Friday, October 24, 2008

Alone not Lonely

A foreboding feeling of trepidation accompanies me as of late. Collapsing financial markets and economic doom being shouted at us constantly, the rhetoric of elections, and even danger to the mountains I love so much. It seems everyone I know has some sort of nagging uncertainty in their lives, as if we are reaching some sort of turning point from that which we know.
It all mirrors how I feel shouldering my new pack for a 4 day solo journey in the Ruahines. I always feel a bit uncertain or nervous when undertaking a mountain trip, and more so when by myself. Everything is heightened when I take to the mountains on my own, the emotional and physical connection,which is good thing, and also the heightened insecurities of something going wrong, the weather, getting ill, or having an accident, which is not a good thing. Yet I can no more not pursue my love for these mountains as I could not breathe and still be alive. It is within me, and nagging feeling or no, off I head up to Rangiwahia hut late on a lovely Sunday afternoon in the Ruahine ranges.

19 October 2008
Rangiwahia hut

It has been 4 years since I last interacted with this part of the Ruahines, the Whanahuias. Too long, and it is good to be back here, good to simply be in the mountains. A late afternoon walk up here. That detour around the slip is a real bruiser with a laden pack, and I knew it would be. Tick one nervous point off the list. I am in store for a sensational Ruahine sunset from up here at 1200 plus metres, and will be the only one in the world who will see it from here.

Except for the spirits I carry within me, in particular on this trip those of Ophelia and Robin, two lovely souls whom I have never met in person, yet have developed a deep and lasting bond with through their unseen love for these very mountains. Also Paterika, D'Arcy, and Vegetable Japan for their participation and encouragement, and Bob McKerrow for his inspiration and love of mountains every where. I raise my tin cup and toast you all with a fine wee dram. Do your spirits dance on the evening mountain breeze?

In the morning I will head over the Whanahuia's and then down into the head waters of the Oroua river and valley. It will be my 8th visit there, but my first since 2004 with John. It is a lovely spot. The sky is filled with stars, but the forecast is for a northerly to blow in sometime Monday, so I will start as soon as I can possibly see in the dawns light. The nature of these ranges is how the wind funnels through the steep valleys on either side of these very geologically young and unstable ranges, which can make a sudden turn in direction a real battle against wind that mere seconds ago was an ally, and though I know the route well, it is 3 hours of exposure I would rather not do in a gale.

20 October 3:25pm
Triangle hut

On the porch at Triangle hut, barefoot and in only shorts as the sun beats down. It was a very windy, cold, and sleet filled walk down so I am happy for the warmth. I can see the northerly still whipping over. I left Rangiwahia at 6:30am. I heard the wind come up and the rain on the tin roof during the night, so I was feeling quite anxious to get underway. It was not a day to linger and take photos, I just kept my head down and kept going. Every once in awhile you feel that wind gust get through and chill you, watch the dark clouds swirling and rolling and obscuring the route ahead , and though it is a sight I love, it keeps my feet moving. Even in the forest I encountered a lot of wind fall on the steep drop to the river, so was glad to finally hear the river muttering below me and see the little red roof come into view.

I arrived here at 10:30am and I just sat on the hut porch in the sun feeling rather done in and empty. As if these past months have simply drained me and I felt nothing except relief at being here. Exhausted. I simply lie down in the sun, wet sweaty gear still on, muddy boots and gaiters wet from the river still on, and promptly fell fast asleep.
I awoke a few hours later, hot and sweaty in the sun, and for a moment not quite knowing where I was. When I looked around at this amazing spot, the river chorous welcoming me the emotions welled up inside me. I felt recharged and filled with spirit. As if the Ruahines held me in Her bosom and refilled my soul, my spirit, my need to be here in the Ruahines, to cherish them, and be a voice for them.

What better way to wash away the taste of sleep, grime, and sweat than to be embraced by the cold mountain river? My joyous screams echoed off the steep valley walls. Fresh gear, a cup of tea, and full of vigour I headed up river to the beautiful stone gorge and in hopes of seeing Whio, then down river on the same unfruitful search. This river has changed much in 4 years since I was last here. Then again, so have I.

The view from the porch at Triangle hut and the Oroua river.

Stone gorge just up river from Triangle hut. In 2004 John and I were standing here and a Whio landed 10 metres away from us. Just magic.


A starry night filled with Promise
Yet the dawn brings grey mist
and the hurried gusts of wind
The way is known to me
still Trepidation taps my shoulder
I carry on
Steep muddy and wet
the cold chilling breath of the mountains
a constant reminder of all possibilities
footsteps unsure through the deep
and rutted tussock
down through the shimmering forest
to the rivers Embrace
Promise fulfilled

Triangle hut 7:15 pm
20 October

I sit quietly by the river, wee dram in hand, doing nothing more than to see if a Whio might fly by and simply enjoying this moment by a mountain river. The Whio is, for me, the heart and soul of the Ruahines, their eloquent beauty, their unerring flight, their harmony with this environment, the Ruahines. I have not seen one for over a year now and I miss them.

Photo of Whio family kindly given to me, and taken by Pohangina Pete and used with his permission.

21 October 9:00am

A morning coffee on the porch, a gentle yet persistent rain beats on the tin roof, contrasted by the symphony of the river. Very much like a steady saxophone riff by Stan Getz bouncing off an equally absorbing fault filled haunting trumpet solo by Chet Baker. The two very different, even clashing, yet the sound of both together both entrances and yet signals an unsettled beautiful truce amongst opposing forms of grace. But I have enjoyed a lovely sleep in till just a wee bit ago, and to be here right now, with absolutely nothing at all on my agenda today but the very moment in front of me, let the rain fall, let the river roll on.

It has well and truly packed in on the tops high above me now. Here in the mountains at 802 meters on the river my world is reduced to the steep valley forested spurs in their green symmetrical beauty. It has been raining steadily now for hours, which made it made very easy to roll over in the early dawn and snuggle deep inside my warm down sleeping bag.

There has been no one here, at least by the hut book, in almost 5 months. It moves me deeply to be in such a place of solitude. This hut book goes back to 2004, John and I are the second visit written in it, and it is only a third filled after 4 years. These are places we must relish, protect, and fight for. Too many are becoming disconnected from any sense of Nature, thus places only visited by very few people become superfluous, or in the way of progress. This is what I must fight against.

I have been here with Taylor, Gustav, Nigel, John, and Steve. I share this place today with those memories. And the hut book carries names I know as well. Tom S., to you brother! I know you love these ranges. And Pohangina Pete, here in 2005, and whom I first met down river at Iron Gates back in 2001, I am glad his spirit is here as well.

So while I am relishing my solitude I have never felt alone. My heart and spirit are filled by the mountains, by the pristine clear waters, by the call of the Whio, and by the people I love. Just Listen!

The porch on a rainy day, if you look to left side of the roof rain drops are dripping down.

7:30 pm Triangle hut

The rain is still falling, a persistent yet soothing serenade this day. The river has held well but is now losing the battle and slowly losing its clarity while gaining depth. My biggest problem in the morning will most likely be crossing the river. Oh well. I can think of worse places to NOT cross a river if it comes to that.

The hut is warmed by the stove for which I have chopped a huge pile of wood on this rainy day. My tea simmers on the stove, and I have had a wonderful hut day here at Triangle. You might wonder how you will fill the rainy day, and suddenly the day is gone. So I have have honestly enjoyed each second of this interaction, wandering around this area in the rain, sitting on the porch just pondering this place, firing up the billy, babbling away to myself and many others, waiting for a Whio to fly by. It has been a complete day. I would not change a thing.

"Triangle Hut Day"

I have used this hut day
to my fullest ability
Have run out through the rain
to use the facility
Except in the course of that little caper
I forgot to bring the toilet paper
I've chopped wood, sawed it, and stacked it quite high
more than enough for the next man by
Sat on this porch just sitting here thinking
I wonder how many cups of tea I've been drinking
Rivulets of water run off the roof
offering me total, complete, and final proof
That a day spent here all toasty and warm
beats the hell out of being cold and wet
out there in that storm.

The Ororua in flood and as it looked as I crossed early in the afternoon of the 22nd. Conditions up on the tops were not much different. Ah, the solo journey eh! During the night I could hear the river roaring with a markedly increased intensity, and at mornings light there was not a possibility of crossing the torrent. I simply had to wait it out until it stopped raining long enough for it to drop to a reasonably cross able level. Ruahine rivers are not to be trifled with. So I was not able to leave Triangle until early afternoon, and did so before the rain began again, which it did not long after I started climbing in the forest. And once again emerged onto the open tops to find wet, windy and white out conditions. A different world than the one I left below in the valley.

Clagged in tops of the Whanahuia's looking east down into the headwaters of the Oroua river and valley.

Looking north towards Mangamahue, which on a clear day would be easily visible. A mountain snow tarn in which I have often slaked my thirst.

22 October 7:00pm
Rangiwahia hut

Still here in the Ruahines, and spending an extra night as I did not arrive here until very late in the afternoon. I could easily walk the two hours down to my car but after ringing Tara she suggested I stay another night. Perhaps she knew better than I that the Ruahine wanderlust is still upon me, battles with raging rivers, and forcing routes across cloud obscured wind swept ridges still within me. At least I like to think she thought that. In any measure I have spent the afternoon just roaming the immediate area here on the lower Whanahuias, and it is indeed a lovely place. I look upon the plains below, the world I live in, but I keep one foot and a part of my soul firmly planted here in these mountains.

The view from just above Rangi hut looking south. Notice the stream in the lower left hand corner. This is where the leatherwood peters out to the open tussock tops, 1100 meters or so.

"Both Ways"

It is nice to recall in retrospect

the golden hues of the open tussock tops

on a sunny wind free day

the shimmering play of light in the high forest

pulsating with its own Soul

or the delights of exploring each new bend

of a mountain river

to listen to its unique song

and the wonderful sensation of wholeness

genuine interaction with the Ruahines

all recalled with such clarity

at home

in front of my fire

wee dram in hand

Much dimmer and less prominent

are the moments of doubt

even fear

the tough choices which must be made

of flooded rivers to cross or not

a route perhaps beyond me

the sound of gusting wind in the upper forest

knowing what awaits up top on a stormy day

the feeling of being tired and cold

with the hut a long ways off

Yet these memories are just as much part

of the mountain experience

maybe more so

For out of doubt and fear

and the action of moving beyond them

emerges clarity and knowledge

to appreciate the Journey

and now truly see

the view



Clare said...

Nice trip Robb, and a wonderful tale of it. I like travelling by myself from time to time, but not as ambitiously as you.

ghreeblestaff said...

We used to have little adhoc huts placed here and there on our mountain, but have recently had to part with the last of them as the Forest Service continues on their crusade for legislated 'primitivism' in exchange for other development areas, whether for good or for ill.
The Green Camp
That links to a post from the final visit to one of the last waystations that sheepherds and cowboys put up long ago. I often wish after reading your posts that we could have the sort of community-oriented places that you are able to enjoy and contribute to.
A beautiful time you had! I love the accounts and more especially the verse you intersperse. I honor and deeply thank you for your blessed support and encouragement from afar (thanks equally for my enjoyment of your accounts of adventures and observation as for the blessed missives you send via comments, by the way).
Ramble on, dear Robb.

ghreeblestaff said...

The Green Camp
Rats. That one should work...

Anonymous said...

Good Stuff Rob - Brings back good memories, I have only been to Triangle Hut once (suprising that the entry is still there) but we had a merry time with a few ports to help the weary travellers unwind. Would have been a decent climb up the ridge the next day, I wonder if I will still be up to those steep awesome ridges when I return. So Jealous. Keep it up.


Bob McKerrow - Wayfarer said...

Kia Ora Robb

Great trip you did there Robb. I enjoyed learning about the Whanahuias and seeing the superb photos of rivers, gorges and tussock. i could feel the wind gently blowing in my face and the tussock rustling like an old ghost. Stirs so many memories in my heart. I could hear the billy boiling as I read it.

Cheers mate


Anonymous said...

I appreciate you doing these trips that I cannot do.I am so pleased that there are such beautiful views to enjoy and am very grateful to experience them through you. Thanks Rob.Isn't it wonderful that we are given these wonderful environments to challenge and soothe our soul.

izogi said...

Hi Robb. That was a wonderful write-up. We co-incidentally followed your footsteps, a few days behind, and I noticed you in the hut books. We went up to Rangi and down to Triangle this weekend before continuing out to Heritage via Iron Gate.

I don't suppose those novelty over-sized jandals which somebody left at Rangi Hut would have been yours, would they?

Anonymous said...

Robb, I can only say that I'm incredibly elated that you took me with you on this trip, and that I wish upon wishes I could have been with you in body, as well as spirit. I can say that, from past expreriences, I've only made the most monumental decisions from the top of a mountain, and that I need so much to find that connection again, in such a profound and honest way.

I will be visiting the mountains again soon.

And, my God, what pictures. The Whanahuia's looking east, and looking north towards Mangamahue...there are no words. I am taken to another life, another perspective, far from here.

Sometimes, my having no words is a very good thing.

I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for these shared moments.

Gustav said...

Greetings my fine friend

I would have enjoyed hearing your howl when you jumped into that icy mountain water.

Isn't it strange returning from the wild back to the city and the "news"?

Is there another way to live? One closer to the wild? Can you imagine being in the wild for weeks instead of days?

On your 50th birthday I challenge you to do the "Whiskey Run" through the Ruahines. It would take you at least 3 weeks or so, no?. What a trip it would be!

I would be interested in perhaps joining you. Supplies would be helicoptered in at various shacks and we would emerge from the walk new men; with cleansed spirits and perhaps a few stories to tell.

Sugar Jones said...

Those are gorgeous images! You're killing me with wanting to go tramping in NZ!

I hope you play along with this. I wasn't sure if I should tag you, but I thought, you know, I really want to know what Robb would put on his list. Go to my post to find out more:

Beth said...

Beautiful post and photographs, Robb - thank you for taking me along too! I wish I could enjoy that kind of solitude in the mountains but unfortunately, as a woman alone, it's not really advisable here. Is that the same in New Zealand? However, we all find our own places and paths for renewal, and I love reading about yours.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Clare,
Cheers. I would probably be a bit more hesitant about solo travel if I lived in your northerly environs, as a mistake there would be fatal very quickly. But the temptation in that beautiful landscape would be strong.
Ka kite ano,

Ruahines said...

Tena Koe Adam,
The concept of huts seems to be not a welcome one in the states, even friends of mine whom have never been here completely misunderstand the place they have here in NZ, look upon them as some sort of man intrusion upon REAL nature. I felt that way myself until spending a few trips in the mountains here and understanding the nature of travel here. In actual fact, most of them are very remote, in rugged terrain, and set up originally by the Forest Service as places for deer cullers to be based from. Now they are an integral feature of the NZ back country as havens for weary trampers and hunters. Rarely have I seen other people during my visits. The Forest Service in the states should be far sighted enough to look over seas at places like this. Probably not in more populated areas and parks where they would simply be subject to abuse, but structures in deeper more remote areas can save lives, and people who use them willing to pay. An annual hut pass here in NZ is $115.00 per year for instance. Excellent value, and for me will work to around $5.00 a nite when the year expires.
Thank you for tuning in here my friend. I feel very kindred to you in many ways, the most enjoyable of which is a love of mountains and nature. Kia kaha brother.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Tom,
I was so chuffed to see your name there at Triangle. Funny about that ridge, I have done it more than a few times now, and I find the THOUGHT of going up it quite daunting, but in actuality, when done, find it harder going down it than up it.
That area at Triangle is a lovely spot to enjoy a libation with friends, or by ones self.
I reckon you will get your Ruahine Legs under you in no time. Glad and proud to keep you connected brother.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Bob,
Boiling up the billy with you would be an honour. Hope we can catch up sometime when you travels bring you this way once again.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Pam,
You are more than welcome to enjoy these trips and this place with me as I enjoy your place. Yes, the mountains are a wonderful place to absorb the moods of Nature, amongst many places. I am fortunate to have found a particular place that has imbedded itself so deeply inside me. Hope all is well with your busy life.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Mike,
Glad to read you were up there as well, and I enjoyed your post very much. You had an ambitious route planned in that weather mate! Though you guys are fitter and faster than my older bones allow these days. On Wed. evening I was standing up on the rise outside of Rangiwahia and to the west saw the largest hog's back cloud I have seen, always a harbinger of rough weather on the way. My Thursday walk out was in rain and wind. Those photos on your post are great, looks like the river was right on the brink so I think you made the right call going onto Heritage. No, those sandals were not mine, I saw them there as well and they probably would have fit me nicely. Cheers Mike, keep on truckin'.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Ophelia,
It was an honour to bring you along with me to experience the moods of the Ruahines. There is something about the lofty heights of mountains that brings real clarity to our lives, at least for me. I hope you find that soon, but in the meantime I will carry your spirit to our mountains here with me. Cheers Ophelia, and thank you for being you.

Ruahines said...

Well brother, it would not have been the first time you would have heard that howl!
Driving back to town I had on Van, and when I got about 1ok's from Palmy I decided to check out the radio fro a minute. Only to be inundated with Christmas commercials, then gloom and doom news of some type or other. I quickly put Van back on, "The Healing has Begun".
I am seriously considering a 30 plus day Ruahine wander for celebration of my 50th. Tara and I talked a bit about it this weekend. Though it is two years away time has a way of slipping by quickly. My initial thoughts are to be joined at various points by people such as yourself, John, Nigel, Taylor, who can climb in and meet me with fresh food and few days of enjoyment. Perhaps culminated in a celebration at Maropea Forks. Being winter it would be for the hearty only, thgough I suppose I could move it to a warmer mont, but something about the remoteness in winter appeals to me! And absolutely brother, there would have to be some sort of story in there somewhere. Kia ora Gustav, stay tuned!

Ruahines said...

Tena koe Sugar,
Glad you enjoy the photos. It is even better in person! I will put some thought into these things about myself and post when things are a bit quieter around our chaotic household. Thanks for thinking of me.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Beth,
I am so happy to share this place with you, truly. Absolutely, I think people can find the eloquence and beauty of Nature in their own back yards, and more need to do so to reconnect with something we all need. I am just pleased to be able to encourage people to do so with my place here.
Some time ago I read a book written by a Kiwi, Sigurd Crump I think was her name, and it was about her solo travels in some of the remotest parts of New Zealand. She would leave me in the dust! Solo travel always involves risk, man or woman, but if you are meaning in terms of personal safety, i.e. violence, I honestly do not recall any incidents in back country places. I think in more remote areas that people, man or woman, tend to be more like minded than different as to the reasons for being there, thus just accepting each other. Closer to "civilization" and easier access places I would feel more concern perhaps.
Beth, thanks for stopping by, and have a lovely day.

Unknown said...

Robb, I have come back three times to read your magnificent account of a journey that, although you have walked before, still turns out to be unique--full of wonder and sounds and sights and smells that awaken and quicken the senses.

The mountains and you--both of you pulse with your own Souls--and yet, I get the impression that your two souls meet as one on occasions.

I hope to see this blessed place with you as my guide one day. Perhaps at the finish line of you coming out all grizzly after a month with the ranges and a new 50 as your age? That would amazing!

Thank you for making these mountains come alive for me my friend!!

Paterika Hengreaves said...

Kia ora Robb

My virtual trek with you through the Ruahine ranges was most enjoyable. The scripted journey left no details out thus making every bit of the excursion in the mountain very real for me. The pictures truly showcase the beauty of the Ruahine ranges. The sunset was awesome. Oh, I love the look of the Whios and I pretended that I heard the whistling sound the male Whio makes. The poetic summary was quite effective. I'm glad you made it back home from the mountain safely. Thank you very much for the trip through the Ruahines


Anonymous said...

30 days in the bush sounds awesome. Myself and 4 frinds completed 25 days when we finished uni in palmy, we walked from tongariro down to wharite at the end of the ruahines. it was fantastic. we had about 3-4 food drops from friends and family at huts accessible for an overnight trip which were great. to be honest the coolest part was getting to the point where the only worries in life were food, water and shelter, very liberating.... I am already looking forward to the blog on your trip in 2 yrs time haha


Ruahines said...

Kia ora D"Arcy,
That trip was for you as well, and I love your words. It is ALWAYS new, even a trip to places I have been over and over always brings a sense of reconnection, freshness, and new aspects to observe and appreciate. The mountains open our eyes, and our hearts and souls.
I would love to show you the Ruahines as you know. I would rather it be DURING the Big Adventure rather than at the finsish line! Cheers my friend.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Paterika,
The call of the Whio is a part of the Ruahines that always echoes within me. They are the Soul of the Ruahines to me. I am happy you have enjoyed the trip as well, and as I wrote I saluted you and your visits to my place here, and mine to yours, while there and enjoying that very sunset. Cheers Paterika, you are one of the delights of this way of connecting to people around this Earth.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Tom,
When you get to that point of what is important in life I have to believe you are then really living in the moment and freely. That trip reads awesome and without the benefit of a map I am trying to work out your route. Did you do the volcanos, then the Kaimanawas, Kawekas, then Ruahines? I would love to know more about your adventure as it must have been a real tramping highlight, and perhaps get some good ideas about planning mine. Do you have a write up of it?
Hope to have you read a few more posts before then!

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

What a SPECTACULAR post, Robb. You should find an agent and write a book - Mountain Memoirs. You have a great voice, write super prose, and your photos are delightful. You are the whole package and others want to come along with you...they could through your books.

Blessings! JJ

Anonymous said...

Dear Robb, I am sitting here with tears rolling down my face. Your love of the wild and your astoundingly beautiful spirit just moves me to tears. I felt infused by this. You are SO abundant that I hardly know where to start!

Like Ophelia I too wish I had been physically with you on this hike, am so blessed to have been with you in spirit. I am REALLY am. I thought of you while you were in the mountains. All that Ophelia wrote could have been ME speaking.

My work load has been so grueling of late that I started to feel numb, disconnected and lost. I sent a whole month and half without hiking. For me that is death. I've started doing short hikes again. I felt I HAD to, to save my soul. And I can't ever give that up again for any amount of work. Something in me dies. I know that you and Ophelia and two people who completely understand how I feel. You don't only understand it, you KNOW it.

I had hoped to do a solo trek in the mountains this fall but was unable I decided rather than pine over it's loss, I am better planning for spring/summer. I have to do this and I have do it solo. Preferably 4 days. You give me so much hope and inspiration I can't even begin to tell you Robb.

I am so so so so glad that you had these days, this break. I do KNOW how badly you needed them. You've been through a lot with the petition and the fight for your mountains. I know what that's like.

I loved so many passages, photos and poems here I started to copy them so the I could paste them here and tell you which ones...but there were just too many. I hope you realize what a special soul you are. I am soooo glad you spirit touches mine. You are filled with vibrant life and breathe fresh air into stale corners. The world needs that so badly right now.

Your writing cuts me to the quick and is excruciatingly sweet, both in it's expression and sentiment. The absolute best! You are a gift, Robb! And I applaud your uniqueness and beauty as (I know) do many others.

I needed this today.
Thank you my free spirited friend,

Anonymous said...

Hi Rob,
I am new to your blog, and this is the first post I read, and what a post it is! Thank you for sharing your experience with us. It brought up memories of my last trip to New Zealand. I did a lot of tramping, and I can relate to many things that you write about.
I hope that you will continue sharing your tramping experiences, because they allow me to go back again and again to the wonderful outdoors of New Zealand.

Ruahines said...

Tena Koe JJ,
Thank you for your inspiration and support. I do love sharing these thoughts with you and those who enjoy visiting here. The Ruahines have changed my life no question, the path the Nature has opened to me has brought peace to a place inside me where it did not exist before. Maybe there is something more to share in what this journey, and this place, has brought to me as a man. Keep tuning in my friend!

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Robin,
You warm my heart and soul special friend. I seriously was talking to you guys while in the Ruahines, telling you about the flora and fauna, my experiences and feelings. So proud and happy to carry your Spirits with me.
I know exactly how you have been feeling Robin, as I wrote it was if the Ruahines knew as well, and falling asleep outside the hut was a very amazing experience. We need that Connection to Nature to be very real. Even planning a future trip brings a tingle of joy. I am even now focusing on my annual summer trip this Dec. and Jan., 6 days of bliss. I will look so forward to reading and enjoying your solo journey as well. I think 4 days gives the right amount to really become absorbed and connected to the environment in a way that reaches the depths of our souls. As Tom wrote above, getting to a point where all we need materially is water, food, and shelter opens us up to new insight and appreciation. I know you have a unique relationship with time, so you may even arrive there much quicker, but
for myself, waking up in the mountains, for instance, on morning three, with another night and day to just immerse myself in is a slice of heaven. I shall be walking with you my wonderful friend!
Thank you Robin, you are a treasure to the world.

Ruahines said...

Tena koe Greg,
Haere mai! Glad you enjoy the place here and that it brings back strong memories. Cheers for your email as well, and I will be by to have a look and give some thought to this. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

haha one day i will write up the crazy time we had rob but as of yet i have not done so. i have a draw full of photos back home in nz and a diary which is a laugh and one day when i get back i will uncover it and try and document the trip but that could be a while... yeah you have the guts of the trip, correct, i will try and recall the full itinerary and drop you a line in the next few weeks, i have seen another guy that did something similar 'mad pom' on nz tramper website, i think he just did the ruahines and rather ran through them, but he had one hell of a trip as well, would be worth hunting him down, but as always the best guys are normally the likes of warren (not sure if he is still there) and the gang at doc ongaonga or the other field bases - winter time over here now, days are shorter and the first frost has been and gone, lucky I have an all blacks up in scotland to keep me company this weekend, looking fwd to it
laters, tom

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Tom,
You should definitely write that up mate! Now that I think back upon it I seem to recall a few hut book entries where I saw a group of guys doing some 25 day excursion, though I can't remember which ones, but thinking how intense that must be. Pretty cool to live in a place where you can get into mountains for that sort of stretch. I shall look forward to reading your itenarary. Go All Blacks!! Cheers Tom.

vegetablej said...

This trip sounds like just what you needed, what we all need, time to come back to ourselves in places that allow us to just be.

When I was in the country I looked forward to getting up to see the changing light of the seasons, what colours the weather would call up, the patterns of the trees and sky, the shadows daily walk across the land, the smells of damp grass and wildflowers, and the squirrel's run over the shed roof. Everything seemed right there.

Like others have said, your pictures are making me wish I could see your mountains some day. Now I am thanking you for showing us what we would miss if they were ever changed.


Ruahines said...

Kia ora VJ,
Thank you as well my lovely friend. You have been a great guide and inspiration in this blogging world for me, so I was happy to take your Spirit with me as well. "Places that allow to just be", ah VJ well written!
And what day today! I am so proud of my country. As it was a land of Possibility for my white grandfathers, perhaps it is now truly on the way to being a land of Possibility for all, regardless of our ethnic backgrounds and what we do or do not worship. I suspect it is still a long journey ahead, but tonite I am simply overwhelmed.

vegetablej said...

"Night's candles are burnt out, and jocund day/Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops."

It's a day of hope, one when I can imagine a kinder and more just America. And that's a kind of miracle, isn't it?

Marja said...

I have seen and felt the mountains but you would love them even by reading your words who are so inspiring and full of awe and gratitude. It makes your spirit come alive. Thanks for these words. I go for a walk up the hills now and try to catch a glimps of what you do bigtime
Have a great day. Ka kite ano

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...


Swinging by for a wild wave. Your photos and posts are awesome and inspiring. If I weren't already close to nature I would after learning about your spiritual and physically demanding hikes in the mountains. :D Your musings touch the soul.

Have a super weekend!!!

Blessings! JJ

Ruahines said...

Kia ora VJ,
That is stunning, thank you! And yes it is something of a miracle, I can only imagine what some of the people who have lived through so many years of oppression must be thinking, Mavis Staples, Sonny Rollins, Jesse Jackson, ect. It fills me with pride and hope, tempered by the long road ahead, but it is time to reflect and celebrate. Cheers VJ!

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Marja,
Thank you my lovely friend, and I hope you did feel the gentle mountain breeze upon your cheeks. It would have been a lovely weekend for a walk, but alas I am downtrodden with a man cold I have picked up from Charlie. Seems to have me harder than him! Oh well, summer is on its way. Have a lovely day Marja, and I trust all is well.

Ruahines said...

Tena koe JJ,
As yours do mine my home away from home friend. I always look forward to seeing what you guys are up to there in my original Turangawaewae. Hope you and Jeff have a beautiful day.