It was a great day on the trails on Saturday and there were about a dozen people out despite the pending Marathon. Conditions were a bit muddy in places, and Pauoa was a snake filled pool, but it was a bit cool with the cloud cover and everyone was making time. But things slowly began to fall apart through the day as one after another of the runners had to drop for various reasons. It was only the stalwart rabbits like Maricio and Larry who seemed to be getting done what they set out to do. The rest of us pushed on as the winds on the ridges began to chill sweat soaked bodies and the skies grew steely and darkened. At 2:00 PM it was twilight and almost dark enough to haul out the lights again. An unsettling quiet crept in with the clouds that hugged the high ground.
I was running with Judy Carlucci and we were making good time, sticking to our 6.5 loop times. We were only held up by that sick water fountain at the nature center. Need to establish a water drop down there if that is what we got for water. So we finished our Trek loop and finished our HURT loop and were pleasantly surprised to find Cheryl waiting for us at the Paradise Gate. She popped the trunk and we huddled under it to eat and suddenly the skies tired of their threats and just let loose in an awfull display downpour that turned the road into a river. We huddled there, eating and fixing gear as tourists stumbled out of the trail-head, soaked and stunned by the deluge.
It was there that we learned of Paul's problems. Great try Paul! An inspiration and a great achievement just as it is. Hope you are well and recovered.
It let up a bit, and we headed out again. It was wet and often muddy but not slippery. I pushed Judy hard stamping up behind her, breathing hard, threatening to tell her my thoughts on the gold market. It was the economics that got her to the top in fifty. By then it was raining again. Pauoa was deep, The bamboo channels up to our calves, the snake fields lakes of dirty brown water. All we needed was one of those crazed nature guys to be wadding around looking for the biggest python. Turning the corner it got windy, and by the ridge at Nu'uanu it was gusting hard, chilling us deeply. Judy kept saying she was from the Northwest now and her house was colder than this. But she didn't walk around her house in a wet shirtsleeves HURT shirt. I kept promising that when we hit the bottom of Five Minutes it would warm up. It did but suddenly unloaded on us once again. The hillsides began to disgorge water, the clouds dropped low, it became hard to talk to each other.
I've been through it before, and it seemed ok. Serious but not threatening, But the cold was getting to Judy, and she began to loose the line, and make the difficult spots treacherous downs. We passed Dougy Justin at the lookout and they were not looking to happy. Steve had phoned to tell them about flash-flood warnings, it was raining in big heavy drops, running out of the trees in water falls, but they had been up and down Nu'uanu and were going to go up and down Manoa to get their 50. It was unsaid that in this storm Manoa Cliffs was a Red Zone. Bad place be. And Kalawahine showed deep gullies that would be running and hill sides that were sliding and trees falling over. No need to be there if you didn't have to be.
We pushed on into the Enchanted Forest, and the rain got worse I joked with Judy that it was only really bad when you could scream and not hear the sound for the train rain. Judy was showing signs of early hypothermia; and as much as she wanted to complete the run, she had overloaded on the harsh conditions. We turned and headed back up, fording streams, and crossing waterfalls. Water was coming off the hillsides in torrents. Beyond the bench, in the last section of the Nu'uanu trail it was a stream, as was the Flats itself. Few roots, just one vast pan of water. The bamboo trenches were torrents, knee deep, but not dangerous. We were using lights as the darkness had descended quickly. Manoa Falls was roaring, creating its own wind storm as we pushed by and headed down the valley. We had not been out for 10 minutes when a harder rain swept through the valley, confirming the our decision to bail.
A great day to understand the rains and what it can do to you, both mentally and physically. Aloha, Mikem