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Kailua, Hawaii, United States

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Moanalua Valley Hike

The Moanalua Valley hike is one that Tim, Craig and I tried to do summer before last. The day we tried to go on this hike, it was closed because of pig hunters. Apparently it is closed every Wednesday and Saturday for that. Anyway, I always thought it might be interesting so I headed there on a beautiful sunny day. The trailhead is back behind where Tim used to work at Kaiser Moanalua, all the way to the back of the valley at a small, but very nice park.

Moanalua Valley was owned by the royal family, as was all of Hawaii, until they started giving parts of it to the people and selling some to foreigners. Moanalua Valley was given to the Damon family who were business partners with some members of the royal family, the Bishops. There were at least two houses built, one for his son and one for his daughter.

The trail is what is left from the old cobblestone road to the two houses. There are also 7 bridges that were constructed between the son's house and the daughters. The bridges still stand, I took some pictures of them. It is an easy hike back to the first house, which is a little off the road and nearly completely covered by the jungle. There isn't much left, lots of stairs that go nowhere, one small building that looks like a carriage house and the kitchen fireplace.

From there you continue down the path which sometimes still has the cobblestones and sometimes is just muddy. You cross the seven bridges and then eventually reach the site of the daughter's house. I found even less there, just another kitchen fireplace, but I really didn't explore the area very well. Just past the seventh bridge there is a very large rock that has petroglyphs, which are symbols carved into the rock by ancient Hawaiians. My guidebood said that there were all kinds of symbols on it, but the only one I could really make out is some sort of "bird-man". I needed some tracing paper like you can do on gravestones.

From there I continued to hike up the trail, crossing the stream several times. I finally came to the spot where the trail divides, one part follows the stream and the main trail goes to the back of the valley. I decided to just stay on the valley trail. Walked a long ways, lots of birds singing in the forest. Every once in a while I would pass a tree with an address on it. I don't know what that was about! It was never all that hard of a hike, though about the time it started getting really steep, I decided I'd had enough hike and turned around!

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