Mo’ole Valley

This morning my friend Corry, her boyfriend Dana and I set off to see some waterfall’s in Mo’ole valley.  At the end of the day we had walked 4.31 miles, see route here.  This trail is one of those off the beaten path, not maintained by and government agency but I have seen pics and it looked amazing. 

I had done my homework and I knew where to park and where to enter.  That was about it.  We entered through the gate and went off to our right.  We followed the ribbons and trails until we lost them.  We ran across a couple of buckets and then a blanket and after that we were humping up a pretty steep ridge.  Finally we decided we were “lost” and started heading for what looked like a river on the map. 

Corry taking a break

The problem with maps is they don’t show you what kind of problems you may run into.  For almost and hour we were making our way through thick vegitation of fallen trees Uluhe Ferns and various other things in varying degrees of decomposition.  We would grab a branch to help us pull ourselves up only to realize it was rotten and we would have to look for another.  We crossed a few gulches up and down and then we came to one that looked like it was a steep ascent but we decided that it was the best path even though it was steep.  Once we made it down to the bottom of that gulch we knew we had to make our way back up.  Dana, was on point all day and he would scout the conditions out in front of us.  I watched him slip and slide up the hill and then watched Corry follow.  He helped her to the top but by the time I was ready to climb up the hill all the leaves and sticks that had helped Dana and Corry make it up where gone.  I finally went another way and by the time I reached a flat area I was covered in mud.  We were close to the peak of one of the ridges but we couldn’t seem to get on top of it for some thick uluhe ferns.

We found a small game trail and followed it down into a dry stream bed.  We followed this stream bed for a while and then finally stumbled on the trail for Mo’ole valley that we had been looking for all day.   We had several moments where we didn’t know where the heck we were and we were blazing our own trail.  So finding a marked trail was a relief.  We were suddenly more confident and had a new spring in our step. 

We started to follow the trail back toward the Pali thinking we just wanted to find our way out.  When we stopped to rest a minute though, I said “if we’re gonna check that trail out we should just do it”.  I mean why are we heading to the road when we didn’t get what we came for?

So we turned and followed the trail further into the valley along the dry stream bed.  We came upon the tunnel that I had read about but we didn’t have head lamps so we followed another trail up over the ridge  through very thick and scratchy uluhe ferns and back down into the valley.  It was a slippery path but passable. 

Finally we heard water and went toward it.  We found an old Dam and I followed Corry down into the valley further.  Dana went the other way.  When we met up with him he told us he had found a waterfall.  By this point we had been on the trail about 4.5 hours.  We went ahead and found the waterfall.  We were really glad to have finally found the waterfall we had been looking for all day. 

This is the first waterfall of eight.  By the time we finally found it we were pretty spent and were running really late.  It was about 3:30pm and we didn’t know how long it would take to get out of the valley.  So we climbed up the rope on the side of the falls and started to go on but turned back because of time.  But not before a quick dip in the water. 

As we headed back we were all tired and I was dragging.  I didn’t really know how many miles we had walked but I knew that they had been hard-earned miles.  By the time we came out the other side and got in the car it was 5pm and we had been hiking for nearly six hours. 

As I sit here, though, I know I learned a few things today.  First, I do have the skills to get through the woods and the sense of direction that has always served me well is still intact.  I gained confidence in my skills as a hiker.  I climbed through mud and muck that a lot of people would have shied away from.  I kept up with 2 US Army soldiers that do PT every day.  I came away from today more confident as a hiker and an explorer.  So, even if it took all day and we only saw one of eight falls, it was a good day.  Completely exhausting but good.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. punynari
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 21:11:27

    Sounds like quite an exhausting adventure. Shame I had to work today because I want to hike Mo’ole Valley someday. The only thing that worries me a little is running across the highway to get to the ditch. That doesn’t sound very safe. ^^; But, in the end, I see that the waterfall was worth it. Congrats. (:


  2. Find Focus
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 21:25:07

    It does sound tiring, but it also sounds fantastic and affirming! Glad you found at least one of the falls and that you now know how to find your way back… and I’m also glad you found your way back out okay. 🙂 Nice post! 🙂


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