Friday, June 11, 2010

Hokinga mai - Homecoming


4 June 2010
Sunrise hut - late afternoon
Robb Kloss
Charlie Kloss

I have pulled out my little notebook a few different times in the past few hours here at Sunrise hut to try and gather the thoughts running around inside my head, but each time till now I have failed to put pen to paper. I could only stare out at this place, and even if only here at Sunrise today that is a huge step, and a wonderful place to be as I reunite with the Ruahine. I came here back in October of 2009 with Taylor, and on a stormy day where crossing the saddle was not an option we stayed here and had the place to ourselves. Today as I sit here on the porch I watch a well used swan dry garment once worn by Taylor as a little boy, now filled by another little boy, Charlie, buzzing about the tussock and tarn looking for ice and snow and taking in this huge new environment. His first over night trip into these mountains, age 7, the age I first took Taylor beyond here to Top Maropea, the first of many trips for his young legs. I sit and stare at Charlie, yet I think of Taylor and that time gone in the blink of an eye. And, of course, this is also a homecoming and a first for me. My first connection here since November of last year, and my first outing with this new tin hip. Wow!

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed, stunned to have walked up here with a reasonably heavy pack, and discover the joys of walking which I have not experienced for almost 5 years now as I look back. To actually enjoy walking and climbing rather than it being simply an arduous and painful price to pay for being here. As I walked today I kept waiting for those signs to flare up, which they did not. I felt light and giddy, walked slow, steady, and easily instead of a painful lumbering gait. I walked with a smile upon my face rather the mask of grimace I have been used to. I felt like I was having some sort of a religious experience. Maybe it was I just felt normal.







( Had a bit of a problem with the camera so these photos were all experienced with the camera on my cell phone. Charlie is a better photographer than I am.)

4 June : I felt pretty nervous about this walk, even if just the 3 hours or so up to here. There was a lot at stake, a lot to find out, and I found myself checking and rechecking the gear I had packed for us last evening as a way to let some of the steam off. And we have had a beautiful, flawless day in which to venture up here. A big fat high is sitting upon us, meant to last until Sunday. And as I took a day off work, and Charlie a day off school we have this whole playground to roam on our own. Not a breath of wind on the the saddle. Charlie runs about with little appreciation how rare these days are in this particular place in the Ruahine. Of the over 30 plus times I have crossed here, less than 10 would be on a day like this. I feel like the mountains are smiling with me. Welcome Home!







4 June Sunset : The mountains seem ethereal as they are lit up against the setting sun. Across the headwaters of Waipawa valley Te Atuaoparapara dominates the scene and up high upon her slip ridden steep flanks lie the vestiges of recent snow melted by the persistent rains. Waipawa saddle dips in a graceful arch between her and the curvaceous loveliness of the Three Johns to the east. The dying sun light clings to the Three Johns and expends its last energy in the familiar evening hues I know so well. Burning orange on the very tops, with the purple and blue streaks running down the flanks into the dark depths of the bush. I have gazed upon this so often, never tiring of these encounters, and today in this moment it feels like I am seeing it for the very first time.





Sunrise hut evening: Charlie is fast asleep. Bereft of computers, x-boxes, and television he is instead full of fresh mountain air and the tiredness which comes from a full hard day. At around 6:00 pm he was wondering what we do now, and 20 minutes later I had to rouse him from the warm depths of my sleeping bag to get a feed of venison and rice into him, only to watch him fall soundly back asleep minutes later. He is safe, fed, and warm, and the whole day the only people we have seen are ourselves. That has to mean something.


Sunrise at Sunrise.

As I sat with a cup of coffee before sunrise I saw Charlie stir and then wake up, (he had over 11 hours of sound sleep). So for the first time in my life I watched the sunrise in the mountains with my youngest son. How wealthy was I in that moment, sitting on the porch of this place, the only ones in the world watching the sunrise from here, Charlie snuggled into me and my arm around him.

My thoughts cannot help but wish we were heading in deeper into the Ruahine for many days, but this first journey for us both was more prudent and the results satisfying. Charlie and I will experience that, differently perhaps than I did with Taylor. I want to one day come with both my boys together. But to be here now, not just with Charlie, but with this new hip, to have set my mind to getting back here, to have accomplished that, to know they will still be the part of my life I need so much. I can only bow my head in Thanks. Kia kaha!



57 comments:

kylie said...

robb,
your joy in this is so beautiful.

what a privilege to accompany your son and how wonderful for you to walk easily. i used to love that meditative quality of a good walk, it is indeed a spiritual thing.

much love
k

Donald said...

Dear Robb

How wonderful to read this post and digest it's meanings. My hat is off to you, in fact well done brother!

I'll read it more in depth soon, but I was so thrilled I could not get here quick enough to express myself!

Cheers

Donald

greentangle said...

Congrats, Robb. Great to read of your return to the mountains!

troutbirder said...

Treasure every moment. Being with my two sons in the Wilderness was in many ways the highlight on my life. And the joy of returning to the outdoor life after years of misery with a bad knee, is a feeling I can certainly empathize with you about! Great post Rob

Northland said...

Wonderful that you're back on the trail!
So good that Charlie can experience that which gives you pleasure. Small steps in nature are important for youngsters - and regular small steps - at home and with his friends when he is older. Bird house building and later viewing the occupants together. Nature centers and boy scouts. My kids didn't have these organizations but we did have a library and reading about nature gave them the desire to be out there. If you raise 'em up to be in nature. a part of it rather than apart from it, they will not depart from it - which has been my experience. My oldest son is guiding a sea kayak trip today at Pictured Rocks. My daughter is just back from a Boundary Waters canoe trip. She works as a graphic designer and writer for Northern Wilds Media in Minnesota.
My youngest son, while in adolescence, told me he felt that trees were overrated - which was to get my attention! He is in college now and is coming around to appreciate mother earth and what he came from, though it has been a longer trail for him.
Your life is full with joy and promise, thanks for sharing it with us.

Lost Coyote said...

Wonderful. The question as to how it feels to feel normal...

Got home last night after three days of detox...how can THOSE drugs be leagle????

It was perfect, a blessing indeed, to read this post and see those pics!

Barbara Martin said...

Congratulations on the success of your hike with your new hip, Robb! A touching post of renewal. Those days on the mountain gave you such JOY...revealed clearly in the photos Charlie took. He's a great photographer!

Now that this maiden voyage of your new hip has been made, you can look forward to future trips into the mountains you love so much.

I look forward to more inspirational posts of your adventures.

Wilma Ham said...

Yes, you are back and what a come-back it is.
My first ever tramp was the 11 day track on Stewart Island. It was amazing, never the sound of a car or a road nearby, just nature and walking. The best meditation I ever had as in the end all I could do was put one foot in front of the other and when at the hut, clean myself up, eat something and fall asleep. Just being with nature because the track was pretty hard work for an inexperienced tramper. I remember touching the trees to get some of their energy to get me once more up another hill, never a flat piece on that track.
Oh, what a place to be though, that nature in NZ and how wonderful to share that now with your other son.
Aroha, Wilma

jack sender said...

Robb, welcome back outside. It was nice to tag along.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Kylie,
Thank you my friend. It is good to walk again and just be in that moment. There are certainly places in the Ruahine that require your full attention at times, but I forgot how lovely it is to just walk along happily and enjoy the flow. Charlie did very well, and my approach with him will be much slower than with Taylor, hopefully allowing him to learn to enjoy just being in such places, rather than always going someplace on little legs. I stuffed that up with Taylor so the least I can do is let his little brother get the benefit of what I have learned. Kia kaha.
Aroha,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Donald,
Your thoughts are most appreciated. I must write I felt quite chuffed after the whole thing! I don't think I will be taking the mountains on like I did 17 years ago, but then again I don't have to eh! But to be back amongst a place I love so much, and with my boy, is indeed pretty special as you know. Next up I would like to do a solo trip a little bit deeper, then a birthday winter tramp in July hopefully with my wife. It is just good to actually visualize it being real after proving I can still be there.
Cheers,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora GT,
Cheers, it was pretty cool to be back climbing hills again and just absorbing that environment. Been good to to see that amazing place you are in as well. I hope those 8 weeks go slowly and wonderfully for you.
Ka kite,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora TB,
Ah yes, well you can understand the anxiety I was feeling in testing out this new hip with a pack on. To discover it is actually an improvement on the past few years is pretty hard to put into words. And being with Charlie, and thinking of some future outings with him, well again hard to put into to words. Just have to figure out a way to get my teen ager out there as well, though the last time we did I could see it in him. Huge moments indeed. Thanks TB.
Cheers,
Robb

feddabonn said...

kia ora robb, it is heart warming to see you return where you belong. makes up for this cloudy windy rainy auckland day!

Robin Easton said...

Dearest Robb, Once again I sit with tears in my eyes. Reading this, I felt, in my own body, all the feelings you went through on this hike. It would have been the same for me.

I also felt deeply moved by your longing to return "home" and how your home embraced you, how your home knew you and welcomed you as the kindred old friend that you are. We are not only aware of the land, the land is aware of us.

I am so so proud of you. You have come a long way in a very short time. You may have wanted a longer trip, deeper into the mountains, but this trip in itself was a long journey, one accomplished with great pride, awareness and gratitude. Both you and little "Snow Turtle" (and all the photos) are infinitely beautiful. My heart is with you, Wild Brother. It always is. Aroha, Robin

Allan Stellar said...

Awesome!

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Don,
That is very encouraging and cool to read all your children have developed and utilized a love of the outdoors, even if they come to it at their own pace.
I am struggling a bit with my older son, whom is the throes of teen age angst and such, and I am really just trying to keep in touch with him, and frankly keep him alive during these crucial years. My experiences in the mountains with him as a boy Charlie's age were often pretty hard on him, he covered a lot of ground and a lot of places young boys don't often get to out there. So he sort of went off it for a few years, but last Novemeber when he and I were out he really took to the time we spent there, I saw the roots of those earlier times start to sprout. I took, take, great heart in that, and hope now with my hip reasonably fit, that we can share that again.
Cheers,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora LC,
My fellow hipster! Hope you are feeling better and putting some weight on that leg clearing that fog, getting about a bit. I enjoyed the timing of publishing this post as I thought it might bring a smile of reassurance and possibility to you.
Yes, normal is probably not the best word to use to describe myself, even at the best of times - but to walk like I did with a pack uphill without that grimace of pain, well shit, hard to get my head around it still.
Kia kaha brother! Keep moving.
Aroha,
Robb

KB said...

Your words sing with happiness, making me smile here on the other side of the world. You describe the mountains and sharing them with Charlie so well that I feel as I was there with you.

It is sometimes hard to appreciate the incredible lightness of the absence of pain. But, it sounds as if you appreciated it every single step of the way. You are back in your mountains much sooner than I expected. You're amazing!

Here's to that astounding new hip and many more adventures with your boys. Kia Kaha!!!!

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Barbara,
I had a big stunned grin on my face the whole time I was up there, and for a few days after as well. Just to think of some future trips being a reality makes me tingle, and of course, I look forward to sharing them here as well.
I don't know if Charlie will be the next Ansell Adams, but he took great care in lining up his photos, very cogniznt of the sun light. back drop, ect. He did a very nice job with the whole trip, and I was proud to have him as a tramping mate. I look forward to a few more.
Aroha,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Wilma,
11 days, how wonderful! I have always believed that 3-4 days is required in nature to really leave behind much of all this out here. After that time our bodies and minds adjust to different rhythms, we become more aware of the distance between equating what is around us to something man made and instead become part of it all. We live simply. And on this trip I felt that feeling as soon as I got into the bush, almost as if the mountains were welcoming me back! Blue sky and no wind is pretty rare in those parts.
I'm not sure if there are ANY walks in NZ that don't involve walking up or down something big sooner or later!
Aroha,
Robb

Northland said...

Robb,
Don't think for a minute with my oldest boy that I let him"come to it at his own pace". I made so many blunders that involved things like frost nip on my dog sled; he was riding in the basket for too long of a time at below zero, and trying to put too much pressure on him and nearly sending him into tears... Precious they are to us, and fortunately resilient they are too; so the shame I have felt at my dunderheaded insensitivity and thoughtlessness has been seemingly put aside .It has been tough raising kids without having much aptitude or any training!

I look forward to reading about your preparations and thoughts as well as your experiences on your solo trip
Happy Trails,
Don

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Jack,
My pleasure, thanks for coming along!
Cheers,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora feddabonn,
Well warm is a good thing right now with our fire blazing on this chilly winter evening. I consider myself pretty fortunate to have been led to a place where I can just be in that moment. May everyone find their own Ruahine.
Cheers,
Robb

Nigel Olsen said...

Waahey! You're back in your element, & clearly all the happier for it! Your post made for joyous reading - thank you very much for sharing. By the way, the ranges looked fearsomely cold today - it's smothered in snow cloud & there was snow down as far as the foothills, too. My sous chef's folks have a farm out Wakarara road & having spent the weekend out there, she said it was absolutely bitter.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Wild Sister,
I sit here after a few rotten days with the flu and smile for the first time, as I feel a bit better, and just read your post and watched your trailer for your book.
If the Ruahine have brought even a glimpse of the connection to me that you experienced in the rain forest and the life you have embraced since, then I know they are indeed the place I am most Home. I thought of you you in the midst of humanity in New York while I was up with Charlie reconnecting with the Ruahine. I knew you would be fine, and reading of your journey was no surprise at all.
I am proud to call you Wild Sister, to feel that kinship for the Earth and to recognize that wild places are so vital to all of us.
During my recovery I so much just focused and visualized myself amongst those mountains, so to get there was actually just an extension of my own inner self. I am always there. Rave on Robin, my congrats with the book, and I shall look forward to getting a copy for my bookshelf. You rock!
Aroha,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Allan,
Cheers!
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora KB,
It was a very fine reunion indeed and I look forward to few more trips in the near and distant future.
You know very well the lightnness I felt in not having that pain accompany me, and I took so much inspiration from you along the way. Getting back to the hills with this new hip was a challenge, but the possibilities it has opened up has made it a very rewarding and enriching experience. Kia kaha.
Aroha,
Robb

lph said...

Welcome back to the Ruahines Robb. It is really cool to see you back where you belong, and especially so soon after the surgery (even best without pain).

Your love of both your boy and the mountains is so real and so clear. Keep walking and keep gaining strength. And keep enjoying those mountain sunrises...good stuff!

Larry

Bob McKerrow said...

Kia Kaha Robb

I share your joy of discovery.

Let's praise the surgeons and Tane Mahuta !

Ropate

Beth said...

Oh Robb, I'm so happy for you! And for your boys.

Beth

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Don,
It is something of a relief to read I am not the only parent who has stuffed up a bit out there in the wild. I agree about the parenting, and I still feel most of the time I am just winging it.
With Taylor, my oldest, I pushed him into some very long days between the ages 0f 7-12, and my own agenda often seemed to come first looking back now. There were times when we got caught out and tramps I thought would be 3 hours were 7, times we ran out of water up on the tops on a hot day, or in a snowstorm with a long ways to go, and I always felt a certain sense of anxiousness to keep pushing. No wonder he went off it. Though to be fair, we always made it to where we were going, and home again, and at the very least he and some of his mates were out there away from computers and such and in nature. And as I wrote previously our last trip in November after a few years I saw the ease in which he adapted to the wild environment coming out in him.
So with Charlie hopefully I can learn from that, and from own need to just slow down and enjoy anyway, and recognize the limitations of young legs between pushing too far, and just enough.
Cheers,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Nigel,
When there is snow down in the foothills along Wakarara road it is bloody cold! It just looks cold as if the very air is freezing as you gaze. I recall one solo tramp along Parks Peak in winter when I was in snow at the car park, and waist deep up on the ridge. That was the old 4 bunk hut, with an old tempermental wood stove and a dubious wood supply, a frozen solid water tank, and much like sleeping in a freezer. Best have a good attitude at times like that, and a very warm sleeping bag.
Glad to be back, and happy you stopped in.
Cheers,
Robb

adam said...

Robb!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My wee cup overflows with joy for you. YAWP!
With silent, brimming love.
Adam

Pam said...

Ha Robb! Fantastic!!! Don't beat yourself up too much about parenting with Taylor. The first-borns (me being one) know that we are the test cases before parents relax and get it right.Trying to be forgiving about it comes with the territory. You're so correct however about getting our teenagers through this tough time in their lives, to the safer harbour of their mid-twenties.It can be choppy waters indeed for everybody.Actions, words and example mean so much to teenagers,along with not giving up on them. Obviously "give-up" is not in your vocabulary Robb and you're reaping the benefits beautifully. You look so happy. Congratulations on this sunny satisfying climb with Charlie! From across the ocean..."Bloody well done mate!!!!"

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Larry,
Good to be back, and more so pain free. Sort of cool to rediscover those joys. Reminded me a bit of the buzz from playing hoops on a good day when everything lined up. And though I would love to turn back time and experience that sort of physical harmony one more time, the buzz I get in the mountains means more, and lasts longer. Hope the training is proceeding well.
Cheers,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Bob,
Not sure if my surgeon would have been pleased I was out there so soon. I might send him a photo via email and see! He has changed my life for sure.
To the God of the Forest. Kia kaha.
Cheers,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Beth,
Cheers. I am very happy to be back in the mountains, I am quite sure Charlies was happy to meet them, and we shall see how the teenager feels about it in due course.
Aroha,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Adam,
Cheers brother, I can "hear" that from desert mountains of Utah, and I appreciate the echoes of glad tidings wholly.
I hope the Coyote and you will experience such a renewal soon. Keep an eye on that lad and make sure his chin is up and focused on just that.
These are strange times and we need to be where it just doesn't matter if things make sense, but rather for just a few moments we can just be.
May the glow of a camp fire warm you both soon. Kia kaha my brother.
Aroha,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Pam,
Your words of reassurance about both being a first born and a parent of an adult child always resonate with me, and give me hope. Mid twenties you say! I hope I can hold out that long.
It is difficult with teens as one minute he can be engaging and snmiling, and a few minutes later walk back into the room a brooding grunting testosterone dripping maniac. Tough to keep up with, but I'm trying, and trying to learn, or maybe learning to try. That is one aspect of the being in the mountains with Taylor is that the dimensions are much more intact.
With Charlie it is easy, it is all new for him, and he has the benefit of the mistakes I made with his brother.
Oh well, we will keep keeping on.
Thanks Pam, it was a happy journey, and I have learned a lot about myself from the whole experience, and I can't wait to "bloody well get back out there again!"
Aroha,
Robb

Clare said...

Kia ora Robb.

Wonderful post on a doubly wonderful tramp. Love that your hip is better, and that you are back be able to do what you love. Even more love that you were able to experience it with Charlie.

And Charlie is a better photographer than you.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Clare,
I read somewhere this weekend about how drastically the percentage of children who spend any time in the outdoors has fallen to single digit numbers. Sort of highlights the continued disconnection from nature which leads to so much wanto destruction. So I do feel good about being on the positive side of that stat. The hip feels great, like it is in the past, amazing!
Charlie will appreciate your noticing his handiwork.
Cheers,
Robb

sarah said...

indeed, as everybody else has already expressed, your joy is our joy!

much love to you and yours,


sarah :)

Tracey Axnick said...

I absolutely love this post, Robb. First, I'm thrilled about your new "tin" hip, and how well it's working! What a blessing to hike without pain... I'm sure you were pinching yourself to make sure you weren't dreaming!

And second, the pictures are magnificent... no, they won't make the cover of National Geographic... however, the do go right along with your writing, which is deep and beautiful. (And I love that first photo of you... you're positively BEAMING!)

You are RICH IN LIFE, my friend.
Your boys are lucky to have a father who models what is TRULY important in life. They will absorb these important lessons....

Peace...

Lynda Lehmann said...

How beautiful it must have been for you, to be pain free and sharing your precious rite of passage with your younger son. It seems you've had a peak experience that you'll long remember--as will Charlie, no doubt.

As always, I'm moved by your description of the Ruahine and I feel that I too, have stood at the top, gazing at the sun setting on the Three Johns and after a peaceful slumber, the sunrise.

I'm happy to hear you are doing so well, Robb!

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Sarah,
Really cool to come here and find your visit. Glad you stopped in. I trust you have been out in the Wild yourself. I am thinking of my first solo trip with the new hip being to Purity hut, a place I have been around up top several times but never actually visited. Your trip there was an inspiration.
Aroha,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Tracey,
The whole experience was very enriching. I was indeed Beaming, and I think I still am! Not sure role model quite applies but as Popeye wisely said "I is what I is".
Aroha,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Lynda,
Thank you for getting that moment gazing upon the Three Johns. I am so happy you understood that.
Not that is surprises me.
Aroha,
Robb

Hell Mission Tramping Club said...

Hi Robb,

Dad finished the final biv and hut in March (Toka/Ngamoko) Not bad considering there is 70 of them!

Moved down south to Nelson and just started the Trainee Rangers Course. Got in easily out of 113 aplicants and 53 people chosen for an interview into the final 20.

Been doing a wee bit own here just bout finished the 70 or so spread round the 2nd biggest national park Kahurangi and done about 8 out of the 26 in Richmond. So I went down the Coast and started on the Remote Huts in Westland.

Now you got your new hip you should head to Ruahine Corner and Ikawetea, The best way in is from Colenso or Herricks Hut/Dead Dog or down the road at Masters Shelter/Parks Peak

Phill

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Phillip,
Really awesome to read from you, and simply outstanding to read of your future plans being involved in the hils and mountains. With all your experience tramping and your writing I am sure you blew them away in the interview process. Well done mate! Good to know there are young guys like you out there, and doing it proud.
Now that I am more mobile there are a few places in the Ruahine yet for me to tick off, not many but a few. Ruahine Corner being one. Have a trip coming up in July for my 5oth with John, and I hope my wife where we will probably go into Parks peak Upper Mak, or perhaps Maropea. Still need to be a bit careful with the hip, but want to get back some cool spots. Stay in touch Phillip.
Cheers,
Robb

Mike said...

Hello Robb. That's wonderful to read that you've been able to get back into the mountains. From what you've written it sounds as if it's another start of many more visits.

The whole area you've described above Sunrise is also somewhere I'd love to go back to before too long. I remember walking up Te Atuaoparapara on a nice day some time ago and it was a great place. Probably not somewhere to be in high winds, though. :)

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Mike,
Thanks, it was a pleasure to get back out there, though hard to believe it was a month ago already! I have had a busy period of working up in Taranaki the last four weeks, but the mountain up there keeps me in tune. I am going on a solo trip sometime over the next few weeks - I think up Purity way at this stage, then out for a quick trip with a mate coming over from Tasmania for my birthday for a few days - probably Iron Gate, then in early August a four day trip with my regular tramping partner John, and hopefully my wife Tara as well - thinking Parks Peak, Upper Makaroro as the long walk in is pretty sheltered being winter and all. So yes, a busy month ahead in the mountains and looking forward to it.
The area in back of Sunrise is a real gem, accessible pretty quickly, and a number of different routes handy into the guts of the park. Or on a fine day, like we had, just to ramble in from Sunrise and roam around without a pack on at all. You are very correct though, the nor wester blows pretty regular through there as it really is just a massive funnel for the wind, perfectly shaped to crank up the wind. Many times I haven't even tried crossing, and either stayed at Sunrise, and a few times on the other side at Top Maropea, and a few times I have been knocked over by gusts in that area and have been very relieved to get into the forest or back to Sunrise.
You certainly had an interesting trip into Crow/McKinnon. A very cool area.
Cheers,
Robb

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Happy 4th of July, Robb!!!

Jeff and I are headed to his parents where we will visit with his sisters too.

And Happy Birthday!!! HOW EXCITING to have a dear friend visit.

AWESOME post and mountain adventure. Hope you publish your Memoirs one day!!! Gorgeous pics.


My daughter starts here mountaineering classes in the fall. She's been doing adventure races with her hubby.

Have a super day. I know you will be thinking of home.


Blessings, JJ

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Also wanted to tell you my gift book with Cecil Murphey, HOPE AND COMFORT FOR EVERY SEASON, has scenic Michigan photos you may enjoy. I know how much you miss this area. I snapped photos from some of your favorite places like the Porcupine Mountains and Lake Superior. :D

Cheers, JJ

Ophelia Rising said...

Robb - As usual, I'm moved to tears throughout your post. I wish so much that I could've seen that sunrise with you and Charlie - and how I wish I could bring my children to witness such a thing. Maybe soon we can venture up the mountains here, and I can show them all this beauty, the beauty of the mountain and the air and fresh, cold water and rising and sleeping with the sun. You inspire me.

I'm incredibly happy to hear that you're able to walk without discomfort, and that you can enjoy the experience of the walk itself without having to focus on the pain. I imagine that you're lifted and feel as if you could fly with the loss of pain. It moves me to tears, b/c i know how much this connection means to you - the ability to be a part of the mountains and not to be distracted and focused on the physical, which can often be difficult to separate from. I can feel the joy that comes from the weightlessness of such a thing.

You are a poet and a sage, and I'm deeply changed every time I read a post. Looking forward to the book! ;-)

Aroha,

Mary/Ophelia

Ruahines said...

Kia ora JJ,
Thanks for the Happy 4th wishes - sort of a lonely day here where it is just another day, and a winter one at that! My memories of the 4th are all that excitement building towards the fireworks, the aromas of Weber grills, and the sharp smoky tinge of burnt fireworks. Hard to explain the significance of it to people really, just a special day growing up.
Congrats on the book! There are a few written now by friends here I shall have to get my hands upon.
Just finished a busy period at work and with my 50th rapidly approaching I have a few mountain trips coming up which are exciting me!
My best to you and Jeff.
Aroha,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Ophelia,
You do me honour with your words and I take great joy in knowing you and seeing your presence here.
I have had a very busy period with work so have been "offline" for a bit, but have a few trips to the mountains lined up in the next month as I "celebrate" my first 50 years on Earth, including one with Gustav for a few nights where the moments will all be relished and enjoyed.
It has been a revelation to be pain free, to kick a soccer ball with Charlie, or tackle him as he tries to outrun me with the rugby ball, and of course, to be in the mountains with the huge weight of pain off my back. I feel ten years younger, no spring chicken, but able to be there.
Hope you get those beautiful kids up that mountain my friend. We need as many as possible to know those views. Kia kaha.
Aroha,
Robb