Every time I think we’re running out of trails that will work for our family and be exciting, I’m proven wrong. We recently purchased the book titled The Hikers Guide to O’ahu and it is a gold mine.

That bring us to Pu’u o Hulu in Māʻili on the leeward side of the island. It’s a short hike at just around 2 miles, but man, it packs a punch both in exercise and beauty. This was our view as we were driving in.IMG_7969

You park along Kaukama Road (around the seventh or eighth streetlamp), and the path isn’t hard to find. IMG_7973 Our good friends joined in on the fun – you may remember them from the Keālia Trail.IMG_7975 The hike isn’t difficult so there isn’t much to say about the way up. We did come across a little fork and the guys checked out the way to the right while the rest of us went left. It appears that the trail to the right ended in the same place, but it took a steeper route. So they came back and joined us.IMG_7979 IMG_7982 I love the attitude Miss M is giving me in this shot. So sassy! And as a side note – I already have a tough time telling these girls apart from behind, but it’s infinitely worse when they’re both wearing the same girl’s clothes.

IMG_7986 IMG_7991There were two areas like this where a tree was seemingly growing down the side of the path. So neat.IMG_7994 This might be one of my favorite shots of Austin ever. It shows his personality so perfectly. He kept running ahead and then finding places to sit and wait for us old folks. And he’d grin from ear to ear from pride.IMG_8000 Here was the second tree I mentioned. And we noticed that graffiti is a real issue on this trail.IMG_8002 Our friends – E & OB!IMG_8018 Is this not one of the most beautiful scenes….ever?! The west side of the island is just magical. In this view we’re seeing Māʻili, Wai’anae, Mākaha and even Poka’i Bay.IMG_8022e There was one concrete structure below the trail, but we skipped that one. So this was the first pillbox along the path for us. Here are E and I hamming it up for the camera.IMG_8030 And our men with the baby.IMG_8034The older kids inside of the pillbox. They were having fun reading all of the graffiti. IMG_8042 Our oldest guy, Aidan.IMG_8044 Then E headed up toward the next pillbox to check it out.IMG_8049 And I turned around and saw that James was off checking out the path that went down a totally different way than how we’d come. When looking at the Hikers Guide book, I realize now that it shows a loop – and it appears that the path he’s on below is part of that loop. (We just cut that part out of the hike completely which I believe made it safer for our family.)IMG_8058When I felt comfortable that he was coming back and not heading towards his death,  I went on up to join E. I came across this little machine thingy. (Technical term.)
IMG_8062 And I found Austin hanging out in the second pillbox. (Or it could have been the third – they were really close to each other.)IMG_8065 Then the guys joined us.IMG_8066 And I ran down to get a shot of E and M. (I get so many steps on these hikes and I think half of them involve taking photos from fifty different angles.)IMG_8073Another look down. This totally reminds me of the theme song from Weeds:

Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one 
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

I’m not judging of course – I live in a house just like this but about 30 minutes away. It just stuck with me as we were hiking along.IMG_8081 A different look at the third pillbox. I blurred out the profanity for you. You’re welcome. 😉IMG_8084 That’s the fourth pillbox off in the distance (or the fifth if you count that first one that we skipped). The guys walked along the spine toward it, but OB ended up coming back because he was carrying the baby. James and I decided to leave the kids with our friends and head on up and check it out.IMG_8085 A look back south. It’s so difficult for me to determine exactly what I’m seeing because the coast bends. I believe that’s Barber’s Point – past Ko Olina even. For a girl who lived in the Midwest for most of her life, it’s amazing to think I can see so many miles away from the place I’m standing. I love it!IMG_8090 James headed up to the pillbox.IMG_8097 He got a shot of me doing the same. Although the aforementioned Hikers Guide labeled this hike as a “medium danger” trail, it didn’t feel scary at all. I wonder now if the danger was completely in that section we avoided. I’m thinking so.IMG_8104 This image. Love it SO much! Between the Hawai’ian flag and the view of Nānākuli? Amazing.
IMG_8109Such a good team.IMG_8116e The inside of that top pillbox.IMG_8117 And then we headed back.IMG_8118 It’s me!IMG_8132e Love this family.
IMG_8155e I’m pretty partial to this one as well. 😉IMG_8160e Then we headed back on down the way we came. And our poor girl was wearing brand new hiking shoes that were giving her some intense blisters. The shoes will be fine I think – she was just wearing super short socks. Oops. But Daddy came to the rescue and carried her all the way down.
IMG_8165 All in all, we were done in about 90 minutes and we spent quite a bit of time at the top. It was a lot of fun, and it’s a great trail for families. We didn’t feel comfortable taking our three up to the tippy top, but that’s mostly because they are tiny little things and I’m just sure the wind is gonna blow them over the side. That’s a totally rational fear, right?

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Lanipō/Mau'umae Ridge Trail
La'ie Point