Ethan’s Hikes For August 2018

Traveling made for some different adventures this month. I spent time in Hawaii on the islands of Maui and Kauai for a much enjoyed vacation with Summerset. We hiked in the jungle, near the ocean, in lava fields, and on a volcano.

August 4, 2018. Hoapili Trail, Maui.

This walk through lava fields follows a section of the King’s Highway that once went all around Maui. An easy walk, although hot as you’d expect.

August 5, 2018. Sliding Sands Trail section. Haleakala National Park, Maui.

Haleakala National Park sits at the top of the Maui, encompassing the volcano at the top along with many other peaks created by erosion. Haleakala is also known for their iconic silverswords, a unique plant. We hiked at fairly high elevation from 7K to nearly 10K. The hike started at the high point and descended.

While many loops and thru hikes are possible using Sliding Sands trail as a starting point, we opted to do a 4 mile out-and-back. There was no water along the route, and we weren’t comfortable pushing too far considering the altitude, lack of confidence getting a ride back to the summit area parking lot, and sun exposure.

The best way I can think to describe this hike is “otherworldly.” The volcanic soils with their range of colors, silverswords, bright sun, undercast, and steeply rising peaks were mesmerizing. Take a look for yourself!

August 7, 2018. Pipiwai, Seven Sacred Pools, Kuloa Point Trails. Haleakala National Park, Maui.

Haleakala National Park includes more than just the top of the volcano. The park also goes all the way down to the ocean, where there are some family-friendly, easy walking trails with lots to look at. Note that this part of Haleakala National Park is a bit hard to get to, following the Hana Highway. Certainly drivable, but rather an adventure all its own.

While walking these trails, my favorite section was through the bamboo forest of the Pipiwai Trail, but all of these trails were non-stop candy for the eyes.

August 9, 2018. Iao Valley State Monument, Maui.

There wasn’t much hiking to do here in the traditional sense. This was a mix of paved and well-trodden dirt paths in a small area. In the pouring rain, I think we went over about everything there was to walk on in about a mile. Beautiful jungle and dramatic foliage all over. Lots of fun, even in the rain.

August 11, 2018. Kuilau Ridge Trail + Moelepe Trail section, Kauai.

This was a muddy jungle hike. Thick, sticky clay caked our shoes on the way over this  trail with dramatic views up to the ridges and down into valleys. Lush, green vegetation. Hunters with dogs going after wild pigs called from below us in a few spots. We cleaned up in the river at the end as best we could, which only got the job done by half.

August 15, 2018. Awa‘awapuhi – Nu‘alolo Loop, Koke’e State Park, Kauai.

This loop can only be completed with a road walk, so that’s how we started. Parked the car at the Awa’awapuhi end, then walked just past the Koke’e State Park campground and museum to the Nu’alolo trailhead. Really lovely looks down to the Napali coast. Dramatic views. Great hike.

August 25, 2018. Mt. Hale.

A quick morning hike with my friend Eric. We were feeling pretty strong and buzzed up via Hale Brook Trail with no drama. We descended the same way as quickly as we could, running as much as possible for us at our current level of skill. Trail running is hard, but there’s no feeling like it when it’s working right.

Hale was grid peak 179 for me, and 27/48 for Eric. It took us 2 hours up and down, a pace we felt pretty good about.

Summary.

In addition to the time on the trail, I tried out trail running as morning workouts in the Spaulding Woods complex of Northfield. These trails are easy on the feet–mostly springy singletrack. I’m not fast, and running uphill is a fantasy. But my cardio is improving.

I started breaking in a pair of Altra Timps this month. First impressions are positive. I ordered a 10.5 instead of my usual 10 to help avoid toebang. The Timps are more comfortable for me than my Lone Peak 3.5s were. I can lace the Timps more tightly than the LPs without causing any foot pain. The traction is adequate. The lug pattern is somewhat flat, so I haven’t been catching tread cleats on rocks and roots like I did with the LPs.

The summer season is wearing on, and we still haven’t attempted the 24 hour Pemi Loop. It’s coming. In September, we’re working on longer days with lots of vert to make sure we can pull it off.

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