Hiking, biking Kaena Point

Hiking, biking Kaena Point

I get out — but I don’t get out to the West Side of Oahu nearly enough.

So when some friends wanted to hike and bike around Kaena Point, the westernmost point on the island, I didn’t hesitate.

Kaena Point is nothing short of magical.

It’s one of the last intact dune ecosystems in the main Hawaiian Islands and home to a growing population of rare and endangered coastal plants and seabirds such as the Laysan albatross and wedge-tailed shearwaters. The Hawaiian green sea turtles and monk seals — both endangered — often rest along the shoreline here.

It’s also an area teeming with cultural sites and significance. Kaena Point was once known as leina a kauhane, the leaping place of souls, where the spirits of the recently dead could be reunited with their ancestors.

Because of its cultural and environmental importance, it has been designated as a natural area reserve (NAR). The Kaena Point Ecosystem Restoration Project was set up to protect, preserve and restore the native environment here, including installing a predator-proof fence, the first of its kind in Hawaii.

We spent a Sunday morning traversing this unique coastline. Here’s what our trek looked like:

On the road

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We grabbed our bikes, shoes, water bottles, Spam musubis and a bag of Skittles and drove the nearly 50 miles from our house to Kaena Point State Park.

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Dog Patrol: Found Cav King Charles

FOUND: this tan-and-white Cavalier King Charles on Poipu Road in Portlock at 6:45 p.m. today. Sweet and friendly. Definitely a house dog. Vet said he’s healthy though suffering from a bad skin allergy. He has a microchip but no local matches. And no tags. Email me if you know who his human is!

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Today’s happy shot

Even without surf, Makaha Beach is still stunning.

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Today’s happy shot

Fries with gravy all over! (Meg’s Drive-In)

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FUUD: Home Bar & Grill

FUUD: Home Bar & Grill

My friends and I have spent a lot of time Kanpai Bar & Grill.

A lot.

So much, in fact, we even knew the shifts of the servers.

So when some of the staff left Kanpai to work in the kitchen of a new bar/grill in January, we were torn. We loved the laid-back indoor/outdoor atmosphere of Kanpai, the abundance of parking across the street and, of course, the garlic chicken.

The new place — Home Bar & Grill — was dark and along Kalakaua Avenue where parking is scarce. (Understatement.)

But — and this was a big one — it had that garlic chicken.

That did it. We were moving the pau hana to Home — and we didn’t regret it.

The menu boasts pan-seared Manila clams, kalbi noodles and chicken gizzards. And there’s even tater tot nachos, with sour cream, olives, salsa, nacho cheese sauce, and jalapenos.

And yes, the garlic chicken was there, too. (Whew)

Here’s what our last night out looked like:

Crinkle-cut fries with pepperoni

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If you love crinkle-cut fries, Home has got a version you need to try. The fries are extra crunchy and topped with grated Parmesan cheese, thin slices of pepperoni and a drizzle of truffle oil. The oil is very light — almost not even detectable — but the dish is easy to nosh.

Home Bar & Grill, 1683 Kalakaua Ave. Hours: 2 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday through Sunday. Phone: (808) 942-2237

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