Yesterday's hike consisted of taking a wrong turn, taking the correct turn, reaching the waterfall, taking another wrong turn, taking another wrong turn, taking another wrong turn, and then taking the correct turn. It's a long story, and I won't get into the details, but damn, did we get lost in Kalauao Valley.
I hiked Kalauao Valley back in May 2008 with Shanoah and Chase. On that outing, Kalauao Stream was thigh deep, brown, and murky. When we reached Kalauao Falls, the waterfall was raging, thanks to a night of heavy rains.
This time I trekked to the waterfall with Daniel, Mark, and Justin. The stream was flowing, but not as much as it was the last time I did it, and the waterfall was a mere trickle. The water was clear, though, and a nice, shallow pool sat below the trickles of stream water.
In our 2008 hike in Kalauao Valley, Shanoah, Chase, and I tried to find a junction upstream past the waterfall. The junction would lead us back to the Aiea Loop Trail, making the trail a loop, but we didn't find it. Instead, we hiked ridiculously deep into the valley until the trail disappeared. At a certain point we just turned around and went back the way we came in.
This time around, I was anxious to find the junction, and we did find it, but we got lost three times by spotting false ribbons that led nowhere. We even contemplated on turning around. But some good judgment by Daniel and I proved worthy as we found the correct junction marked by a pink ribbon.
The trail seemed to all of a sudden manifest itself into a ridge trail. It was nothing dangerous, but it was awesome to be doing a stream hike and ridge hike all in one day. The ascent up the ridge wasn't extremely steep, but it was pretty taxing -- probably because I haven't done a hike in ages. For about fifty minutes we headed uphill, huffing and puffing, awaiting the last approach to the Aiea Loop Trail. Fifty minutes lapsed and we could hear voices in the distance, a sign that we were close to the Aiea Loop Trail.
We started at about 8:30am and ended at 12:45pm. A lot of that time was spent rambling in the wrong direction. I don't know how that happens on a stream trail, but it did. The junction upstream past the waterfall is very hard to find. I was so tired from going up ribboned pig trails and coming back down that I didn't remember how many times we crossed the stream or any noticeable landmarks that would signify the junction was near. All I can say is that it's a sharp right turn marked by a pink ribbon. I'm glad we found it, though. It's a nice, lesser known hike that branches off of one of the most popular and trodden trails on the island (Aiea Loop). Try it out. Just don't miss the critical junctions.