Day 22 – Wa’ahila Ridge above Palolo

Day 22

Destination: Wa’ahila Ridge trail above Palolo and Woodlawn

Focus: Nature, Hiking

Soundtrack for the drive: Morphine, Good

Quote of the day: You are the only one who thinks like you. You are the only one who dreams like you ~ Mark Sandman

Wardrobe for the hike: Dirty pants, that dog fur and toothpaste covered long sleeve shirt I’ve been wearing to bed since it started going below 78 degrees at night, a ponytail for my unbrushed hair, glasses. Let’s just say I’m giving that sexy frog at Helemano Plantation a run for his money.

I’m tired this morning and cold. I had to force myself out from under the covers. In fact at this moment I’m sitting on the floor in the kitchen leaning on Banjo falling in and out of consciousness. It’s pouring outside and I really don’t want to leave the house.

But of course I’ve got this blog project to do and the ridge isn’t going to hike itself. I know it’ll be worth it once I’m standing on top of the mountain taking in some absurdly glorious view of Honolulu and the Pacific, but right now, I really want to crawl back into bed.

I made myself a pumpkin smoothie for the ride and it’s helping. Rush hour traffic in a downpour, on the other hand, is not. This morning’s hike is along the Wa’ahila Ridge above Palolo and starts at the end of Ruth Place at the entrance to the state recreation area.

Soon after we begin the ascent I detect the now unmistakable sound of hiking into a storm cloud. The winds are picking up and the sky is getting darker.

But every time we get close to the rain the clouds seem to retreat farther back into the mountains. I consider it a reward for my diligence and continue on.

I’m finally starting to wake up which is proving very necessary. The trail along the ridge line is narrow and requires attention if one prefers to not fall down the steep slopes on either side.

It’s not raining but the ground is wet and I’m falling a lot. The mud stains really add to the sex appeal of my ensemble. I often daydream about coming across the love of my life on a hike in the middle of the woods. Today may be the only time on record that I’m really hoping that doesn’t happen.

I’m starting to love this hike.

Even the part where I fall and almost break my finger. There are boulders to clamber over.

And comforting foliage to walk under.

Actually everything about this hike is awesome! At the peak there is a little grassy area which could be on a Top 10 list of best places to picnic in the world. The view shows the neighborhood of Woodlawn stretching to downtown Honolulu. The ridge to the left is the one I’ve been hiking along.

Diamond Head crater is visible in the distance.

The sun has returned and the day is turning out to be bright and wonderful. This is why I love the grey and the rain here because, unlike in Portland, they are temporary and always warm. At this point we turn around to head back and I only fall two more times on the way down.

After a quick stop at the Whole Foods buffet for much needed sustenance, I’m back on the H-1, windows down, tuckered out pups in the backseat, cruising too fast with an iPod shuffle that just won’t quit. Gwen Stefani Sweet Escape and Lonely Island Turtleneck & Chain. Jimmy Eat World The Middle as I turn onto the Pali Highway. Jay-Z Empire State of Mind coming down into Kaneohe. Kings of Leon No Money on Kamehameha and U2 Yahweh gets me to my doorstep.

As if bouldering and hiking, time spent with my dogs in the woods and the view from the top of Wa’ahila wasn’t enough, that playlist made the whole trip worth it.

Hey you know they’re all the same / You know you’re doing better on your own so don’t buy in  / Live right now / Yeah just be yourself / It doesn’t matter if it’s good enough for someone else

It just takes some time / little girl you’re in the middle of the ride / Everything everything will be just fine / everything everything will be alright

Possible resolution for the new year: Hike every ridge trail on the island

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