Monday, July 28, 2008

Pouriuri Paemaunga - Moody Mountain Range


John and I had just put on our boots after crossing the freezing but clear Makaroro river in our teva sandals, the reason for this is once the river is crossed there are no more streams or creeks on the high ridge we were about to traverse thus reasonably dry feet are the hope, though rarely the result. As we started up the forest road we were just outside the Ruahine boundary when the sun came out and before us the above rainbow. We took it as perhaps a powhiri, or welcome, from the Ruahine herself. I will confess here my slight trepidation at our change of plans, a far longer walk on the first day with a heavy pack than I had planned, and the weather blowing a gale, a cold nor'west wind changing to an even colder southerly - and far worse yet to come! Yet as we walked down that road both John and I knew we had made the correct decision, that the saddle across to Top Maropea would be uncrossable this day and perhaps many to come, the wind howling overhead told us that, and the clouds billowing past us rapidly confirmed it. So we chose instead to delay our departure till morning and head up Parks Peak ridge and the Makaroro valley. Mainly as it offers a more protected route from the gales and is only really exposed in a few spots in spite of climbing to over 1350 metres. Plus my young friend Phillip from the Hell Mission Tramping Club - see link below - had sent me a photo of a brand new hut at Parks Peak replacing the old freezing cold one I had come to know so well. So a 5 to 6 hour walk up that steep ridge with a heavy pack in cold windy weather made me swallow hard a few times. Then for this brief moment we seem welcomed and encouraged to enter and experience her wintry charms.






The first photo above is looking back down Parks Peak ridge and down into Makaroro valley and the second one across the valley to the main Ruahine range and the very prominent and steep Totara ridge. This is very rugged country and once the ridge to Parks Peak is gained it is a steady climb undulating along the ridge for a long while. In my case, this being my ninth trip along it, anywhere from the car from 5 to as many as 8 hours when with Taylor. A long day in the saddle by any measure and always glad to see the little hut appear. Though the little hut is now gone, replaced by the new modern one in the above photo. New wood stove, insulated walls, double glazed windows, front porch, even a sink connected to the water tank! The old hut is pictured below. It was a 4 bunk old original forest service hut, no insulation, a very cranky wood stove, damp, yet a place I loved and returned to many times. I felt a bit guilty settling into this flash new place, and John and I both came to the conclusion that what it lacked was ambiance, it almost smelled new. I am probably being picky but there was not so much as an old tea towel or billy, or candle wax dripped onto the cooking bench, and combined with my wounded feelings of loyalty to the old hut I felt a bit out of place. I also wondered what the real reason the Department of Conservation built this hut for, mainly being as a relatively cheap way for the control of the growing deer population. Once the choppers start dropping off parties here to stay and hunt for days at a time the hut will get some "ambiance" very quickly. My biggest concern there will be what people will use for fuel for the wood stove. It is located in an area not conducive to a readily large supply of good wood, it is high up and the area generally very boggy and damp. I guess a bit of collateral damage to native bush is acceptable. Well, that battle has to be saved for another day. Strolling around the area and enjoying the tupare - leatherwood and moss covered tawhairauriki - mountain beech - I felt welcomed as if by old friends and the joy of being amongst them, in this special place, to simply relish that was enough for this moment. My voice can speak for them later.



"Ruahine Forest Walk"

The high Ruahine forest
pulsates with energy
I feel it flow into me
filling me with calm and joy
the sunlight a rare presence today
at times filtering through and highlighting
the myriad
shades of green
the mosses before me
glow luminescent
the lichens brilliant in their
fluorescent shine
the ferns a more muted contrast
yet no less significant
pale beech leaves flutter
in the wind
These Enormous Sentinels of the Mountains
allowing brief glimpses through the forest window
twisted branches framing the views
of far off dark rich green ridges and golden tops
they seem to call out to me
I feel as if they greet me as I walk by
Reassuring my soul
and the hard reasons
I return to this place
hold true

written 24 July at Upper Makaroro














25 July 7:10 am
Upper Makaroro hut

It is minus 4 degrees Celsius outside, and most likely here in the hut as well. Though very cold the winds seemed to have died down and the valley is calm.

John is sleeping soundly, tightly wrapped in his down cocoon, as was I until a few minutes ago. This is a standard old cullers hut, 4 bunks and not insulated, meaning when the wood fire dies down the heat quickly dissipates. It pays to have a good sleeping bag in the winter.
The steam rolls off my breath as I write this, waiting for the billy to boil for a strong cup of coffee.

What to do today? The luxury of a hut day lies before us. Meaning we can do as much or as little as we wish. We could climb back up to the other side of the valley via Totara spur and the main Ruahine range, but I feel a bit sore from two days winter exertions and I KNOW it will be cold up there. We could walk up river towards the head of the Makaroro river. Most likely we will attack the huge pile of beech outside the hut and render it to use able firewood, and John spotted another pile down by the river he had his eye upon. Many people drag wood up to the hut, but with a normally old and dull hut axe it is a much harder prospect to turn it into wood that will fit the firebox. We have learned to carry a small pruning type saw that will deal to the lot quite efficiently, though still hard work. It is very satisfying to look at the wood boxes full and ready to use. Create some karma.

Inside me I feel the urge to walk down river towards Barlow hut and see if I can spot any Whio. I have seen them here before and it has been some time since I have been blessed by their presence. I miss them. There are some large pools an hour or so down river and I can easily amble down to that point and turn back. That water will be cold though!

The Ruahine world today is our oyster. I want to relish and enjoy each second with joy and love, and wonderment in my heart and soul. For all too quickly this day shall pass like the winter sun over this narrow valley.



















July 25th 6:45 pm
Upper Makaroro hut

Darkness comes early to this valley in winter. John and I are in the now warm hut. Our dinner of fresh cauliflower, broccoli, and green beans simmered in satay sauce with rice will soon be served. We enjoyed a cocktail hour down by the river, a few wee drams of Glen Morangie scotch. Just enough to put another notch in our smiles, another level to our glow. What a day this has been. The wood bins are full, the hut contains enough for our use and the next party or two. The bins enough to last for several months. Always leave more than you use being the proper bush mantra. John dragged up even more dead beech from the river flats and his efforts today were sterling.
After our first burst at the wood supply and morning tea I left on a solo walk down river. At every turn, in every pool I kept a sharp eye peeled for any sign of Whio, walking slowly and deliberately and enjoying the freedom of no heavy pack to haul. Alas, I saw none, so I have to console myself that by all accounts in the hut book the possibility remains they are there.

Though aside from my mate Phillip no one else has been through here for three months. This is surely still a place of great solitude. So as the energy from the forest yesterday fluttered down upon me like falling leaves, today the symphony of the river, its breath taking beauty, the focus I must bring to a river walk, sent its energy washing through me, cleansing, nourishing and restoring my mana heke iho.

And though I felt very much alone and grateful on my walk, how cool to turn the final bend of the icy river before the hut and have my nostrils filled with lovely aroma of wood smoke, to see a wisp of the fresh fire emerging from the chimney, to know a friend awaits inside with a billy of tea. These are moments of truly living simply and in possession of real wealth.











26 July 5:27pm
Parks Peak hut

Here we are at Parks Peak once again. Suddenly, after a nights stay previously, this hut HAS taken on some ambiance after all. Particularly when ensconced in the warm glow of its stove in the midst of a driving snow storm. I hesitate to name it a blizzard, as I am a Wisconsin boy, but here in Aotearoa, aside from the mountains, we are devoid of snow, though winters are very cold. Even in the mountains the forests remain green all year here, yet it still can snow at anytime in the mountains. The contrast between the white and green is fairly stunning and the visual effect is beyond words I can express, or my meagre cameras ability to capture.

That old hut was cool and I do miss it. I fear the solitude of this part of the ranges will certainly suffer as this place, and the growing deer population, therefore hunters and choppers, return. This is not my place, no man owns any mountain, but I have spent as much time here as well, Parks Peak, as anyone over the last 10 years certainly. It is very hard work to arrive at this place, at least 4 plus hours, and even many days - depending on your direction - if one is walking with the gear they need upon their backs. In a helicopter it could take 10 minutes.

No choppers will be landing here this evening. It is a a big storm, at least 6-8 inches of snow thus far, in a little more than 4 hours of heavy fall. I left Upper Makaroro on my own around 11am this morning. About 45 minutes climbing so very steeply out of this valley the steady mist and drizzle it began to rain in earnest, and within minutes snow lightly. I was laughing, yet still grimacing at the relentless pull upward, as I climbed the snow got heavier and steadier, no wind, no cold, just me climbing slowly through the snow. I arrived at the hut, the water tank had frozen, it was cold, and crawled into my bag and fell asleep. I woke a few hours later to a winter wonderland, got the stove stoked up, the billy on, and almost on cue came John around the corner looking like a snowman. It is still snowing.

This hut now is lit by candles, we have a line strung up holding our smelly polys, gloves, hats, and anything we can get near the fire to dry. There is wax on the bench now, a dirty tea towel hangs on the line, a billy of snow melts on the stove, and we are happy to be here out of the unpleasant conditions. We have now created ambiance at Parks Peak.






Conditions could still be described as unpleasant on the 27th of July 2008. Yet we made our way down the icy and slippery ridge. As I made my way down I began to consider the snow up high would be even more intense rain below. I could hear the Makaroro roaring as I came down upon it. It was muddy and angry. I found John on one of the braided islands, having ventured into the main stream at various points very unsuccessfully. We wandered down river, my car in view, and found a corner with a nice wash out. I told John to follow me, and set off. I finished a long way down river from where I set off. So did John. We stood there amazed, our final test passed.
Kia ora Ruahines once again. Your beauty, your inspiration, your impact, is beyond compare. Kia ora John. We have traveled together now in this place for many years. No words need to be written. You are a huge man.
To Tara, oh my. Cheers for accepting this part of me.
Aroha

42 comments:

Kiggavik said...

Fantastic account of a fantastic trip Robb. Too bad you missed the Whio, but there is always the next journey.

D'Arcy said...

Robb. This post has met all my expectation! I have come back four different times today to read and reread parts and poems and feel feelings you describe.

I find it fitting that today I listened to the part of your face where you and Gustav were in the little hut that is there no longer. What a gift to hear your excitement and thrill.

The part of this entry that keeps calling to me are these words:

"I want to relish and enjoy each second with joy and love, and wonderment in my heart and soul. For all too quickly this day shall pass like the winter sun over this narrow valley."

Life does pass us by, but enjoying the now, the here, the present....those moments of shear bliss and perfection, and then carrying those memories with us makes each day worth living right and well.

Kia ora Robb for this post and for helping me love the Ruahines, a place I didn't know existed until I happened upon your blog.

D'Arcy said...

I meant part of your "tape" not "face" i have no idea where that brain slip came into play there!!

Gustav said...

Brother

First of all - this post again sets a new standard of artistic creativity.

You have taken a magic, sacred place in the Ruahines and revealed its secrets for all of us to see and enjoy.

I thank you for that and so much more my fine friend.

Happy Birthday Brother!

I left a message on your phone. I will return a few more times to this blog and leave you a few more thoughts.

Yet, before I go I must say this post makes me yearn to be with you in the Ruahines again soon.

Perhaps it is the photo of the hut at Upper Makaroro....perhaps it is the fact that you have just done what I yearn to do...Perhaps it is the fact that it has been too long since I heard you laugh...

Thomas S said...

damn you make me jealous! and i am also very sad to hear of the loss of parks peak hut...bugger

keep it coming

tom from uk

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

What a MARVELOUS post and photos. You have the freedom to do what others dream about AND you LOVE the adventure. The outdoors has become your home. It has become mine too at a lower altitude. I have the creek that leads into a Great Lake. Ah, the musical sound of water burbling on its journey.

I can't wait to see where you take us next!

Hugs, JJ

Marja said...

I thought of you the past week with all these storms ,knowing you were up in the muntains. Reading this I see that most of it was not too bad, although you had to take a different route and encountered a snowstorm. Your words and poem are soaked with energy, joy and magic of your experience in the Ruahines. It is nearly contagious.
The photo's are fantasic as well. I love the rainbow and of course the rivers. I did many river crossings with scouting and it was good fun. We had to scream because of the cold. When we went to set out a hike a little waterfall was frozen so cold it was. I wouln't have missed it though
Wish you all the best from chch
Unfortunately I didn't get to meet Bob and the next few days I have to work late. Bad luck Maybe another time.
Ka kite ano Marja

Pam said...

Welcome back! I loved all of this but my favourite was also "I want to relish and enjoy each second with joy and love...". It is this profound respect that see those that feel at one in this environment, completely at a loss when dealing with those who wish to destroy it. I know I am.I am in awe of such beauty.It is and has always been my Cathedral.I did not know you were from Wisconsin! I did a prac. teaching stint there in Stillwater a long long time ago.

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

Robb,
Splendid writing, amazing photos, and a very warm, yet intense "feel" for your rugged, intense wonderland that you've shared with your blogging readers.
Thank you so much.
HWHL

Bob McKerrow said...

Kia Ora Robb

What a enthralling trip it must have been. So well written. I enjoyed the great photos and the best was the Upper Makaroro hut.

You have a fascinating blog Robb which I enjoy immensely.

Bob

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Clare,
Cheers for that, it was a fantastic trip, and I as I wrote, sometimes just knowing the Whio are there sustains. Genuinely sorry to see your writing and photos stop, and hope it is just a sabbatical. All the best. Kia ora Clare.
Cheers,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora D'Arcy,
I am happy to read you enjoy the vocal portions of those tapes. They are special to me as well, and very real moments of being alive for Gustav and I.
Perhaps the Ruahines are calling out to you as well? Gustave and I would be fine guides, and things or moments happen for a reason. We choose to act upon them or not.
Kia ora D'Arcy.
Rangimarie,
Robb

D'Arcy said...

Robb,
They are calling in a voice that is cool and crisp and ever so slight. I think we should make it happen. How heavy are these packs we are talking about? I'll need to start training now! Luckily I live by some pretty good mountain ranges to start with.

After hearing your voice describe the rare blue duck that you alone enjoyed, I pretty much decided that I need to have my own journey in the Ruahines.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Gustav,
It was good to chat live brother and hear your laughter as well. Keep those thoughts of a summer trip in mind. You know the value on offer. Upper Makaroro is certainly another special Ruahine place worth visiting. Cheers Gustav.
Aroha
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Tom,
Was that your name I saw splashed about the Parks Peak and Upper Mak hut book? If so, haere mai.
Yes, that old hut at Parks Peak was special. Not particularly a place to spend time in winter, yet I did. It is a very unique area, and has a very remote quality to it. A place to seek solitude. Hope it stays that way.
Cheers time, glad you are enjoying and stay in touch.
ka kite ano,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora JJ,
Cheers for that, and I must write I think your backyard is pretty spectacular as well.Have a safe journey across the UP!
Rangimarie,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Marja,
Thanks as always for your thoughts, sorry you didn't catch up with Bob, but time flies so quickly when home on holiday like that. My last trip to Wisconsin I was home a month, and didn't get to see half the folks I would have liked to.
Glad you enjoy the poem and such, and that rainbow photo is my personal favourite as well. It was a fairly stunning moment really, one John and I were very moved by.
I'll be over to visit you later. Kia ora Marja,
Rangimarie,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Tena koe Pam,
It can be a real conumdrum between wanting things to remain the same, and change that is vital to protect the over all resource. I know the deer issue is a huge concern, they can cause massive damage to important water catchment areas, such as the Makaroro valley by eating the undergrowth to the point the steep hills beging to erode and silt up the rivers. Yet there are those as well who hold the opinion there is simply more to it than it, natural weather cycles, global warming, what have you. So I hope it is not a case of setting up a fairly remote area with the seemingly easiest solution, thus losing something that should be important to us all.
Yes, I am a tried and true Wisconsin boy, I also lived in the Twin Cities for a number of years, and did a bit of work with Stillwater high school in my job at the time. This was back in the late 80's.
Kia ora Pam, keep exploring the Cathedrals. Looking forward to catching up with your blog as well. Have a great day.
Ka kite ano,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Tena koe HWHL,
It is a pleasure to share. Kia ora for reading. Hope you had a great weekend away. Cheers.
Ka kite ano,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Bob,
Well you know the mountains of Aotearoa better than I Bob. It is a wonderful place.
I hope you enjoy the last few days of your visit. Perhaps one day we can meet up when you return and enjoy the mountain environment over a wee dram or two! Kia ora Bob.
Rangamarie,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora D'Arcy,
That was a moment of real magic for me interacting with that whio. To get it on tape a very fortunate experience.
I have taken Tara up to Top Maropea for a night. The weight of a pack depends on how long and how many nights, and of course the time of year. But if Gustav and I were together with you for say 3-4 nights your pack would be perhaps 10-12 kilos, or 25 pounds or so as we could carry the lions share.
It is steep rugged country to be sure, even if not the great lofty peaks of say the south island or even the Rockies, and the tracks are much less defined than ones back home, so fitness is important, but desire probably equally as crucial. I am sure you would do fine. We can make it happen.
Rangimarie,
Robb

adam said...

That time passed so quickly. I had no concept that you might have come off the mountain until I noticed that you had commented on mine...
Amazing. I'm glad for your words and the images, the omnipresence of water, snow and stream, and of your observations.
I'm even more glad for the part you've reserved to keep for yourself and loved ones, stored up in your heart.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Adam,
Yes, time flies. It seems sometimes only in the mountains I am fully aware of the briefness and totality of each second thus I strive to be IN each moment I am there. Not something I have been completely successful in doiing out here. But then I go to the mountains to learn, and slowly I am.
I reckon that part, those benefits, are what you refer to in your last sentence. Kia ora Adam, from the wintry shadow of the Ruahines here to your mountainous and wonderful backyard there. Kia kaha my friend.
Rangimarie,
Robb

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Stopping by to wish you a beautiful start to the week. :D

Hugs, JJ

Thomas S said...

might have been rob - have ventured into upper mak a fair few times - normally wetting a line to catch those beautiful trout that reside in the headwaters - loved parks peak also although it is normally wet and cold up there and yes the wood was not easy to find but i love the little huts with character as u so well narated above and it is sad to loose that one. last time we ventured to parks peak was a couple of yrs back now (before the oe) in winter. we headed up there because the main range had just had a huge dump of snow and yet the parks ridge looked clear. we set off late and only just got there due to the heavy snow hidden by the trees, so icy too... was hard case, we had the fire cranking that night thats for sure...anyway keep the photos and stories coming..you are living the ruahines for us while we are away..cher bro

Phillip said...

Sounds like you had a great time, did you drink the beers at Upper Makaroro?
Hopefully head up to North Mangahao Biv or Sheridan Creek this month.
Ruahines next month, just need permission for Herricks.

Keep tramping:)
Phillip

Ruahines said...

Tena Koe JJ,
Cheers for that! Had a lovely weekend thank you. Look forward to seeing some your loveloy photos and prose from your trip.
Ka kite ano,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Tom,
I thought your name resonated with me when I read those hut books. They still go back a few years in that area mate. Parks Peak is a tough ridge at anytime, at least by my standards, but winter is particularly a challenge. You got it exactly in that from a far it can look relatively clear, and is protected from the gales for the most part. But it is relentless on the way up, and the same mountain beech that protects from the wind accumulate the snow. So the wieghed down branches tend to droop over the track, and being 6'2 always means I end up with loads of snow dropped on me, while negotiating the icy track. I was always so glad to see that little orange roof appear, in spite of the cold night to come, the problems finding wood, and the old creaky wire bunks. I always felt at home there. Same with Upper Mak. Took me awhile to get there but have now been 6 times. A lovely spot and great hut.
So great to connect with those who understand. Stay tuned in and let us know when you are planning to return. Kia ora Tom.
Cheers,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Tena koe Phillip,
Those beers went down a treat mate! Did you guys leave them? Other wise they would have been there for three months or longer. Just like being in a fridge though.
Glad you got in there and hope you enjoyed. Keep on Truckin' my friend.
Ka kite ano,
Robb

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Swinging by to say good morning. I bought Jeff an tandem kayak for his birthday. :D Fun times ahead. We're going to toodle around Tahquamenon Bay. I have carpal tunnel but Jeff will paddle and I'll snap pics. How great I can experience this. Thought I'd miss out. We love the wilderness shorelines. Can't wait to pull up to one and explore.

JJ :D

ophelia rising said...

How amazing, Robb! I love your words, the story, the depth of feeling you so obviously have for these mountain ranges. I feel the warmth of your small hut, and taste that Scotch burning down inside, in contrast to the icy air, the crunch of your boots in the snow.

The rainbow picture is fantastic. Oh, you're definitely making me want to hike again, very, very soon. Funny how the mountains can call to a person like that.

Journeys like these, which take you so far away from everyday life, are ones to be cherished, and I'm sure you come away from them a different person. A better person. A more self-actualizing person.

Cheers to you, and to always following your heart.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora JJ,
I spent a camping trip as a young lad at Tahquamenon Fall State Park, a very cool childhood experience, unfortunately one of the rare times I camped with my father so all the more a treasure I guess. That is a big bay down at the bottom of the Great Wolf Head if I recall. Lake Superior is so magnificent, but huge, paddle safely! Look forward to your photos. I spent a bit of time oin Sault Ste. Marie as well. Kia JJ, you have a great day as well.
Rangimarie,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Tena Koe Ophelia,
Cheers, and I am happy to read I am helping to get you inspired to get out there into the wild - wherever that may be, forest, mountain, river, lake, or sea. I must write though that the Glen Morangie was ultra smooth with that lovely warming sensation after glow, but you are correct in the air being icy and the snow crunchy!
I agree with your words on the journey completely. That is the essence of my journey.
That rainbow photo is my favourite as well. I only regret my little pixel camera wasn't better equipped, but to be fair it has served me well. Just a magic moment I was fortunate to be part of. Kia ora Ophelia.
Ka kite ano,
Robb

Sugar said...

Robb:

I love your depth of description of this trek. I was just talking to someone about how much I would love to just get on an airplane and go tramping! When I was in SFO a few weeks ago, I saw and Air New Zealand jet and said to myself, start planning... no time like now... Maybe not this thaw, but possibly the next I will experience first hand the magic you describe here. Until then, I'll have to be satisfied with your beautiful descriptions and my imagination.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Sugar,
Sharing these experiences with people such as yourself really rocks me! So much of my own personal growth has been a result of my journies to these beautiful ranges. So I am happy to read of you enjoying them as well. Kia ora. Aotearoa is a place certainly worth visiting.
Rangimarie,
Robb

Sugar said...

Okay, so totally off topic, but whatever...

Scenes from a high school reunion up at Living - In Theory:

http://www.living-intheory.com/2008/08/reunion-recap.html

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Ruahines, a swing by for a wild wave. I have enjoyed reading this post once again. There is so much to visualize and experience through your imagery and photos. You know how to transport a reader and that's a great gift.

Blessings! JJ

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Ruahines, a swing by for a wild wave. I have enjoyed reading this post once again. There is so much to visualize and experience through your imagery and photos. You know how to transport a reader and that's a great gift.

Blessings! JJ

Robin Easton said...

Dear Robb, I sit here with tears running down my face and hardly know where to begin. Your relationship "with" nature speaks deeply to my own heart and moves me to tears. Your love, passion and awareness of the natural world around you radiates with more vitality that you can contain. It's why you write and share...You are so filled with Nature's love that you're bursting.

You have become this place my friend. You have stood humbled before it, and it has breathed Life into you. And you have embraced that Life.

I know this feeling so well, I cannot contain my love affair with Nature. It's what started me writing and photographing. You are not only a master writer and photographer, you are a master lover of Nature and deeply wise soul.

There was so much here I related to...all of it. I am so glad that you are taking this time my friend....to know Earth. Hence, to know yourself. Grievously there are so many on this planet that will never "know" Earth, never live in relationship "with" Earth. I am so glad you know her. It is also rewarding for me to know a kindred spirit trekking the high mountain trails. I am blessed that I have lived a life that allows me to appreciate your soul's love affair with the wild.

Thank you,
Robin.
And double thank you for sharing it with yout children.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora JJ,
I appreciate your comment so much. One of the things I love about places such as yours is being able to return and be inspired over and over again. You rock!
Ka kite ano,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Robin,
What can I write but thank you! I feel kindred to you as well, and for someone So Connected as yourself to see some of that here really humbles me. My journey comes from darker places and I know the Ruahines saved me from myself in so many ways. To connect with Nature when I did was if lighting a dying flame in my soul that now burns bright with simple wonder. And my boys benefit from that as well. Kia ora Robin, you are so cool!
Rangimarie,
Robb

PATERIKA HENGREAVES, Poet Laureate said...

Kia Ora Robb

It is always a pleasure for me to read your well written discourse on your tramp through the forested land in any kind of weather. I find this extract very poetic. I had to read it aloud to savour the moment. I sent you a recording of it in an email to you. I hope you were able to upload the email attachment. My pronounciation of Moari words is not very good and for that I do apologize.

"The high Ruahine forest
pulsates with energy
I feel it flow into me
filling me with calm and joy
the sunlight a rare presence today
at times filtering through and highlighting
the myriad
shades of green
the mosses before me
glow luminescent
the lichens brilliant in their
fluorescent shine
the ferns a more muted contrast
yet no less significant
pale beech leaves flutter
in the wind
These Enormous Sentinels of the Mountains
allowing brief glimpses through the forest window
twisted branches framing the views
of far off dark rich green ridges and golden tops
they seem to call out to me
I feel as if they greet me as I walk by
Reassuring my soul
and the hard reasons
I return to this place
hold true"

Kia kite ano
Paterika