For those of you who knew him well, know that Reid was always athletic and outdoorsy, two of his favorite activities was hiking and snowboarding. In Hawaii, at the top of his list of favorite hikes was Kuliouou Ridge Trail. As kids we traversed the many switchbacks, steep inclines, and gauntlet of stairs multiple times a year. After leaving for college, our vacations in Hawaii over the summer and winter breaks always consisted of at least one trip up Kuliouou to admire the view of the windward side of Oahu from Ko’olau ridge line. His favorite part was being able to see from Downtown Honolulu to Hawaii Kai while simultaneously being able to see from Makapu’u to KBay.
One memory that really sticks out was when we were pretty young, probably when we were around 11 and 12 years-old. We were hiking Kuliouou with our Aunty Mona and her dog Zack. Growing up, Reid was super competitive and never hesitated to challenge me or out do me in nearly everything. What should’ve been a casual hike up the side of the mountain was no exception. As a side note, during that time in our lives, I was not a little kid either (I like to say big boned, Reid called it husky) so I would tire out a little faster than he would during our hikes. On this one particular outing, Reid started the hike at a pretty brisk pace and of course I wasn’t going to let him think I couldn’t keep up… but that day I definitely couldn’t. I only made it to about the halfway-point of the switchback portion of the hike (which is pretty early on) when I started falling behind, and eventually had to stop for a little. I definitely didn't expect what happened next.
When we were young, I thought Reid only cared about besting me in school and sports. Very rarely, if ever, did he show any true concern over my abilities or success. But that day hiking Kuliouou definitely changed by view of my older brother forever. I thought he was going to think I was faking an injury and poke fun at me about not being able to keep up. But he actually did the complete opposite! He turned around and started to help me out. He gave me water and didn’t rush me to continue until I was ready. I think that was the first time I could actually remember Reid truly helping me out, and we eventually made it the rest of the way to the ridge line. If anyone ever asked him about it, he never admitted that he helped me about and instead complained about how I slow us all down. However, that was the day I realized my older brother was actually looking after me as his younger brother. Don’t get me wrong, he was still a jerk most of our grade school years, but I definitely saw it in a different light. The biggest change however came when Reid returned home after his first semester at Notre Dame. He transformed into the coolest big brother and willingly became my life-mentor.
Today, I owe much of my success and competitive spirit to Reid. There are so many days I wish I could share these big moments in my life with him. I wish we had more opportunities to sit down on the couch and just talk story. There are so many instances growing up that initially seemed like Reid was being a bully. But when I look back on it, I think that was just his special way of trying to make me stronger.
For those of you who are interested in hiking Kuliouou, the views are amazing and I think you’ll be able to see why Reid loved that hike so much. Here is some info about the hike from AllTrails:
Kuliouou Ridge Trail is a 4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Waimanalo, Oahu, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
This trail rises almost 1800 feet before peaking on the spine of the Ko`olau Ridge. It's a great hike that offers a great reward in the form of spectacular views.