The original plan was to do a 3-day hike at Haleakala Crater, but we waited and waited until the airfare was ridiculously high. Luckily it didn't happen because I was schooled at our home turf with this two-day hike at Manana Trail. I've done this 12-mile trail last year as a day hike and it kicked my butt the first time. Now with a heavier load on my back, what gave me the idea that I was gonna conquer this trail with ease? What was I thinking? I guess the last 2-day hike at Waimano Ridge gave me some confidence as we blazed through the trail at a decent pace. Manana has some merciless roller coaster hills which requires careful footing most of the way. I found it physically difficult to counteract the weight of my backpack as I try to keep balance on a scarcely leveled trail. What killed me were those inclines that tested my quads at every vertical step. And, what made matters worse was the fact that it was pouring rain at the most critical sections of the trail.
Our goal was Puu Eleao and we intended on camping on the grassy meadow at its summit. But darkness beat us to it. We settled at a nearby clearing at the end of Manana trail. The existing clearing was about half the size of a parking stall. We made it three times bigger as we stomped on the neighboring weeds. We nestled in our tents after dinner as it poured hard three times during that night. Yes, three times it rained. I know because I could not sleep. My tent failed as water seeped from the top and bottom. My blanket was soaked and I laid there all damp and cold. I waited to fall asleep, but the day beat me to it. After creeping out of my tent, the surroundings were dominated with complete whiteness. This wasn't good because we knew we wouldn't catch the sunrise as we hoped for. There was a small window of clearing for about 5 minutes, then the clouds came rolling in again. We decided to wait a bit longer before heading back to civilization. We, the five of us, decided to play scrabble in a 2-person junior size tent. Boy, it was uncomfortable! I was worried about two things: cramping and farting. At mid-morning, we packed up our things, and with a dreadful sigh, I slipped into my damped socks and muddy shoes for our return trip.
|View looking back towards leeward side of Oahu at sunset|
|A more dramatic view of the Koolau mountains at sunet|
|North view of windward side of Oahu|
|Koolau mountain summit|