Moving into our New House • Hiking to Lulumahu Falls • Beginning of December
After a long 2 months of living in a hotel, we finally signed a big stack of papers and officially became homeowners! This was a long anticipated event for us — you may remember in one of the first posts of this year, I mentioned one of our goals was to buy a house. We started to second guess ourselves a little when we received orders to Hawaii, but after really thinking and praying it over and meeting an amazing realtor, we decided to go for it. Yes, the housing market in Hawaii is insane and very intimidating for first-time buyers. I know there will be a lot of challenges and expenses that come with this responsibility, but so far we aren’t experiencing any regrets, and the overwhelming feeling is “I can’t believe we actually found this place!” It’s certainly no homestead on an acreage, but we have to start somewhere!
We received the keys on a Thursday, and our stuff arrived the next day. I was relieved that Curtis’ beautiful furniture was still in good condition, as well as the rest of our belongings. Amazingly, it all fit inside our tiny home. Throughout the whole home buying process, I kept thinking of this as purely an investment, but when I saw how well everything fit and how Curtis’ furniture looked like it was made for this place, it really felt like it was meant to be. We also discovered one of the greatest things about it is something we barely acknowledged while first looking at it: the deep, giant closets with plenty of shelves that can store EVERYTHING. We have unpacked here more than we have in any home since our apartment in AZ!
After spending Friday night and all day Saturday unpacking and settling in, we decided to go for a hike Sunday after church to give Charlotte some exercise. We returned to a hike that we had started at the beginning of November but quit because of the rain: Lulumahu Falls. This hike is located right off the Pali Highway which goes over/through the Ko’olaus. There’s a moderate sized parking lot at the trailhead and it seems to get a decent amount of hiking traffic. It should be noted that this is on private property, on the Board of Water Supply’s land. It’s considered trespassing if you don’t have a permit, and if caught without one you could be fined. To learn more about obtaining a permit, visit this site.
The trail begins by walking through a bamboo forest. The first day we attempted this, the trail was made of huge puddles because of the pouring rain, and it was rather wet and muddy today as well. We did our best to stay dry (can’t say Charlotte did the same) until we reached a steep incline up to the Nu’uanu reservoir. Here, the trail is a wide path that walks along the reservoir until it meets back up with the forest. Since this is an unsanctioned hike, there aren’t any signs telling you where to go, so it can be tricky navigating through the forest with multiple side trails along the way. We used AllTrails to make sure we were on the right path.
After walking passed a graffiti wall, up a narrow set of stairs, and beside some ruins, we came to the stream and our first crossing. There were about 5 different river crossings, and I was very glad at this point that we hadn’t attempted it in the rain. Not only would the rocks be wet and slick, but it would pose a flooding threat. On our way to the falls, we followed the trail that went along the stream the whole way up, and on the way back we tried out a different path that stayed up at a higher elevation and avoided 2 of the water crossings. This one turned out to be muddy and still hard to follow, so I wouldn’t say it was much better.
The falls themselves were very impressive though — it’s a 150 foot waterfall with a decent sized pool at the base. Curtis attempted a letterbox, and Charlotte and I relaxed and watched the waterfall and the other hikers coming and going. It’s getting easier to pick out the tourists from the locals when we go out. The real superhero today was the woman who managed to hike the entire trail, mud and water crossings included, wearing nice white pants and walk away without a stain. I’m simply in awe.
In all, the trail is 2 miles long and gains under 900 feet in elevation. It made for a nice easy outing before diving back into the unpacking process!
***EDIT MAY 2018: I heard recently that the city board of water has blocked off a part of the trail that we took last December up and around the reservoir and rerouted it through the bamboo forest. You can still hike to the falls, they supposedly marked the new path, I personally haven’t returned and experienced it.