Saturday, July 19, 2008

Pursuit and Acceptance

I leave in a few days for a 6 day sojourn to the place that has inspired what this interaction with all of you lovely people is based upon. Above is a fern covered glen on a high Ruahine ridge above Maropea Forks. A long tough climb from around 700 metres to 1300 plus metres brings one to this spot in the upper beech forest, the moss and lichen log rotting in front an old beech tree. I suspect this area was cleared out by a storm at some point and now is this perfect semi alpine clearing. Nigel and I have always contemplated a night camped amongst the flow and beauty emanating form this place. One day we will.

So I write my thanks to you all for tuning in, and hope I will return with something of interest to write and share. I leave with these images of my last evening. a day and night filled, once again with music and friendship in the company of Adam, my fiddle playing mate. We have developed a strong bond and tears come to my eyes as I write this knowing he leaves again very soon to return to Ireland. Last evening before Adam's gig with the band he is playing with on his short visit here, Parcel of Rogues, we had a session here at home with Davey, Tara's brother. Adam is a classically trained violinist, and Davey is a classically trained guitarist. Both love Irish and blue grass music. Adam ran Davey through some basic chords and patterns and off they went. it was so good my friend Chris, I , and Tara, were just laughing at the absurdity of listening to such music in our own living room. It was almost too much. Just as the mountains sometimes can be almost too much for me, these are moment to relish and appreciate.

Photos : 1. Adam showing Davey the chord patterns

2. Davey

3. Adam and Davey jamming
4. A bit of blue grass

5. Morrison offering his opinion

6. What an amazing session! Adam and Davey.

7. Photo below sent to me last week by Phillip, my young friend from over at Hell Mission Tramping Club, . Phillip is 16 and has with his father done a fair bit of bashing about in our lovely mountains and has just retruned from a winter visit to the Ruahines. This is Te Atua Mahuru from Parks Peak ridege. A wee bit of snow up there. I hope we run into one another one day! Cheers Phillip.


Anne-Marie said...

Kia ora Robb, glad to hear you got to enjoy such wonderful music right there in your own lounge! I hope your trip in to the Ruahine is just as satisfying. Tomorrow we are heading off to the beach for a week and I feel happy just thinking about it. Rangimarie, Anne-Marie

Beth said...

Robb, thanks for sharing these photos of what must have been a magical night in your house; making music together with friends is one of those top experiences, I agree. Have a wonderful, safe, happy trip; I'll be looking forward to reading about it when you get back.

Unknown said...

The joy from that evening comes forth in those photos. Those have to be my very two favorite instruments in the entire world. I can't think of sounds I love better than that. Reminds me that I have some free time this summer, so I should start up one of the two for a bit.

I am so excited for your journey. So amazed at these experiences you continue to create for yourself. So thrilled by the way you give yourself challenges to complete.

We will miss you while you are gone. But i know when you will share when you return will enrich this city girls life.

Oddly enough, i think I mentioned that while you are in your beautiful natural mountains, I'll be in the concrete jungle of NYC.

Marja said...

The atmosphere is always great with live music. Looks you guys had a good time.
Wish you a great trip. Had to look up the word sojourn. The only explanation I could find was "comic book about adventures in a fantasy world"
The bush does look a bit like a fantasy world . Certainly when you look at your picture.
Take care and enjoy and see you when you come back.
Ka kite ano, Marja

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Anne-Marie,
Have a wonderful time by the sea whilst I will be up in the mountains not too far away. One of the wonderful aspects of Aotearoa.
Yes the music was delightful, wish you could have joined us. Travel safe. Cheers.

Ruahines said...

Tena koe Beth,
I wish I could make music rather than just being an appreciative listener. Davey is going to teach me the guitar, but the quality of the music from he and Adam was a whole other world. pretty special in front of the fire in my own lounge. Cheers for your well wishes.
Ka kite ano,

Ruahines said...

Kia ora D'Arcy,
I thought of you and how much you would have enjoyed that experience. You hang onto that violin!
You enjoy New York, Tara will be so jealous. I think I would feel just as nervous, if not more, heading to New York for a week as I do in the mountains. You will certainly find more places to spend money than I will. I will look forward to reading of your journey as well. Kia ora my friend.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Marja,
The literal definition of sojourn, as I understand it, would be to spend a length of time in a place, or to reside temporarily, but I sort of like the idea of your definition better, cheers! A fantasy world sort of strikes a chord with me. Have you managed to catch up with Bob? Thanks Marja, will report back soon.

HWHL said...

Thank you so much for your kind and thoughful comments about my husband and his current "mid life issue" - I appreciate your thoughts and encouragement more than you know.

Happy (early) birthday to you and I hope you enjoy a wonderful time out in the wildnerness! :-)

Take care,

Gustav said...


You and your friends are wealthy men.

ghreeblestaff said...

Ah, music. I appreciate the example of life lived and shared with good friends. I only wish that I could shake your hand firmly and embrace you in token of the friendship I would that I could experience in a more locally personal way with you. You just do that for many, I feel.
Also, I express to you a wish that the strength and the endless fount of metaphysical energy that the mountain will give you will be sufficient to your needs as a father, husband and outstanding human being.
Mountains, ho!
Keep having deep fun, man.

MB said...

Kia ora Robb, thank you for the ferny wonderland view. I couldn't agree more -- having one's home filled with beautiful music made by loved ones elevates living to a peak experience akin to that of being in the mountains. Have a wonderful, safe trip.

Anonymous said...

In often think of that clearing Robb. As you know, I took that photo when I paused there on my solo crossing of the Ruahines and I always feel the urge to stop there and pitch a tent for the night when I pass. On all three occasions I have been there I have been on a bigger mission with relatively tight schedules so it was not possible, but I think we need to work an over-nighter in there when we next return to the area. It is easily reachable in a day, if you set out early, and the only real issue is water, which you would need to lug from the stream in front of Maropea Forks. I think the best method would be to drop the heavy gear at Marpoea Forks, cut down to a light overnight pack, make up the extra weight with water in the Camelbaks for cooking and drinking, and head up the hill to the site. When I did the solo east-west crossing I kept the trip times, and I calculate that from the car to that point (including taking say an hour's break for lunch and and two hours for pauses en route and at Maropea Forks) it would take a total of 10 hours (it took me 7hours and 10 minutes cover that distance not including breaks). In summer, if you started at say 6, you could be there by 4 in the afternoon with aron\und another 4 -5 hours of daylight up your sleeve. from Maropea Forks to the clearing took me exactly an hour and thirty-five minutes (the clearing is only five minutes walk past the Otukota - Colenso fork in the trail. Let's plan to make that dream a reality.

I am following the huge storm that hit the North Island over the weekend so I'm guessing you spent a fair amount of time holed up in a hut. Still, the sound of rain pelting down on the tin roof is its own reward when you are safe and warm inside with the Corker cooker blazing.


Ruahines said...

Kia ora HWHL,
Cheers, hope the funk gets worked out, and I had an amazing time. Letting the thoughts and images ferment a bit.

Asta Gustav!
We are indeed, and the last 6 days alone amongst my wealthiest. Kia ora brother.

Kia ora MB,
That one was another one that could be viewed larger and it is an amazing spot. Exactly right in the mountain experience and music, something about the beauty of life and possibilities amongst all this heaviness coming down.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Adam,
Cheers mate. Perhaps some day we will and in the meantime your place has quickly become a favoured stop of mine. I know you understand what the meaning of going away to special places brings to the rest of our lives, and those we are loved by, and love in return. The mountains were amazing.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Nige,
We indeed got plastered by a couple of different low pressure systems, that last one covering the mountains in snow. Being on the relatively protected Parks Peak ridge we were able to travel pretty freely - and in winter plenty of hut time around the fire is always built in as you know.
I agree about the ridge camp sight. But the days of one day into Maropea Forks are pretty well behind me, not to mention another 90 minute plus climb back up there. Simply put, this arthritic hip is not going to get any better. And while I can deal with the discomfort of it, the fact is it slows me down and particularly with a heavy pack. I find I can tolerate about 6 hours maximum of heavy Ruahine going before things get too uncomfortable. This does not mean I will quit the mountains or remote parts of it - just have to approach it smarter. For instance, a camp that high would have to be in summer for comforts sake. So a late morning or even afternoon start taking us to Top Maropea for the night, then carry onto to the forks in the morning, a brief lunch stop and sort out equipment to leave behind. Then early afternoon climb up there, which would give us many hours of summer daylight to enjoy. Not to mention, if a clear evening, a spectacular sunset from nearby Puketaramea over the Ruahines.
If we planned the meals and drinks correctly, I reckon 1 Camelbak per person, plus say an extra 2 litres per person would suffice, taking into account the need for water on the way up and down. In any case, we will do it one way or another my brother. That one I will save for you!

HWHL said...

Welcome home, Robb! Can't wait to hear tale of your latest adventures! :-)

I'm sure Tara and the boys are happy to have you home!

Paterika Hengreaves said...

Hi Robb

You have given me an awesome write and magnificent pictures. The rainbow is spectacular. Most enjoyable read. Thank you very much for sharing your adventures so poetically and pictorially among other things. Shall be back for more real soon.

Paterika Hengreaves said...

Hi Robb

You have given me an awesome write and magnificent pictures. The rainbow is spectacular. Most enjoyable read. Thank you very much for sharing your adventures so poetically and pictorially among other things. Shall be back for more real soon.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Paterika,
How awesome to find your presence!
I miss your poems and wisdom.