resting under a koa tree on Honopu Ridge

So to speak, this grassy vista was the dramatic conclusion to my walkabouts on Kaua’i last month (we departed for Seattle the next day). I’d strayed some distance past the official end of the unofficial Honopu Ridge trail before losing my nerve and backtracked here to air out my sweat-drenched clothes on the branches of this Koa tree and relax in the grass.

It’s apparent in certain places that the Honopu Trail gets plenty of foot traffic, but still, it isn’t officially signed or marked by the State of Hawaii. A hurricane obliterated the path in the early 1980s and it has only gradually come back to life because of the work of volunteers, including hardy local walkers and hunters. The post-hurricane ridge route used to be utterly tricky to navigate but it’s fairly straightforward, now. The grassy bluff here is technically part of the trail if that serves as any indication how often feet tramp down the furthest reaches of safely-hiked ridge. There’s an obvious section of trail before this that scared the padooky out of me because it required inching across-and-down badly eroded, smooth red dirt with a tremendously steep hillside below it that would offer little resistance in the case of a fall. In fact, someone had laid a big tree limb length-wise down the trail here as if to discourage walkers from continuing on. If you’re a chicken like this writer, all I have to say is you’ll know when it’s M.C. Hammer time. Just remind yourself- going down is the hardest part and if you can steel your nerves……. you’ll find yourself beyond what I believe is the only trouble spot on the entire walk (well, other than being cut up, sawed and clawed by uluhe). Coming back up didn’t seem very troublesome to me.

Hopefully I’ll have more scenes to share from this walk if I can whittle down the half dozen loads of laundry that have piled up since our washing machine broke a week and a half ago (despite two trips to the laundromat and wearing the same pair of pants 5 days in a row). The final verdict? The repair guy held up one of Oliver Fern’s tiny purple socks…….it had gotten sucked into the drain tube. I disconnected the drain tube last week but didn’t see that little bugger, doggone it all!

3 thoughts on “resting under a koa tree on Honopu Ridge

  1. Beautiful capture, Jason. I so want to visit Kauai after seeing your posts from this and your previous trips. I hope you and the family are doing well. Happy New Year! I thought of you while watching MSU win the Rose Bowl New Years Day. It’s doubtful that the Fighting Illini will find their way to a bowl game anytime in the near future. Ha!

  2. Very striking scene, what a great reward. Did you take any pictures of the section of trail prior to this that was a bit sketchy? You have me curious. I continue to enjoy your posts about Kauai. I’ve been looking at vacation rentals along the north shore of Kauai. Happy New Year!

  3. Hi Pete, it’s good to hear from you. Happy New Year to you, too. I liked your latest clip on the Constitutional. You know, anytime I see something Illini and Blackhawk-related I do think of you, as well…..haha! I really hope someday you’ll have the opportunity to visit Kaua’i. I’m glad we’ve made the decision the past few years to keep going back because it has been a major privilege and wonderful pleasure to become more and more familiar with the island.

    Happy New Year, Kelsie. No, I didn’t get any pictures of the trail in that sketchy dirt section. You know me, I’m fairly timid about danger when it comes to the ground I’m standing on and major expanses of surrounding air below. I just hate falling, any kind of falling. It’s possible I was feeling extra nervous because the ground was rather gummy from recent rains. As for the north shore, I look forward to staying on that side, someday. Probably when the boys are older. The resorty-ness of Po’ipu doesn’t strike my personal fancy but I love being in such relative close proximity to Waimea Canyon and Koke’e State Park. And I dunno, it has gotten fun over the years being able to simply walk to the beach every single day to go snorkeling.

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