Saturday, December 06, 2008

A hike in the clouds; Plus, ambushed by a dead guy!

Unlike the trails at the top of Huehue Street, which are on Bishop Estate land, and therefore not quite legitimate (although many, many folks hike there) the trail at the end of Kaloko Drive is legitimate public access to the Honua'ula Forest Reserve. The trail to the old sheep station cabin goes though the forest reserve. It's 1.5 miles long (3miles roundtrip) and the altitude gain is roughly 1500' so it's a good workout. It's always cool and often foggy in the afternoon. The deserted old cabin shown behind the title to this blog is at the 1 mile mark. You'll have to allow more time than the usual 1.5 hike because of the altitude and the altitude gain. Most of the trail is easy footing and grass covered, but there are sections with loose gravel that are treacherous on the way down.
Today the koa was blooming.

After my hike, on the way down to town, Hawaii Public Radio, was playing Tristan und Isolde, the very end. I'm not much of an opera fan. I've never been to the opera. All I'd heard of Tristan was the prelude and the love duet. I'd never heard Isolde's aria at the end, which is more or less the duet without Tristan. Anyway, maybe the tiring walk had opened my up emotionally, because the beauty of the piece hit me hard. When it hit its climax, I was close to tears. Ambushed by a piece of music 150 years old.


Tom said...

John - like you I've never been much of an opera fan, but in the last couple of years I've become very keen on choral music, and sometimes the music is beautiful enough to move me to tears!

I'm not as familiar with your side of the island as I should be. I know you mention a 1500-ft altitude gain, but how high up is that cabin above sea level? It's a great picture by the way, but when I first saw it (before reading your post) I thought the vog must be absolutely terrible over there!

John Powell said...

The cabin in the picture is at about 5500'. There's another one at the 6000' end of the trail that's marked sheep station on the map. And I'm pretty sure that was just clouds, not vog.
Music is an amazing thing. Knowing that Wagner was an anti-semite, proto-Nazi egomaniac who wrote Tristan to commemorate his affair with a married woman (thank you, Wikipedia!) doesn't make his music any less wonderful.