Well, not exactly. At least not for me. The real jungle warfare training took place here during World War II, preparing our troops to fight in hellholes like the Marianas and Okinawa. It’s Veterans Day, so I went to pay them a tribute and visit their ghosts.
What’s left now are the crumbling ruins of a bunker complex that’s been all but swallowed up by the jungle.
It takes a little work to get there by humping the Nakoa Trail through Kahana Valley, but it’s not too bad. Some mud, some mosquitoes, some easy stream crossings, some rotting guava and the bugs they attract.
And lots of hala plants everywhere.
The jagged edges can cut you up, even on the dead ones all over the ground.
At least four structures are still somewhat intact.
They’re there, just behind the leaves.
An old bridge is long gone.
Some awesome jagged peaks in the mountains surrounding the valley.
Wild orchids with vivid colors.
The last stream crossing follows an old spillway.
The valley is a favorite destination of Hawaiian pig hunters. This guy was loading his fresh kill near the trail head.
It might be hard for some to look at, but hunting is an important part of life for many in Hawaii. One family will eat well tonight.