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Hawaiian Trail & Mountain Corp.

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Talk Story with Carole Moon

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Joined HTMC: mid 1980s
Favorite hike: Poamoho
Favorite trail food: Dried aku along with sliced cucumbers, radish, or carrots with an orange or pear and lots of water
Favorite movie about hiking: The Revenant
Interview: Hand-written submission to the Newsletter Committee July 22-25, 2022

When did you FIRST START HIKING and why do you continue to pursue hiking?

I first started hiking in the eighties and have taken intermittent breaks like I am doing now for two years. But you will see me back on a steady basis soon. The trail calls to me!

Do you remember WHEN you joined HTMC?

I joined the club in the early eighties. I was a single parent with two teen girls, Denise and Desiree, looking for something to do as a family for the summer. I found the Sierra Club but later switched to HTMC which was a perfect fit for us.  We had never hiked before.

Can you think of one memorable HTMC hike experience that you would like to share? 

I loved it when John Hall would shout out and sing to Mabel Kekina when she’d  be across a valley from us working.  He would sing out, “Mabel, oh Mabel, where are you?” And he’d continued singing to her and when she’d see him she’d dismiss him with a smiling “harumph!”

What is your extent of involvement with HTMC over the years?

I served on various committees over the years: Membership, Entertainment, Trails and Schedule, and was one of two coordinators for the HTMC 100th anniversary luau celebration in 2010.

Do you have a FAVORITE trail or area of O’ahu?

My favorite trail on Oahu is the Ko’olau summit trail, wet, wild and windy. My first introduction to this trail forced me to meet my challenges and fears head on. When I had to cross narrow dikes with drop offs, there were times I had to do the okole walk to get across; when I had to hike across a landslide on the trail with only toeholds to get across I had Stuart yelling in my ear, “don’t hug the mountain, don’t look down;” and when hiking over windy rock faces with drop offs hugging and scampering across to safety there was Dayle yelling in the wind “here comes the opihi.” It was exciting and fun for a newbie like me.

 

Backpacking the muddy Ko’olau summit

Tell us MORE about your favorite hiking movie…

My favorite movie is The Revenant. Although the movie theme is about survival, betrayal and justice, I was absolutely mesmerized by the glacier fed waters, the craggy peaks, the alpine forest and the dense forest of the Canadian Rockies. The movie theme was so powerful that the Canadian Rockies was the perfect fit for the relationship between mankind and nature. 

What do you think is the KEY to staying fit and active as you age?

As Tom would say, “Never give up.” Although his saying refers to the rescuing of lost or missing hikers, I would refer that saying to the continuation of hiking, backpacking and camping well into your golden years. Never give up!

Where have you hiked OUTSIDE of Hawai’i? Can you share a memorable experience hiking overseas? 

Hiking the Dusky Track in South Island, New Zealand was a most memorable experience for me. This was a very different kind of hike. You hike this track on its own terms, not yours. It forces you to interact with the land. You know it’s New Zealand’s most toughest hike and it will challenge you from the beginning to the end, every day of the trek. I was younger, stronger, foolish (more like crazy) and I asked myself on the boat ride across Lake Manapouri from Te Anau to the trailhead, “Can you handle this sistah.” You betcha! Myself and three other guys made up the crew: Stuart Ball, Jason Sunada and Nathan Kong. Yeehaw! 

Stuart Ball, Jason Sunada & Carole on Dusky Track

As soon as you step off the boat, you are knee deep in mud bogs, pelted by heavy rain, and seeing your breath when you speak. And soon after you are barraged by the constant nipping of the sand flies, a mix between a mosquito and a flea. This is a very wet track so sand flies are your buddies to the very end! When you hike over the walk wires or 3 wire bridges extending over the many, many icy cold rivers running 20 feet below that’s when the sand flies get you! You have to hold the wires with both hands or you’ll fall in and there’s no way to swat those buggahs! I took forever to get across the walk wires because of fear and the guys would patiently wait for me across the river swatting those bloody flies.  After crossing many, sooo many of those walk wires, it became “ezy pzy”. 

Walking the walk wires of Dusky Track  

There were one-room huts along the Dusky Track, a blessing, with 10-12 bunk beds with mattresses, a wood burning stove with always an ample supply of wood to burn, water from the tap that had to be boiled before drinking, a wooden table and bench, an outside pit toilet with a door and a supply of branches to swat the sand flies. Bookings were not required, first come, first served. People were not crazy enough to appear in throngs to hike this isolated, wet track, loaded with sand flies!! 

Damn! You’d clean your clothes as best as you can and hang them to dry in the warm hut but when morning appears the hut is so cold, the fire is out, and your clothes, your boots and your socks are all wet again. 

You get out there in the early morning and face your challenges head on hiking the constant stream of slippery moss-covered roots and rocks, crossing the numerous rivers hiking over the “ezy pzy” walk wires. The ferns are tall, majestic, and beautiful in the lush and lovely forest, the fog hanging low with the sun rays streaming through the trees.  Somehow, despite the roughness of this track, you finally begin to see the loveliness in all of this tortuous trek and you know you’ll make it! It all begins to balance out! 

Heading for Supper Cove we will stay over a night and then catch a water plane back to Te Anau to our B&B. The plane did not arrive the next day because of bad weather obviously and we ran out of food and started to eat the food we threw out because critters went into our food stash, a cracker for you and a cracker for me rationing. 

There was a boat shed equipped with a little boat, paddles, fishing gear intact but no bait. The guys stole the large bird’s fish from his mouth to use as bait and off we went fishing. They caught one little fish which we boiled to make a lovely soup. Then we discovered clams on the beach at Supper Cove and prepared to dig for them when without any warning the plane appeared, breaking through an opening in the clouds. We had only minutes to spare to get the hell out of there through the opening in the clouds. Exiting the plane was a couple, young, hand in hand, big smiles and oh so clean. Happy wife, happy life on the Dusky Track!  

What do you bring along when you hike?

I like to bring along a mini book and pen to do some sketching. Judy Roy had shared her book and pens with me on one of our Halape fishing campouts and I took a liking to it. My dear hiking buddy has since passed away. Love her more.

Anything else you would like to SHARE with HTMC members?

I’m glad I found HTMC through my children. Presently Desi loves to vacay in hotels and warm beds while Denise loves and continues to vacay via car camping, tent camping and hiking which makes me a proud and happy mother!!

 About Carole Moon

Carole’s daughters first hike in the 1980’s

Born and raised in Honolulu but lived on Hawaii Island for three years and attended Konawaena High School, I transferred later to Farrington High in Kalihi and graduated in 1960. Got married and later divorced with two children. 

Attended the Cannon College of Commerce, a business school in the 60’s. 

Worked at the University of Hawaii, Manoa in administration for 39 years and retired in 2006. 

Performed a number of volunteer work: working with nene birds and later with the hawksbill turtles monitoring, protecting and collecting data on nesting of the turtles on Hawaii Island. 

Working at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children in the Emergency Room. 

Working on Kahoolawe doing reforestation work digging and planting hundreds of native plants such as pili grass and a’ali’i. 

Working on Kalaupapa with the Honolulu Catholic Sisters group assisting leprosy survivors living there with things to be done inside and outside their homes. 

Became a caregiver for my daughters’ father with Alzheimers for a number of years who is now in a skilled nursing home. 

 

*In an effort to preserve and document HTMC’s history, the Newsletter Committee is looking for more old timer members to contribute to this ongoing Talk Story Series. If you would like to contribute please email newsletter@htmc1910.org Mahalo!