Celebrating our Fifth Anniversary | Friday, July 27, 2018
Our fifth wedding anniversary was on July 27. We had made big plans for an anniversary trip, but the Navy unmercifully squashed our hopes and dreams. It’s fine, we’re over it. Instead, I spent the majority of that Friday eagerly awaiting Curtis to return from his exhausting 36 hour shift, then enjoyed every second of him for 2 hours before he crashed for the next 12 hours. Thankfully, I then had him all to myself until he went in to work on Sunday morning for his next 7 day work week. To top it all off, he also managed to get sick for the second time in a month. But that’s life, right? At least I did get to see him, unlike our second anniversary when he was at OCS. It’s all about perspective, enjoying moments together, taking advantage of free time, and laughing when things go wrong. Taking all that to heart is part of what has made the last 5 years of marriage so positive despite the trials thrown our way.
Obscure Hikes on Oahu
On Saturday, we slept in, enjoyed breakfast together, then made plans for a special fifth anniversary hike. I have recently been searching all sorts of blogs and Youtube channels looking for more obscure hikes. My interests as of late include less popular hikes that aren’t going to endanger our lives. A task easier said than done, but for today I had the perfect hike in mind. Since it was only going to be around 3 miles, we brought Charlotte along. In hindsight, we should have started the hike earlier for her sake. We made up for this mistake by carrying plenty of water and taking lots of breaks along the way.
Finding obscure hikes hasn’t always been so difficult — everywhere else we’ve lived, we’ve always managed to easily find great hikes that don’t get too much traffic, or we picked the right time or season to hike to avoid crowds. Here, that isn’t always so straightforward and simple, and yet we’ve never felt more desperate to take the path less traveled. On Oahu, we have not only a million residents on a small island all hiking the same trails, but we also have multitudes of tourists year-round.
There are many factors that come into play when searching for a more obscure hike. First of all, you need a place to park where your car won’t be ticketed or broken into. You also don’t want to be a nuisance to others, as so many hikes on the island begin at the end of residential streets.
Next comes figuring out if the hike is actually legal. It’s not always black or white, legal or illegal. Illegal can mean “this trail is closed, someone was injured, don’t hold us responsible if you get hurt” which really just means that it isn’t maintained but it’s still regularly hiked. In comparison, illegal could also mean “No trespassing, violators can be fined up to $2500, must appear in court and fulfill community service requirements.” There’s a certain sign you see often around here that says “Area closed, do not walk beyond this sign,” and it’s a known fact that some of the best hikes begin right behind the sign (for example: Crouching Lion, Pali Puka, and Pali Notches).
Now once you’ve determined you can safely park and go for the hike, you need to know how to navigate it. There are plenty of well-worn trails that are used daily by hundreds of people; these trails are suffering from erosion whether the conditions are wet or dry. Then there are the obscure paths that are hardly used and have become overgrown. Sometimes AllTrails is an option, but what if your hike is so obscure that it’s not on the website? Always come with a plan and plenty of food, water, and a first aid kit just in case.
Sometimes you can put in all this effort only to fail. But sometimes, you totally luck out and have a enjoyable scenic hike all to yourself on a beautiful day. Today turned out to be a success! With enough research, we found our way to the trailhead, up the path and to a gorgeous overlook. It gave us a new perspective on this now-so-familiar island. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I absolutely love that we’re still finding hidden gems on this tiny little island. Even after 10 months of hiking every weekend, there’s always a little surprise waiting for us when we put in the effort to find it. We may have hiked every ridge surrounding this one, but it still offered something fresh and inspiring.
We wrapped up our short weekend anniversary celebration with making dinner together at home, and delicious blackberry wine. As the years go by, I find myself reflecting less on our wedding day, and more on all the moments we’ve shared in our years of marriage. We opted to read old blog posts instead of watch our wedding movie this year. I’ll always remember it as my favorite day of my life up to that point, but since then there have been so many wonderful days together. Though life lately has been challenging, I’m certain we will one day look back at this time fondly. I hope we remember how we actively put in the effort to make the most out of every situation, and kept persevering week after week.
There’s so much I could say about things we’ve learned from five years of marriage, but it just seems fitting to share a recent adventure with musings from our life as of late. Out of everything we’ve done and learned, I think we both agree that the best thing we’ve done is commit to taking weekly “adventures” together. Not only is it valuable time spent together learning and experiencing new things, but it has also created hundreds of memories. Here’s to many more years of adventuring together.