A slew of empty promises was finally filled this past weekend: I hiked with the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club for the first time, putting to rest one hike out of three in pursuit of obtaining membership into the renown 100-year-old hiking group.
Daniel and Mark joined me for the short outing along the two-mile Ahuimanu loop trail in Kahalu'u. Around fifteen other hikers took part in the hike as well, with Joyce Oka as the trail coordinator. Joyce has been a member of the club for 40 years, and her husband, Grant Oka, a 20-year club member, was also on the hike. I was happy to have finally met Grant, for I've read many write-ups of hikes he's done in the past with other members whom inspire my passion for hiking. I found it a great opportunity to ask him questions about certain trails around the island. Although he didn't show it, I'm pretty sure he was pestered by the onslaught of questions I asked. I could have gone on and on, but he answered every question completely and as best as he could. He proved to have a wealth of knowledge of virtually every trail on the island.
The Ahuimanu trail is a great hike for beginners; it's also great for trail running. The hike starts off along the side of Hui Kelu Street. It meanders through some forest, crosses a stream several times, ending near the base of the Ko'olau's at a large dike that spills out water. The hike is not dangerous at all, although while crossing the stream, caution should be taken because of the slippery nature of the rocks. Other than that, the trail is suited for anyone.
With one hike down, I have two more to trek with the club to obtain my club membership. After I obtain my membership, I'll be able to hike trails that require access by permit only. It'll also be a good way to meet new people, especially those that have inspired me to do the trails I've completed all around the island.