The Captain’s Travels: Oahu – Day 5 – Maunawili Falls

Captain’s Log, Day 5

(This entry appears to have been torn out.)

Note from the future: Similar to Day 2 when I didn’t write much, apparently I didn’t write anything for this day’s adventuring, so this will all be from memory.

Nearing the end of our vacation, despite all the driving around and leisurely time spent on beaches and shores, we hadn’t yet really spent much time in nature. Nick’s thorough pre-trip planning (that we uh… largely ignored, much to his frustration) gave us several hiking destinations to choose from, and after a bit of deliberation, we decided on Maunawili Trail which capstones at Maunawili Falls, a small tropical waterfall which feeds a small natural swimming pool.

The hike varied from thick roots to a small stream crossing, interspersed with flats and steep uphill climbs. At the stream crossing, we found a new friend! We discovered some sort of reptilian creature, and I’m still not quite sure what it is a jackson chameleon (thanks Ashlynne for the identification!):

If anyone knows what this is, please let me know in the comments! Pretty jackson chameleon!

Our new friend was desperately trying to cross the stream too, so we aided him along by providing him thick sticks and other foliage to walk across in between the slick rocks. He slipped near the very end of the crossing and fell into the water, sending him downstream a few feet as we scrambled to find something for him to grab onto and finish his journey. He wasn’t that great of a swimmer, but he lucked out and stopped on a small rock which gave him a base to propel himself from and back onto shore. Wherever he was going, I hope he made it.

We reached the top of the trail to find the waterfall and met with a few other hikers who were already there and enjoying the swim. There were a few jump points which one could climb up to and into the swimming pool from up high, and when one of the women invited Nick to join her, well… of course he did. He first leapt from the shorter of the two jump points without much fear, and was later challenged to jump from the higher one. Jeremy, Dave, and I were a little concerned about it because none of us had any cell service this deep into nature, and if anything happened, we doubted we’d be able to get him back down the trail with any sort of urgency. Never one to back down from a challenge (further driven by the need to impress the attractive woman who dared him), Nick climbed to the topmost of the two jump points and stood for several seconds while we waited in anticipation. He jumped as far outward as he could, hoping to miss any rough rock edges on the way down. Time slowed for those of us in the swimming pool as gravity seemed to take its sweet time in dragging him down. He splashed perfectly into the deep end, and after a few more seconds, bobbed his head up in victory to let us know he was okay! He later admitted that before the jump, he started to second-guess himself as fear took hold, but he refused to let that stop him.


The low jump point.

The high jump point.

On our way back down the trail, we were maybe a mile shy of the trailhead when Dave found a sharp edge of a broken tree limb. …With his head. He was rightfully knocked a little senseless for several minutes, and we inspected the wound as much as we could. Jeremy brought a small medkit with him, and after we washed the wound with the remainder of our drinking water, the wound looked far less serious than the blood that initially sprang forth from it would suggest. Head wounds are liars. We slowed our pace and stayed close to Dave for the rest of the hike back to the car just in case he felt woozy, but he recovered well (except for a pretty bad headache).

Tomorrow is my last day of vacation, and there’s still so much I want to do and see. There’s no way I’ll get it all in tomorrow, so I guess I’ll have to come back some day.


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