Kuliouou Ridge

We’ve been on the trail all week since the kids were off school.  Today I picked up my friend’s son and took him along.  My friend Michelle joined us with her dog Rebel.  We started at around 930am at the trailhead in Hawaii Kai.   Along the way we met more than a few hikers on the trail.  Parking isn’t great at this location since it’s a popular trail and parking is on the street.  We heard things like “you’re brave”, “what troopers” and “I’m suprised you could bring kids on this trail” more than a few times.  People in general were impressed that we were bringing kids hiking at all.  So, I gave myself a little pat on the back for getting my kids out and giving them a respect and love of the outdoors, even if I do have to bribe them with “treasure”.

The trail is pretty easy as far as treachery goes there really isn’t anything that would keep kids from doing the trail.  We found 2 geocaches along the trail and that’s what kept the kids going.  It doesn’t take long to reach a clearing that gives you a nice view.  Beware that the valley is muggy and hot.  As you ascend the temperature becomes more bearable. 

After about an hour of walking we reached the area where the first “treasure” was hidden.  We sat down and had a snack and then began looking for the geocache.  The cache was in an pine grove and there were needles everywhere.  Normally you can spot these things when you see something out of place but this was not so easy.  The only hint said that it was at the base of the pine tree 20-30ft off the SE of the trail.  Thanks that’s helpful, not.  So we poked around for about 15 minutes and I finally found it.  The cache was in a ziploc bag and everything inside was wet.  We couldn’t sign the log because everything was just too wet.  So, we took out a few trinkets, left a few and re-burried it for the next person.

According to my app the next cache was close by so we pushed on and got close to the next cache.  The first said it was supposed to be an easy find for kids but, obviously they haven’t met my kids because they gave up after about 5 minutes.  The second was better hidden than the first.  We looked and looked for at least 30 minutes.  The GPS would say I was close and then it would say I was farther.  It’s like a game of hot and cold I swear.  Finally we found an area where we were right on top of it and poked around.  Again, it was me that uncovered the cache.  Only a tiny little corner was poking out and could be seen.   This one was dry so we signed the log and moved on. 

After we found the second cache we had traveled 2.3miles and my friend Michelle said her feet hurt.  So she stayed behind and I ran up ahead to see if I could get a view and see if we were close to the top.  We found a shelter where her and the kids could rest and I pushed on.  After about another 0.1mi it became clear that I wasn’t that close to the top and I had to surrender my hopes of making the summit today. 

Shortly after I returned a group of hikers stopped at the shelter with us and we started talking to them.  I recognized a ribbon on one of the ladies poles that said K.O.M.P.T and I asked her about it.  She said it was the name of their hiking group and that they hike every thursday.  After we talked for a bit I summoned the courage to ask if anyone could join them.  They were very friendly and took down my name so that I can try to join them on some of the thursday hikes. 

The trip down is where things got interesting.  My friend’s son kept taking the mouthpiece off of the camlebak his mother had sent and I told him I wasn’t going to look for it anymore.  After that he didn’t mess with it. 

At first the kids were out in front jogging back down the trail and I thought maybe we could have gone a little farther.  I was soon proven wrong when my friend’s son pushed my oldest, Aidan the redhead, over the side of the trail.  I saw this and it made me furious.  Aidan, thankfully, caught himself but it could have been a disaster.  So, Ethan was told he had to walk with me.  As we walked down the hill he kept telling me that he didn’t want to hold my hand while I, with all the control I could muster, explained that if he was going to push then he had to stay with me.  This prompted quite a fit from him complete with tears and screaming.  He also kept saying I was hurting his wrist, which I was holding with 2 fingers wrapped around it.  When he said this I loosened my grip a bit and he still said I was hurting him. 

My oldest son, Aidan was amazingly good on the way down.  He is turning into a young man before my eyes.  He stayed with Michelle and never complained once on the way down even though I know he was tired.  His only complaint was that he had to poop…lol.  I was so proud of him for being such a trooper. 

Ethan’s fit continued down the slope the whole way.  There were times when he would go weak in the knees and I would be almost dragging him down the trail.  At one point he even hit me.  That got him a whack on the behind.  Ethan is a good kid.  I don’t believe that there are too many truly bad kids.  He lacks discipline and a undertanding of consequences.  I explained several times why he was being punished and that when he calmed down we would try again.  He walked a little on his own but not much. 

At some point Mason, who is the littlest, got pretty tired too.  He was moving slowly and he tripped a few times.  Michelle and I had the kids between us, that way they could be a little more spread out and we could still watch them.  When we made it to the bottom we were all exhausted. 

Overall this is a very good hike.  Even though we didn’t make the summit it’s still a nice walk in the woods.  My understanding that the real work had yet to begin and that made me thankful that we didn’t try it with all the kids.  Maybe some day I’ll get to the summit but, for today, the mission was accomplished.  Three little boys will sleep well tonight and they didn’t watch a single TV show or play a single video game.  Not to say that there is anything wrong with that, in moderation.  I am a firm believer that kids should be outdoors.  They should be taught to care for their environment and what happens if they don’t.  They need to know there is a beautiful world out there to explore and amazing things to see if you are willing to work a little.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. BCDiver573
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 11:35:58

    Wow! I dreamed about hiking in places like that when I was a kid! There were more pirates and bandits to fight and less geocaches, but still! Great pics and good job getting the kids out into the wild.


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