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Old 09-27-2011, 03:56 PM   #1
fastxr OP
Joined: Mar 2005
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Molokai no ka oi

Earlier this year Pastor Disaster and I shipped the bikes to Molokai for a long weekend. Molokai is only about 25 miles from Oahu but a 20 minute flight out of Honolulu drops us into another world. Molokai, with a population of only about 7,500 is largely Hawaiian in lineage and traditions. Kaunakakai, the largest town, boasts the island’s only gas station and there are no traffic lights at all. Cell phone service would be spotty, mostly available on the east and west ends, the ends facing Maui and Oahu. As our departure approaches, the weather is cooperative, and clears up after weeks of grey and wet.
Flying in, we see large swaths of the island are apparently uninhabited. We figured the island would welcome itinerant bikers and planned to camp when we could, hopefully increasing our range. In anticipation we studied Google Maps looking for interesting isolated areas to investigate and hopefully the routes we could use to access those areas. Since Molokai Ranch, the island’s largest employer, essentially went out of business a few years ago, we figured most gates would be open but had no way to test that theory until arrival.

The bikes are shipped via inter-island barge a couple of days early and we flew over. Picking up the bikes from the docks , gassed in town, and loaded up.
Second photo taken in the heart of beautiful downtown Kaunakakai.
Our first night we planned to camp at Waikolu Lookout at the far head of Waikolu Valley. Starting from the cemetery just north of Kaunakakai, we followed a Maunahui road, a jeep trail carved deep into the fine red dirt. Although the dust was thick, we were glad it was relatively dry. Once we left the highway behind us we were alone with full tanks, the road generally followed the broad ridge.
Just before Waikolu Lookout we passed the Sandalwood Pit. Dug in the early 1800’s by King Kamehameha’s men to the exact width and breath of the cargo hold of a ship. Sandalwood was a much sought after fragrant wood that grew in the forests above Waikolu Valley. A few moments later we reached the lookout. Getting off the bikes we were surrounded by an incredible panorama. Standing at the head of Waikolu Valley, we could look past sheer walls to the beach and offshore islands. On the opposite valley wall a waterfall with a beautiful isolated swimming hold half way down the sheer wall. We speculated whether anyone had ever actually swam there.
The campsite had a small shelter with a picnic table but no running water. We setup the camping hammocks although the good Pastor can’t seem to sleep in his so he also sets up a tent as a backup. I sleep like a baby in mine, frequently sleeping until 8 or 9. About 4 o’clock, a thick cloud cover rolled in, at our altitude it was like fog, it was so thick that returning from the bathroom, I had to follow my footsteps in the dew to find the campsite. It was a total whiteout, IFR conditions, tiny visible drops of water swirling in the air.
Pastor Disaster had brought batteries for an air pump but they had somehow fallen out of his pack while we thrashed our way up the dirt road on the way to the lookout. Here he gratefully thanks me for my advise on blowing up his air mattress.
About dinner, the clouds cleared and it became clear and still. And as the night wore on it got colder and colder. Later we discovered it got down to 56 at the airport, at our altitude temps in the 40s seems reasonable. Coming from the islands we simply weren’t ready for these kind of temperatures.

fastxr screwed with this post 10-02-2011 at 12:58 PM Reason: Added photos
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:23 PM   #2
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More, please!

Nice pics, nice map. Is there more?
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:02 PM   #3
Edmond Dantès
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It is always interesting to read a RR from unusual places. I love the old XR250. Can you post some more pictures per favore?
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:32 PM   #4
Tosh Togo
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Originally Posted by BajaJim View Post
Nice pics, nice map. Is there more?
What he said.

I miss Molokai.

Mo pics please, mo biggah ones!.

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Old 09-28-2011, 10:47 AM   #5
fastxr OP
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More to come

Just gotta sort through the photos.
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:05 PM   #6
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:40 PM   #7
Kalani Prince
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nice, I've always wanted to ride on Molokai.. I've actually never been there and I'm right next door on Maui. Geesh..
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Old 09-28-2011, 05:50 PM   #8
Hi, wanna ride?
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very nice, always wondered about a Hawaian Island tour .... on hte GSA!
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Old 09-28-2011, 10:02 PM   #9
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yes have to say Molokai no ka oi, nice pictures and story, also thanks to Tosh Togo and his picture of Father Damian, spent some time at Kalaupapa late 50's, a guest of the business admin.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:23 AM   #10
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Visited Molokai in 1991 for a few days. Did the Mule ride to Kalaupapa. When you come out of the woods to the edge of the 1600' cliff face and realize you are on a 5' wide path,it takes your breath away. I still think my finger prints are still embedded in that saddle. A truly beautiful place !!
I wonder if the "Hop Inn" is still in town?
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Old 10-02-2011, 03:31 PM   #11
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The Hop Inn, a Chinese restaurant in downtown Kaunakakai was closed about 15 or 20 years ago by the Health Department for unknown violations. Permanently.
As early morning approached, it got colder and colder. Sleeping in the hammock was bone-chilling even fully dressed and with a 20 degree sleeping bag. Pastor Disaster was uncomfortable from both the cold and his ongoing struggle to sleep in a hammock and woke about 1AM, I could hear him softly cursing in the dark, from then on he alternated between sleeping on the picnic table in the shelter and his tent, each about equal in comfort since his air mattress had failed again.
I’ve got a 5 gallon gas tank while Pastor Disaster has a stocker, probably a little over 2 gallons which provides 95 miles before a 25 mile reserve. I know this because I used to have an identical XR250L. PD has never really learned to trust his petcock, for him, going on reserve is a matter requiring priority attention no matter what else is going on. After using only about 20 miles of gas from a full tank he will want to fill up before a 20 mile dirt ride. He is extremely paranoid about running out of gas on Oahu, where gas stations are common. To add to his difficulty calculating fuel range, his odometer recently went on the blink. On this trip he was totally and completely dependent on me to monitor his fuel status. I could’nt help but think “this is gonna be fun”.
Today’s path is shown on the GPS map as the purple line heading south from the lookout. After a cup of coffee and a light breakfast we headed out. Our route would vaguely follow the Makakupiapia Trail which started near the campsite and descended on one of many ridges heading south for the coast. Although it hadn’t rained in almost a week, the section at the top was a bog with deep, water filled ruts and slick clay surfaces. Pigs in the area will often use the ruts as their personal mud bogs and outhouses. Breaking the surface of the water would sometimes release waves of fermented sewage stench from the pig water. Within the first mile PD had dabbed with both feet, it was unbelievably disgusting, lol.
After slogging several miles through the wet section we were relieved to break out at the top. Dropping down to the coast, we would pass through different elevations, temperatures and ecosystems. In the bog was low brush, the ridge was populated by pine trees and a welcome breeze. And because we were on the leeward side of the summit, the route was dry and fast.
Western Molokai in the distance.
After dropping into Kaunakakai for a thorough washing and disinfecting of PD’s feet and lunch, we headed for the west end of the island. Google Maps clearly showed a coastline road which started roughly at Hale O Lono Harbor near the southeast point of the island, proceeding east and ending up near Kaunakakai. Hale O Lono is where the annual Molokai to Oahu canoe race starts, any other time the place is deserted except for sailboats that take refuge in the only protected harbor in the area. The southern coast is hot and dry with no water or services of any kind available, we follow the coast road for several miles, the road gradually deteriorated until we were snaking through tall grass, standing on the pegs to try to detect the faint swath. Despite the parched surroundings periodically we ran into the remains of stone bridges used to cross streambeds, the bridges washed away by periodic flash flooding. After wrestling the bikes across several streambeds populated by bowling ball shaped rocks and with a rapidly disappearing road we turned back and setup camp at an abandoned fishing camp we passed earlier.
It appeared we had found the perfect campsite complete with private beach and covered parking for the bikes. We setup camp in abandoned camp and went for a swim.
PD and I have been experimenting with various meals we can easily pack and carry, that don’t take much preparation, water or cleanup. We’ve tried and rejected various options including Mountain House freeze dried foods, various one dish meals and MREs. That night we made a chicken curry couscous from raw ingredients that was pretty good. After a camp stove dinner, we sat outside and talked while watching shooting stars cross the sky. Eventually PD retired to his hammock and I walked the beach. After dark sand fleas come out and they attacked me viciously, biting my feet and ankles and leaving welts that itched for a week. I quickly left the sand for the comfort of Mr. Jack Daniels.

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Old 10-02-2011, 04:49 PM   #12
fastxr OP
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I miss Molokai.

Mo pics please, mo biggah ones!.


By the way, this is a different view of the same islands we saw from the lookout. In your photo, the two coconut trees on the right that form a broad "V" are right in front of the island we could see from the lookout.
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:57 AM   #13
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Wow awesome, I really want to go ride Molokai. It looks so close from Maui, now to find someone with a boat ;)
How much was it to ship from Oahu?
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:21 PM   #14
Big Spag
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Cool Molokia

Spent two weeks on Molokai at the ranch a few years ago. Great place to chill.
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:28 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by fastxr View Post


If i had a choice, this would be a place to end it all
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