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Last spring break I went to Hawaii on an EPIC DOC hiking trip! For more information on how that came about, check out part 1 of this blog post. Here are some unexpected things I did on this trip:

  1. Hike... A LOT!!
    • Maybe this should have been expected as the trip was a hiking trip, but I was more occupied with the Hawaii part and less the hiking part. That quickly changed after our first hike though. The trip was 7 days long and we averaged about 10 miles a day on some difficult terrain.

      Me looking at a small tree
      Taking a break and admiring a small tree

  2. Travel in like three different climates
    • We experienced harsh sunny days, very cold nights, and tropical rainforest-y weather. Each new terrain we hiked had very different weather.
      One of the many gorgeous sunrises

  3. Climb three mountains
      • I have a fear of heights and some of the paths were right on the edge of the mountain, so I had to continuously push myself on the trip. My trippees (fellow trip members) were very supportive and encouraging the whole time, and they told me stories to keep my mind off the scares. Towards the end of the trip, I think I was less scared of heights.
        hiking a beach
        On out way to climb the mountain ahead

    Outhouse in Waipio Valley
    The most scenic backdrop for an outhouse that ever was.

  4. Tunnel through an old irrigation system
    • One of the mountains we climbed had an old irrigation system through it and we got to tunnel through it. Fret not, the water was only calf-high, and the irrigation tunnels had been out-of-service for years, so it was safe. It was like something out of a movie...thankfully without the tunnel monsters.
      Tunnel Opening
      The tunnel opening

  5. Get lost in a lava field
    • A lava field—an area once covered with molten lava—is rocky terrain with little to no vegetation. No trees = no shade. About seven miles into the hike, we suddenly lost our way. It was mid-afternoon, we were all exhausted, and spirits were low. Luckily some of my superstar trippees ventured to find the path and we were soon back on course to our destination. The whole ordeal lasted about 30 minutes, but it felt like 3 hours. Luckily, we were rewarded with our campsite—a beautiful secluded beach.
      Lava field
      Here's a glimpse of the lava field. This just goes on for miles!

      Fun in the sun at the most beautiful beach

  6. Sleep on a cockroach/millipede-infested campground
    • The beautiful beach I just mentioned apparently had multi-legged, antennaed residents. Once night fell, they really made us feel welcomed...
    • Setting up at the campsite
      Finally getting to the campground. The happiness before the dark and before the insects

  7. Watch an active volcano
    • What more can I say, it was spectacular.
      Mouth of a volcano
      Tried to capture the beauty of the volcano. It looks a lot better in person!

  8. End up liking a country song
    • We had some short drives between locations and brought only a few songs. One of them was a country song called Toes by the Zack Brown Band and I wasn’t a fan of it at first. But by the end of the trip, we were singing the song at the top of our lungs. Sing along with the song here.  I got my toes in the water, hand in the sand...
    • Hiking a path
      Hiking and humming along to Toes

  1. Hike the steepest road in the U.S
    • Located in Honakaa, HI, Waipio Road is one of the steepest roads in the world. We had to hike down it to get to Waipio Valley, which was our actual hike, and hike up it on our way out. The most intense leg day ever!
      Sign and view of Waipio Valley
      The view we enjoyed before the pain

      Taking a break from going down WaipioWhen the difficulty of descending Waipio sets in
  1. Make some great friends
    • The trip consisted of seven students, two of whom were trip leaders. We were all strangers to each other at first but bonded rather quickly. I guess that’s what happens when people are challenged to push past fears together (heights, tunnels, creepy crawlers).
      Me and my trippees drinking from a cocunut
      The squad sipping on a coconut!