Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hiking & Geocaching

Feeling that I've been at the computer too much working on a couple photo books, I took advantage of a couple hikes with a group called "Solemates."   The first was the day after Thanksgiving, scheduled to work off all the meal from the day before.  There were big-time rains last night, so the trail would be muddy, and I felt a sniffle coming on, so I decided to just walk a short way to acquaint myself with the trailhead.  The hike was called "Waimanalo Tunnel" so it was intriguing as to just what this tunnel was.  I didn't get as far as the tunnel, but I think in must be a water drainage tunnel that is/was used in the drainage ditches to channel the rain water in the mountains.  After a half hour with the small group I turned around and went back to drive around the Hawaiian homelands area of Waimanalo which is full of agriculture and nurseries.  I also spotted the "Independent State of Hawaii" headquarters.

The next hike was up Hawaii Loa Ridge.  To get to it one must pass through a security guard for the exclusive high class neighborhood.  There are only 9 parking spots at the top where the trailhead is.  The car-pooling group left ahead of schedule, but I saw them heading up the hill to the security guard.  I followed, but the guard said --- and I was shocked -- that my driver's license had expired Aug 7th!  Yikes!  I hadn't thought of my driver's license expiring since --- hummmmm -- well, never.  So although I was glad she spotted it rather than the police, I was missing my hike.  I drove home and parked, then lawfully walked the short distance to where a satellite city hall is located and humbly said my license had expired.  No, they didn't asked me how I got to the building, and they didn't scold me, they just took $29 and my photo and I was on my way with a new license.  I returned to the security guard and she said, "Now, all the parking places were gone," but looking at my sorrowful face, she allowed me a temporary street pass and I had to walk further to get to the trailhead.  No problem.  I was an hour behind the group, so just took my time as they had to come back the same way they left.  I decided to try to locate a geocache I thought was at the trailhead, but my GPS insisted it was a mile and a half away!  Darn that new GPS it didn't appear to be working.!  So then I sauntered out along the trail.  What a beautiful trail it is.  Here are some photos of it and the view.

  I met the first ones coming back from the summit and walked back with friend Erika.  There were a couple guys with their own GPS that I asked to check the location where we were, at the trailhead.  It seems my GPS was accurate and the geocache treasure I'd been seeking was indeed 1.5 miles away!   So I headed down the hill and off to another road that went up a hill.  I eventually followed the coordinates to the tucked-away little park with trees and cactus overlooking the south shore between Diamond Head and Koko Head.  Here I walked to the big rock that had been in the  photo advertising the geocache.  And there - under the rock was indeed the geocache.  In a tupperware type box was an assortment of little treasures.  I left a couple things and took a tiny book that the owner has sent on it's journey with a "Traveling Slug"  - a registered number coin to enter online when found (and I'll enter it again when I leave it at another geocache.).  The little book is for the finder to record his favorite author.  It's interesting that I can figure out who the men finders were and who the teenagers were.  My favorite author will be recorded as James Mitchner.  Below are the photos of that cache.  For information on geocaching as a free family sport go to

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