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December 11 2023, Top Wairoa Hut to Porters Creek Hut:
Our bodies felt so sore, that good kine where we knew we pushed hard and accomplished a big hiking day. Ben had left early early, whereas Orange and I had a little more hesitancy putting on our wet socks and shoes first thing in the morning.
We continued up the mountain and it was a perfectly sunny day, not a cloud in the sky.
The terrain was my favorite we hiked on so far. It was extremely dry and rocky. Naturally, I grew reminiscent of the desert of Southern California. I felt I could fly through it. I was tuned into the crunching sound of the rocks beneath my feet and the warm gusts of wind that felt hot upon my skin.
“I love this terrain!” I shouted, “it’s my favorite!”
“You’re fockin’ mad,” Orange said, “this is my least favorite.”
I could feel the heat in my nostrils with each inhale. I enjoyed the dryness in the air and the warmth in my blood. I loved the way the ridges would crest up and down through the dusty haze in the sky.
“I feel like I’m on a spiritual journey with you,” Orange said, “I keep having these thoughts that still can’t believe I’m hikin’ with Goldie right now.”
“I feel the same way,” I said, “it is such an awakening experience.”
We got down to the bottom of the valley and took some time to go skinny dipping. I cleaned off the blood from my yoni and washed the sweat off my face. Orange floated in a pool of turquoise blue water, diving beneath rippling currents numerous times. I stood out naked to dry off via the wind and sun.
We climbed for about 15 minutes up to Hunters Hut to take a break. I sat on the handrail of the deck and stared into the abyss of what looked like a perfectly drawn out view of the mountain ridges.
“So you really would like to live in something as minimalistic as this?” Orange asked.
“Most definitely,” I said, “except I would want open walls so I could breathe in fresh air.”
“A place with no running water, you would be okay with that?” he asked.
I pondered on the view and felt what it would feel like to receive such an experience. I felt the grounding aura of the desert-like mountains that stood so boldly in front of me.
“By a stream would be ideal,” I answered, “but I most definitely need to live where there are mountains, that is a must.”
“You’re going to need to catch your own food,” Orange said.
“Yeah, I’m not open to that,” I said, “I can’t see myself killing an animal.”
“Well I can do that part for you.”
“It would need to be somewhere like Alaska where there’s numerous kine of wildlife.”
I felt grateful for the feeling I received simply by pondering that vision. It felt good on the soul to picture myself off the grid, in the mountains and living off the land.
We continued on to the next few climbs we had for the day. We didn’t last long in the heat before we decided we wanted to take another break on the trail under a shaded tree.
Orange sliced the plastic off his rod of salami and block of cheese. He handed me some cheese and I placed it on my knee. I made the slightest move which made it fall into the dirt. Simultaneously, the salami he had on his thigh fell into the dirt as well. It sent me into laughter. Then he went to slice some more cheese which accidentally went flying in the air, scattering into crumbles.
Roaring in laughter, my legs lifted up as I tilted my head back. I held my stomach, barely able to breathe. “HA HA HA!”
“It’s so crumbly,” he said.
Then I thought about how ridiculous my laugh sounded and realized it was funnier than the actual joke which made me laugh even more like a maniac to the point of tears. Orange just stared.
We made it down to another stream bed and decided to take one more big break before the last push. Orange and I began talking about relationships again. It seemed that topic would ponder my mind often.
“What are ya insecure about?” he asked.
I took a breath and looked up at the trees. The wind whispered that it was okay to share. I laid out all of my insecurities for him, at least the ones I could think of at that moment.
“I feel insecure that I won’t ever meet someone who could adhere to the things I desire in a relationship and that I will continuously be perceived as the woman who asks for too much,” I said, “I feel insecure that maybe I am asking for too much and that I keep trying for something that doesn’t exist.”
I became childlike in my demeanor. I pulled my legs into my chest, expressing that I felt closed off and uncomfortable in my body.
“It would be nice if I could just be open with men and not have them use those things against me,” I expressed.
I had a romantic fantasy of how I wanted things to be, yet sometimes when I looked back on my past I felt as if I only had a string of shitty, broken relationships that led to a dead end. All I apparently ever wanted was that ‘happily ever after’ that was just… simple. I became teary eyed as I reminisced of past hurt while simultaneously longing for true love.
I gulped down the sorrow and said, “Ready for the climb?”
“No, not really,” he said, yet was willing.
We put our packs on and started our ascent. I pondered on the insecurities I shared with Orange and then thought about how I was so proud of myself for actually putting myself out there. I saw the strength I held, by actually going out and meeting people, figuring it out, even though it was extremely scary and vulnerable for me and might mean that I would get burned. Even if I apparently failed in experiencing anything close to a healthy, monogamous relationship in this lifetime, at least I knew I tried my absolute best and had a kick ass journey through it.
I placed my hand on a piece of tree bark as we stopped for a breath. I could feel the energy waves of my body heat move through the tree, expanding in swirls and pulsations of vibrations. Explosions of colors infused into the tree as I gave it warmth while it uplifted me with its solid foundation.
“That’s another thing I want,” I said, “is to live next to pine trees. I want to have a patio so that when the pine needles and pinecones fall, they will scatter on the deck and I can watch them shift to different shades of color as the sun dries them.”
I smiled as I spoke the words into existence. Tears filled my eyes, as if I would do anything to receive that vision.
We continued on. The sun disappeared for most of the climb until it opened up out of the trees. A family of mountain goats scattered along the crests of the dry earth. The terrain shifted from reddish orange rocks to blueish grey ones, finally turning into what felt like walking on Mars. Crimson rocks appeared to be splattered with bright red paint. It reminded me of my moon cycle blood and lava, coming together and intermingling into a fusion of passion.
The TA didn’t feel like it was a real trail. It seemed numerous people simply walked on the edge of a mountain, hammered in some orange trail markers and then called it a trail. It was extremely slanted and only viable for foot traffic. If one would step a little bit off the edge, rocks would start rolling down the mountain and you would have to watch yourself from falling along with them. I loved that shit. It felt so rewarding in the end.
We made it to our last summit and took our packs off at the top. We stared at the setting sun and watched everything take upon a sierra hue. I loved how Orange would appreciate the silence with me and didn’t feel as if he needed to close the gaps with words.
The mountain ridges were sharp yet held promises of dreams to be made real. I looked ahead and saw a path that ran along the sandy landscape into the trees, unseen yet trusting to lead me home to my heart. The mountains told me not to worry, for the things I feared were meaningless and of no weight. Just the same, I was being shown that climbing up those same mountains that the pain may seem very real in the moment but I could trust and know that it was passing. With focused breath and centered attention, it made the journey a lot more fun and easy to experience. In the end, the struggles I faced through the climb were some of the most beautiful memories to have had.
As I looked out into the horizon I laughed inside and thought to myself, What is there really to give a shit about?
The setting sun gave a silvery shine upon the leaves of the shimmering trees. We saw the orange hut from a distance and made a straight shot towards it. When we arrived, we grounded our feet in the grass while we made ourselves dinner for the night.
We looked at the view of the mountains and I said, “I feel like it would be so healing for people to go out into the mountains for an extended period of time to experience how healing it really is. I feel like everyone would finally understand true freedom and would eventually rebel against the government.”
I truly felt experiencing a thru-hike would help people remember where they came from and help them return to a primal way of being. The longer I was in the mountains, the more I didn’t want to return to a place with convenient stores and asphalt roads.