This sums up my relationship with my hiking family. It may not speak to others like it does to me, but for me, someone who tries to avoid any emotional connection so as not to have those feelings when it's time to say goodbye, it means everything. It's a military thing...we say goodbye often. Even before the military, I moved where the $$ led me. Let's just say I'm usually conditioned and immune.
I've posted videos and slideshows on Facebook a few times, but I never know when I'll shut this blog down. Just in case that time is now, I couldn't think of a better subject for a finale.
I was a rookie, haole, slower than smoke, fat guy. Yeah, what local wants to hike with me? If I'm a local, I'm not hiking with me. I mean, that's not hiking, that's WAITING....then hiking...then WAITING.....you get the idea. It would take someone with incredible patience willing to show me the ropes, build my confidence by focusing on what 'could be' done rather than what might be difficult and simply accept me as friend rather than white boy who thinks he can hang with 'real' hikers.
Insert Chris. He embodies the word Ohana. Family, and forever my brother. I've been freaked out....A LOT, but Chris would laugh and keep hiking. You may think, "how is that support?" Well, I trust Chris and if he was going knowing I was there, then he must know I can handle it. His faith in me grew my own confidence.
Hiking was then in the blood. I couldn't get enough of it. I was hiking most every Sunday and usually Wednesday and Friday as well. I credit a lot of that to Chris. If I would have had a bad experience or no one show up to that first one, there may not have been a group of hikers to join each Sunday.
Then came Khym, Bill, K, Kristina, Maggie, Cindy, Rob, Heather, Adam and a bunch more.
God knew what He was doing putting me here. I found more than I could have ever dreamed for. Beautiful sites, amazing backdrops, beautiful people and amazing friends. In the life of a photographer, that's about all you need.
To the core: One more time, I thank you all! Start planning the reunion!
To the rest: Stay tuned. Maybe not to the blogs, but I'll never stop shooting. See ya on the other side.