I don’t know when I first started hiking. But when I started, I didn’t stop.
I’ve always loved just being outdoors, whether sitting in my backyard or drifting on a surfboard in the middle of the Pacific.
But there’s something about hiking, wandering through groves of hāpuʻu tree ferns on a ridge trail somewhere in the Ko‘olaus or standing at a summit overlooking the farms of Waimānalo with a panoramic view of the sprawling ocean.
I wouldn’t call myself an extreme hiker or a trail expert. Sure, there have been times — when I was younger, of course — when I’ve climbed rock faces I probably shouldn’t have and ditched the marked trails to explore an area overgrown with strawberry guava trees.
I just like the simple walk in the forest, maybe catch a glimpse of a native songbird or walk through a grove of flowering mountain apple trees, snack on a banana with a view of the ocean. Nothing dangerous. I’ve got nothing to prove. And — let’s be real — I like my limbs where they are.
As I approached my 40th birthday, I wondered — sometimes out loud — what I should do to commemorate the new decade.
I thought about going to Bali (still am, actually) and running the marathon (signed up — again). But I was thinking about something bigger, something harder.
Then it came to me: I’m going to hike 40 different trails in the year that I’m 40.
It could be trails that I’ve done before, trails in different states, trails I’ve always wanted to do but never got around to it.
It scares me to broadcast this to the world since you will all hold me accountable. But I’m planning to finish all 40 in a year’s time. Hey, I’m already at No. 6. (I just didn’t blog about them!)
I’m going to skip my first hike, which was Makapu‘u on my birthday, as I blogged about it already. So I’m starting with the second trail — Waipo‘o Falls at Kōkeʻe on Kauaʻi.
And if you have a suggestion about a trail I should do — Neighbor Islands, included! — let me know. I’ll be posted my hikes on Instagram (@catherinetoth) and tweeting (@thedailydish) about them using the hashtag #40trails. So look for that. Then come back here and read all about my adventures in the wilderness.
But first, I need to get new hiking shoes.
Follow my hiking adventures #40trails at Instagram (@catherinetoth), Twitter (@thedailydish) and Facebook (/thecatdish).