Since January 1971, an activity section of Sierra Club Hawaii Chapter

Moloka'i Ecology Camp

By Adaline Kam, editor / cook

Living a sustainable lifestyle on the island of Moloka'i was the theme of this year's ecology camp. A total of 33 teachers, advisors and high school students from Campbell, Leilehua, Mililani, Moanalua and Verona (Wisconsin) High Schools participated during Spring Break 2005. We base camped out of Kalaiakamanu Hou Congregational Church located just outside of Kaunakakai. Across the street was Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove.

Upon arrival we went to Pala'au State Park to have our orientation. It was freezing cold! Then we set-up at the church and learned about fishing and crabbing. One boy found a crab claw that was 12 inches long!

The next day we drove out to the northwest to the Nature Conservancy's Mo'omomi Preserve. Our hosts were Wailana Moses, Kanoho Helm and Sam Aruch of the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii, Moloka'i Branch. We hiked out about a mile to the beautiful crescent beach of Kawa'aloa Bay. Above it were the rolling sand dunes of Mo'omomi where our hosts pointed out a plant endemic to Moloka'i called 'ena'ena. We picked up all kinds of trash on the crescent beach and loaded up a couple dozen large trash bags. That afternoon we visited the Hawaiian Homes Mo'omomi Recreation Center and saw their coastal plant gardens and the footprints in lithified sand. That evening guest speakers Kalawaia Goo, Joe Mowai and crew discussed hunting on Moloka'i. They spoke of giving their catches to the kupuna who taught them how top hunt FIRST, then to the rest of the community. There was a display of weapons they used and how they hunted with them. The idea was not to waste anything, even ammunition. One bullet, one kill. Joe taught Kelly and Hoku how to make poke. It was yummy. And it was amusing to watch the Wisconsin girls' reaction.

On Tuesday we went to Halawa Valley on the east end of the island. Gandhavara Mahinahou Ross of Moloka'i High School hosted us and taught us how to work kalo lo'i (taro patches). It got down right dirty and some students were quite filthy from head to toe. After our lunch of Spam musubies (with the help of our Wisconsin girls), our group split up. One group hiked to Moaula Falls and the other went to the beach to swim and fish. On our way back we took some time to use the GPS and Geocache. Congratulations to our Geocache Queen, Jamie! No one could find it, but her.

Located on the east end before Halawa Valley is Kahinapohaku Fish Pond. Here Raymond Naki showed the students how to rebuild a fishpond wall. The group worked hard to carry those rocks and place them correctly. At lunch time Uncle Robert taught about Hawaiian medicines. The students fished and husked and grated coconuts Then it was time to visit Uncle Walter Ritte's fishpond down the street. That evening the students learned how to build a fire without using matches.

On Thursday we headed north to the Kalaupapa Trail. We hiked down a 2000 foot cliff face to a beautiful view of Kalaupapa peninsula. After 27 switchbacks we made it down to the beach just before the mule riders came down. Our legs felt like jello. Kalawaia Goo, a Kalaupapa National Park ranger was there along with Uncle Clarence Naia, a resident patient. We piled into 2 vans for the tour. First stop was to the quonset hut for bathrooms, then to the bar / snack shop for drinks and snacks. After signing in at the State Office, we drove to the book store / museum where we picked up souvenirs and stamped our cards. Then we bumped along the dirt road to Kalawao where Father Damien is buried at St Philomena Church. We headed up to the highest point of the peninsula at the edge of Kahako Crater where a huge cross sits among the graves. We went back through Kalaupapa town towards the airport and then to the tallest light house in the Pacific Ocean. We counted about 179 stairs to the top. Then it was time for us to hike back up that cliff! We were sore for days!

On our last day on Moloka'i, we headed to town for souvenirs and then to the airport. After all the group pictures were taken, the first rains of the week came and so did the sadness.

Fall Hikers Workshop - Hanauma Bay

By Fred E. Nakaguma, membership

The hill loomed ahead. The black asphalt road seemed steep, at least a sixty degree incline (it probably was thirty at the most). Someone in the rear gasped, "No! I can't do it!".

Up front a hiker yelled "Let's run up to the top!". Six took off running, only two made it all the way to thee top. They were bent over with their hands on their knees gasping for air. The top was fairly level, but ahead … another hill.

The narrow road followed the crest of the tuff cone, Koko Head. The grass along side the road was yellow and dry from the lack of water. The kiawe trees were stunted fro arid conditions; there was no shade. The sky overhead was cloudless, yet the cooling trade winds kept things nice.

The top at last! We all made it, although some took longer than others. The panoramic view was worth the effort, which in retrospect as not that difficult. In front of us lay Hanauma Bay. We could see the shoreline all the way to Queen's. We looked down on 'Ihi'ihilauakea Crater, where the endangered fern with the same name grows. Behind us, we could see Leahi (Diamond Head), the Kaimuki shield volcano, Maunalua Bay, Kuapa Pond and Hawaii Kai. To the left Koko Crater stood tall.

The hike was the last event before lunch of the 2004 Fall Hikers Workshop. The morning started with the Hanauma Bay orientation and a talk on Coral Reef ecology, a "Coastal Plant Walk" through the parking lot gardens, and an introduction to the Sierra Club's "Blue Water Campaign". The afternoon was left for snorkeling with the fishes in the bay.

OFFICERS 2004 – 2005


VICE-CHAIR: Sandra Nakagawa

SECRETARY: Pauline Kawamata

TREASURER: Jeanette Ellis

OUTINGS: John Cummings

MEMBERSHIP: Fred Nakaguma


WEB SITE: Jim Yuen


CAMPBELL: Fred Nakaguma
Liz King

FARRINGTON: Natalie Aquino
Vanessa Escajeda
Nylen Takahashi
Darryl Nishimoto
John Cummings
Adaline Kam

KAPOLEI: Naidah Gamirot

LEILEHUA: Jeanette Ellis
Rociomarie Alano
Bob Keane

MOANALUA : Erron Yoshioka
Frank Raymond
Mark Lee

WAIALUA: Glenn Lee


VERONA AREA HIGH SCHOOL (Wisconsin): Hope Mikkelson



HALLOWEEN CAMP: Erron Yoshioka

ECOLOGY CAMP: Bob Keane, Fred Nakaguma


HSH NEWS is a publication of High School Hikers, an activity section of Sierra Club, Hawaii Chapter. A 4 to 8 page, 8-1/2 x 11" size page format, published 2 to 3 times a year. Please submit articles typed and double spaced with a headline, the writer’s name(s), grade and school. Photos should be clear with photographer’s name, grade, school, location of photo and a return address on back of picture or on a sheet of paper. They will be returned. Send via your school advisor(s). Attn: HSH Editor, Adaline Kam

: For Info or Comments, email HSH (at) aditl (dot) com

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