As we grew into hiking we started to network with people. We were both a huge fan of Kaleo and were always watching for his new blog entries. Keahi thought if Kaleo could write about his adventures so should we. We started a blog and wrote in it for about 2 years. After about 2 years the blog fell into an abandonment. Unfortunately we parted ways in our hiking careers. I started to hike regularly with Kaleo. Even though Keahi and I didn't hike together he was always there listening to my crazy hiking stories.
For roughly 2 years I hiked with Kaleo and his crew. I made some strong ties with the hiking community through his group. I learned how to hike responsibly and learned more and more about what Hawaii had to offer. We went on a trip together to Big Island to do my first backpacking trip to Waimanu. There I met Dave and the lost trailblazers group. I also met Cory who introduced me to my girlfriend Katie. Also through Kaleo's group I met other hikers such as Nate and Josh who were/are interested in the native flora and fauna of Hawaii.
Now that Kaleo is a family man, he has been taking more responsibilities at home than coming out and hiking with us. So I've been hiking a lot with new people and making new ties in the conservation world. The people I hike with now have a different mind set when hiking. Hiking isn't just about reaching a peak or seeing a waterfall. It's more about looking at the small details around you, in the plants and animals. Noticing that there is much more to Hawaii than just views. Hawaii is the extinction capital of the world. There are many endangered species here too. When I hike now it's more like looking for needles in a hay stack. Looking for endangered rare plants with Josh, looking for native land snails with Nate and Cory, or waiting and watching for the native honey creeper birds. Like waterfalls when I first started to hike, finding endangered flora and fauna is such a treat to see. These things were right under my nose my whole life living here in Hawaii. I wish I had started sooner.
Here are some of the things I've seen this past weekend hiking on Oahu.
A juvenile 'apapane spreads it's wings and starts to take off.
I don't know what I was looking for.
This plant is the cyanea koolauensis
The flower is shaped like the native honey creeper birds.
'Apapane feeding on some ohia lehua.
Popolo 'Aiakeakua (Solanum sandwicense) is an endangered plant native to Oahu and Kauai.
With the help of conservation agencies the cyanea grimesiana have a chance to survive.