Monarch Butterflies

Monarch Butterflies love to munch on Crown Flowers. There were three 6 foot Crown Flower bushes in Nuuanu. Unfortunately the Monarchs made it their home and their catepillars chewed the bushes down to two feet. The owners of the bushes had a good attitude about the mauling of their bushes. They posted a happy face sign saying “Enjoy the butterflies” and also posted little butterfly signs too.


Maunawili Connector Trail

Click here for driving directions to Maunawili Connector Trail and other great Oahu hikes.

I don’t recommend this trail for children. Its long, and hot. You can take your favorite dog friend though. Bring 2 liters of water, hiking boots and a snack. Its an all day excursion. You can access this trail from different locations. I chose the Maunawili Waterfall Trail head. I walked up to the Maunawili Falls stairs but instead of going down; I just walked straight pass the bench. The hill becomes higher and higher until it hits the magestic Koolau mountains.

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Maunawili Connector Trail 1

This is the staircase trail that leads to Maunawili Waterfall. Its on the left. The bench is on the right. I walked straight passed the Maunawili Waterfall trail and bench. This hill trail then becomes Maunawili Connector Trail.

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The Journey…

Originally posted on Along The Way:


I am sometimes…

            a lot of times…

                        most of the time…

                                                my own worst enemy.

Always looking too far ahead -

                                    absent from the immediate gifts about me.

A Silers Bald to Clingmans Dome experience gifts my memory–

all up hill…

up mountain.

 My spirit deceiving my eyes;

physical burn clouding my vision –

seeing only the next climb;

My heart pulled down by discouragement and despair…

depriving myself of what gives life:


living in, open to, and awareness of the Now.

It is not only on the mountain where I carry the enemy.

So, too, it is in my daily living.

I look too far ahead;

my eyes deceived;

my heart chained by fear, expectations, and self-doubt.

 I am not mindful of Presence in the present…

I suspect if I were more so,

getting to the…

View original 19 more words

Maunawili Falls

Maunawili Waterfalls Directions -> Drive on the Pali Hwy towards Waimanalo -> Before you see Castle Hospital you will see Maunawili Road on the right -> this right after the Highway becomes a normal road rather than a cliff hanging mountain road -> Turn right on Maunawili Road -> Drive straight -> Drive by a school -> Drive by a neighborhood -> Drive through a forest but don’t run over a pedestrian -> Drive through another residential road with a big chalkboard sign on the left that says “Neighborhood Watch, no steal mangoes” or something to that effect -> Drive on the bridge -> Drive until you hit the end of the road. -> On the left you will see a gate -> walk there -> follow my instructions in my blog because Maunawili Falls Trail can be confusing.
(Sorry, my blog is not formatting correctly for some reason)

This is a good hike for families with kids 12 and older. I recommend 2 liters of water per person and snacks because it gets humid in the forest. If kids don’t like water then bring Gatorade. Do not drink the water from the river or waterfall. Its muddy so hiking boots are a necessity and you may want to bring mosquito spray. The hike is 2 miles roundtrip if you start at the trailhead. If you walk from the bus stop then add 4 more miles. This is a residential neighborhood. Please be quiet when entering the trail and don’t terrorize the neighbors.


The trail itself can be confusing. All sections of the trail lead to the same waterfall. It just branches out into different trails that all meet at the same destination. However, if you are not careful you will end up walking around in circles. In the beginning, the trail will break into two trails. There is the nasty, muddy, large trail on the left which is used by most hikers. There is another trail that crosses 3 creeks on the right and goes through the flower garden.


The nasty trail on the left goes along a large river and then climbs into a staircase  into a staircase with lots of rotting guava trees. There is no air on this section and its easy to get overheated on cloudy days. Which is why I don’t like it. (Besides the fact that its muddy and smells bizarre.) When you climb the staircase you will come out on a little hill. GO LEFT. If you go right you will walk around in circles.

Continue onward until you reach a bench next to another staircase. You can do a little skip for joy when you see this staircase on the left. Go down that staircase. Its steep so watch your step. Follow that creek on the bottom going right. At the end of the creek is a small trail and then Maunawili Waterfall. I have heard that there is a Geogache located somewhere near the creek too.


If you like a little longer walk in a non-nasty area then take the trail to the right. You will cross 3 creek beds and pass through a ginger garden. Keep following the trail and it will start to climb uphill through a guava forest. Unlike the guava forest trail on the other side of the river, this trail has lots of air ventiliation which keeps it fresh and windy. When you walk out of the trail on top of a small hill you will see the trail splits into two. GO LEFT. If you go right you will end up in someone’s backyard. The neighbors don’t like that.

Go left and up through tall grass and orchids. You will come up on a ridge. You will see the first staircase on your left. DO NOT GO DOWN. That is the nasty muddy trail you saw in the beginning that went through the smelly guava tree mess.  If you go down that trail of nastieness you will end up walking in circles. Continue going straight.

You will come across a bench sitting in front of the second staircase. This is the trail to Maunawili Falls. Carefully hike down those steep steps. Follow the creek going right. You will soon see a small trail appear. Follow that trail to Maunawili Falls.


The trail continues straight after the bench. This trail then becomes the Maunawili Connector Trail. It doesn’t lead to Maunawili Falls. That hike is for another blog adventure.

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I have a confession to make: I swinged on those vines.

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Lots of the trees were spray painted on the trail. This is ridiculous because the trail is very self evident. If you can’t tell where the trail is located in this picture then you should not be hiking in the forest. Just stop now and head back home.

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Very beautiful jungle.

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As I mentioned in my description above: I hiked on the trail going to the right. There are two trails which lead up to the hill that then goes back down to Maunawili Falls. All roads lead to Maunawili Falls in this instance. I took the smaller trail on the right, crossed three creeks and found myself in a beautiful flower garden.

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The trail through the wild flower garden veres up through a guava tree patch. Then I come to the second trail intersection. Walk left and go uphill. I did turn right to see what was down there and found myself in someone’s backyard. Their property was not my destination. So I walked uphill.

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I just wanted to post this picture to show that I am turning LEFT and so should all of you.

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It gets hot here. I hope you brought water. Keep going up.

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This is a trick! Do not go down the first staircase on your left. You will end up walking around in circles. Remember the trail of mud and nastieness that I mentioned in the beginning of my directions? This is it! That large trail on the left that you saw everyone walk on and then up through the smelly rotting guava trees will become a staircase and go up to this hill. This is the staircase of nastieness. It doesn’t lead to the falls. You will see other people walking up it looking quite grossed out. It smells…bad. Keep going straight up the hill.

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In five to ten minutes you will come across a bench to the right and a second staircase on your left. This is the staircase that leads to Maunawili Waterfall. Carefully go down this staircase. This trail is not recommended for folks with hip or knee problems because it will bust you up.

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Two hikers going down the muddy, steep staircase in slippers. BRAVE. VERY BRAVE. That is a good way to break your leg by the way.

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Once you get down the staircase you will see NO TRAIL. Look to your right and you will see a half dried creek bed. Walk up that creek bed for 5 minutes. Then the right side of the creek will become this trail. Keep walking. I hope you brought water. No airflow here and its humid and hot. Learn to enjoy the mosquitos.

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This is it. This is Maunawili Falls in all of her glory. You walked 2 miles through humidity, bugs, mud, rotting fruit and the occasional boar for this moment. I was actually disappointed and slightly irritated. It is a deep pool though. I went swimming but I don’t think it would be wise to dunk your head.

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Heading back out the dried creek. Its a tangle of giant Mule Fern trees grabbing at hikers passing on by.

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My readers from the mainland USA are probably thinking “Oh so pretty!” Wait until you see the flocks of mosquitos.

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Back up the staircase of pain. I can feel every muscle in my butt at this point. I didn’t know I had butt muscles until now.

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I love the hill that leads to the staircase trail though. The mountains and vegetation are so beautiful.

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I ignored the staircase on the right because I don’t like trails of nastieness. I continued on my way through the cane grass, down the hill, into the guava forest and looking to my right because the trail is easily missed.

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Back down the intersection I go!

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The flower forest was getting quite dark at this point. Forest trails in Hawaii will become dark at 3pm. Keep that in mind while hiking in the forest.

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Someone has a sense of humor.

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Crossing the 3 creeks

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Giant gingers

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Out of the trail I go! My adventure is done for the day.