Total Distance: 2.5lbs
Activity: Road Biking
Today I decided to explore the Kolekole pass on my bike. I have wanted to see what’s up there for months now and what better way to find out than to bike up there and get a work out too. Unfortunately it was a bit disappointing.
I started about a mile up from where Lyman Rd becomes Kolekole Rd. I wasn’t alone there were many other runners and walkers out there. The road is paved and goes down past 6 or 7 ranges along the way. Some of these were live today.
What I found disturbing is that I could hear that a lot of them were live, because I could hear small arms fire, yet there were no red flags signalling that the range was “hot”. Now this is my first PCS with my husband so I only know the policies of one other post. But back at Fort Drum every range had a flagpole or some sort of pole from which a flag was hung to signify that the range was “hot”. This was never optional in any way. I spent time at the ranges in the ambulance and the first thing those civilians did was put up the flag and the last thing they did before we all left was take it down. So I was surprised to see that not only did I not see flags but I didn’t ever see flag poles or flag holders.
Back to the ride, it’s a 1.25 mile uphill ride at a gentle grade. If you’re out of shape like me that means that you will wind up walking a lot of it. The most disappointing part for me was the fact that the gate to the actual Kolekole pass that leads down to Waianae was closed. I was hoping to ride some of it and get some good pics. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. The views are all obstructed by mature vegetation and tall grass. Near the gate I tried to climb up the ridge a bit so I could get some pictures just on the other side and even that was lined with razor wire.
As for the history of the Kolekole pass, it has some. But there are conflicting stories. One thing that is known for sure is that it’s the lowest point in the Waianae Mountain Range. Some say that Japanese planes flew through the kolekole pass in order to attack Pearl Harbor on 1941 December 7, 1941, though others say they simply flew along the inside of the mountains making it appear as though they flew through the pass.
The Kolekole pass was built-in 1937 by the 3rd engineers . It’s a gateway of sorts through the mountains connecting central and west Oahu. The road is closed to the general public these days because it has deteriorated in condition. When we moved here we were told that it was used going only one direction in the morning and then evening. But it appears, from todays ride, that it’s no longer in use at all. Though I did run across some signs that listed hours of operations. It is said that in the early days of Hawaii it was here that the warriors from Wahiawa and Waianae would meet for battle.
On the other side of the gate is Naval property. Some time I will get over to the Navy side and see what’s over there. I don’t really know why I’m curious, probably because it’s closed and it intrigues me.
“A path into the woods and up the mountain leads to a large stone with a unique natural bowl and drainage through it that has attracted considerable attention over the years. Hawaiian folklore says that the pass is named Kolekole after the old woman who watched people pass the stone that served as the territorial marker. Some speak of the rock being used for sacrificial beheadings of defeated warrior chiefs.
Another path up the mountain leads to a cross that overlooks the Leilehua Plain. When the Hawaiian Division occupied Schofield Barracks, they started a tradition of having Easter sunrise services around a wooden cross. After World War II, the first steel cross was erected and replaced in the mid 1960’s because of corrosion. “