It's okay, though. Next week is Kuolani-Waianu in Waiahole with the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club. Hopefully there's no bees on that trail.







11 comments:

K said...

Kaleo, just read your last post. You are freakin nuts! Glad to see you're okay though and haven't lost the desire to go hiking after what happened.

ChilledFresh said...

Dude, I'm sorry to hear about what happened on your last hike. I'm just glad that you're still alive after taking that fall.

Last Sunday I hiked Kalauao with some friends; it was supposed to be a short afternoon hike, but we had some extra time and decided to explore the valley past the waterfall. Kalauao can be hiked in a loop if you leave the trail at the right junction, but we hiked too far into the valley and ended up getting lost. We tried climbing up the side of a steep ridge that we thought would lead back to the ‘Aiea Loop trail, but about four fifths of the way up we realized we were in the wrong spot and had to climb back down. It took us over three hours to hike back out of the valley in the dark.

Anyway, the moral of this sad story is that sometimes it’s OK to turn back early – especially if you‘re being hunted down by a swarm of evil, homicidal bees.

kaleo said...

that's exactly what happened to us when we did kalauao. we tried to find that junction that leads back to aiea loop, but instead we went super far upstream until we didn't see any ribbons...

Anonymous said...

KEEP GOING MAN! We need more trails!

XJ said...

Did this trail trail today on the way into town for another one. I had to turn back last week because I was wearing slippers and it was just too sketchy without shoes.

Saw one big carpenter bee and that was it so I think you're good to go when you're ready.

Aloha,

XJ

Peter J. Barr said...

hey kaleo,

what number of demagnification is your fisheye lense?

kaleo said...

so far i've used cheapo fisheyes with demags of 0.20x and 0.42x.

Allegra said...

Hi, Kaleo! We love your blog and were very sad to read about your fall off Piliwale. That hike has been on our to-do list for a while but after what happened to do we took it off. Pali Puka is one of our favorite hikes - we've done it so much that we can run from the parking lot to the puka in under 18 minutes (don't ask - we were in a hurry). Send us a message if you want to join next time! (Martyna is deathly allergic bees so you'll be in good company.) We hope your healing process is going well. Your blogs kicks ass!

kaleo said...

would love to join you guys in 2010. let me know...

Quan said...

After finishing Olomana on 4.12, We went to Pali lookout, and go to right the trail. It's very sleepy, then very steap. We stopped at a vertical slope and turn back. We didn't know the trail you went, Perhaps we will go to.

Adam said...

I've heard Kalanikupule made the notches for cannon mounts to fend off Kamehameha, but Kamehameha sent commandos up to kill the cannon teams. I never heard anything about the puka before, but after reading about your hikes I saw Dayle Turner's blog. He said Kalanikupule also made the puka for cannons? I dunno; I wasn't there. Hiking the ridges seems sketchy enough at times; but firing cannons from the ridgelines? That takes cajones.