Merry Chrismahanukwanzakah (or whatever you may celebrate!) and a Happy New Year to you all! I hope every single one of you received whatever your hearts might have desired this holiday season, and I’m not only talking about material objects. May happiness have found you all in whatever form you seek it. If by some chance you feel that happiness may have you eluded you this year – then allow me to be so bold as to remind you that happiness is innate; it cannot have eluded you, because it’s always within you. To not be happy is to choose to be unhappy, because happiness is our natural state of being and anything less is a choice; whether we realize it or not. If you are still breathing, upright, and possessing all your faculties, then you have much to be happy about. If outside forces are affecting your inner peace and happiness, then I urge you to find that silver lining, because I assure you there is one. Ok, hopping off my soap box now, and I apologize if any of you are truly going through some tough times right now. No matter what you may be enduring, I can only offer you one “catch all” piece of advice… don’t forget to laugh. Much of what we take too seriously in life is fairly trivial in the grand scheme of things; shake it off and keep moving forward while trying to remain in the present. Too much of life will pass you by if you spend the majority of it dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, as many of us tend to do…
I don’t have too many updates about what’s going on in my life right now, but I suppose there are a couple things I could mention. I’m still living in Alabama with Jessica, Katana, and her two dogs Hank and Fancy. The PCT book is still coming along and I hope I can have it ready before this year’s adventures. Speaking of which, I will be headed back out to the CDT in April with Jessica (and hopefully Katana) to finish off what I started and nab that Triple Crown! So there is the official timeline/announcement on that.
Whether Katana goes or not is a matter of how her remaining eye is doing. Sadly the Glaucoma is beginning to take hold of that eye and cataracts are slowly forming. Her medication has been increased and for now it is holding steady. She has lost some vision which has affected her depth perception, but she is still getting along perfectly fine. It’s incredibly painful for me to watch this slow deterioration, but I’ve been preparing myself for it since we lost her first eye. I’ve rationalized the ordeal in a way that gives me a great deal of much needed comfort. Katana has no concept of going blind or losing her eye, and she is not going to feel sorry for herself when the day comes that she can no longer see. As far as Katana knows, she has not gone blind; the entire world has just become dark. From her perspective, everyone (including me) is dealing with this new dark world. She won’t have a pity party, she will make do with these new circumstances as well as she can, and to the best of her understanding, I will be right there with her as we find our way through the darkness together. Should she go totally blind before this next hike, she will absolutely be coming with me, or I will not be going. For her own comfort, I will have to improvise a more secure and full-proof method of carrying her that will benefit and work for both of us. At the moment I’m thinking some sort of “papoose” will probably be the answer. Either way, we’ll cross that bridge together, if and when we come to it.
On a lighter note, I will be partaking in a little “pre adventure” before the CDT. As a gift to Jessica and myself, I bought us one way tickets to Hawaii for the end of this month. It’s a pretty special relationship when you know you can purchase “one way” tickets to anywhere as a surprise gift and know that your partner will be nothing short of enamored. No return date and no prior lodging arrangements are in place. The only thing I have officially secured and figured out is the permit system for camping around the islands. Other than that, we will mostly be playing it by ear until we get so sick of lying on the beach and seeing new sights that we decide to come home. I’m thinking this trip will probably be about two weeks minimum to one month maximum. We’ll see!
Other than thoroughly enjoying myself while I’m there, I only have one major goal for this trip to Hawaii; to catch a GT (Giant Trevally), also known as an “Ulua” by the native Hawaiians. They have been on my fishing “bucket list” for many, many years now, and I’ll finally be in waters they frequent. The catch is I’ll only be fishing for them from shore (not using a boat), which is the main reason they are on my bucket list. The challenge is hooking and landing them from land, so it’ll be fun to see if I’m up to the task!
If any of you have lived on any of the islands or very familiar with them, any tips or suggestions are greatly appreciated! It’s been about 13 years since the last time I was there (Oahu), so my memory is mostly out of date. We will we hitting up Oahu and Hawaii for sure, but we are not limiting ourselves to only those two. Suggested hikes are always welcome, but if you have any insider info on hostels, cheap lodging, or free places to camp/stealth camp; it would be greatly appreciated! I’ve done quite a bit of research already, so I’m very aware of the difficult logistics/legality when it comes to camping anywhere on the islands for free. I’m sure any information regarding loopholes or great stealth spots would be easier learned through word of mouth than found posted online. I’m all ears, and thank you in advance for any offered advice/info!
I will of course be blogging a bit while we are there, and I would love to share any tips I learn about vacationing in Hawaii on the cheap! We’re going to be attacking this trip with open minds and a huge willingness to adapt. It’ll be my pleasure to pass on anything learned or found J