A Tenacious Trio’s 56-mile Trek

Pamela Young
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Wednesday - August 22, 2007
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Dear Ms. Young,

I’m a sophomore in high school and we were given about a month to do a free-choice project on a subject of our choosing. Two friends and myself decided to walk from Punahou School to Turtle Bay (through Waimanalo) over the course of one weekend. I never realized how many kind people would help us along the way (or that we’d need so much help.)


I’d like to thank all of the fire stations and firemen for the water refills, especially the Hauula station where an off-duty fireman recommended a book to read about a man walking and riding a horse through Kaaawa long ago, Shima’s Market for ono Huli Chicken, a police officer for asking for our autographs and supporting us, the lady from a Hauula art gallery who helped us find out where we were, the lady who offered us a ride at Kahekili Highway, the man who let me use the bathroom at his house (between Kaya’s market and Hauula Elementary) when the nearest one was 2.5 miles away, the Turtle Bay driver who drove us the last 100 yards when our legs were dead, Mr. Watson for his never-ending support, Mr. Bassford for his knowledge of walking and hiking, the Richardsons for letting us use their beach house, the Nakamuras and the Hiratas for letting us sleep over on our three-day trek, and all the kind drivers who yielded to three poor kids walking along roads and highways. Without your help, we wouldn’t have made the entire 56 miles. Our thank you list would go on and on to all the people we’ve met over the course of the walk, but there are too many to thank. I’m hoping they will read this letter and know how grateful we are.

John Wo, Chris Lum, and David Gans

John Wo, Chris Lum and David Gans
John Wo, Chris Lum and David Gans

Dear John, Chris and David,

Congratulations on getting an A for your project!

Hauula firefighter James Richmond hopes you had the chance to pick up a copy of O.A. Bushnell’s Kaaawa, which chronicled a similar journey. “I was off-duty at the time,” he says. “I was going to my aunty’s house and saw these three kids walking along the road - very unusual and kind of suspicious. I made a mental note to keep an eye on them. When I stopped by the fire house, there they were, asking for water. I invited them in and offered some food. They seemed like nice boys.”


Pam Layton says she and her husband enjoyed hosting you. “They are a great trio of boys and we applaud their determination. It was very nice to have them over.”

Chris’ grandmother, Alice Nakamura, says she couldn’t believe your energy. “They weren’t allowed to stay out at night so they had to sleep at friends’ and relatives’ houses along the way. As they approached Hawaii Kai, Chris’ mom called and said the boys are really, really hungry, so I made a big dinner for them. They just came in and dropped on the floor. In the morning I made breakfast and off they went. I really enjoyed the company! At first we thought they were crazy to do all this walking, but we are so very proud of them.The boys even found a stray kitten in Waimanalo, and now that kitten has a home with the Gans family.”

(If you know someone who deserves some Applause, send your letters to Pamela Young, MidWeek Applause, KITV, 801 S. King St., Honolulu, HI, 96813 or e-mail pyoung@kitv.com. Include your name, phone number and, if possible, the phone number of your “applaudee” so we can contact him or her.)

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