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December 24 2023, Hurunui No. 3 Hut to Taramakau River Crossing:
Merry Christmas Eve! I woke up just before 5am feeling revived. Orange got up shortly after to re-spark the fire one last time before we headed out.
We began walking through the meadow. Lenses started first since she wanted to take it easy. I started a few minutes after her because I had to take a shit and figured the other two would catch up by the time I finished. We all met back up at the bridge that wasn’t really a bridge. It was what looked like a triangle made out of wires. One wire was meant to walk on while the other two were meant to hold onto for balance. Another day in the life on the obstacle course that was the TA.
We took kratom again, this time being in the Harper Pass Bivvy. We looked like a bunch of crack addicts huddled up in the small dark space as Orange spooned us some green powder. When it kicked in, I talked his ear off for the next 2-3 hours. Lenses was surprised at how I spoke without pause. I was, too. It was also probably why I would go so silent for a few days afterwards as to regain all the energy I apparently spent using my mouth.
We walked through magical moss covered forests, fully lush and sparkling green. We saw flowers blooming with fresh water droplets sprinkled on them and vine-like tree branches hovered above us covered with lumps of lichen. As we descended from the pass I came across a thick chain link that was coiled up on a piece of rock. I grabbed it, but it was too heavy so I had Orange help me put it around my neck such like a choker necklace. Within a couple of seconds my nipples grew rock hard. I loved the feeling of steel on my body, but preferably on my bare skin.
The rain started picking up steadily and my body was no longer able to keep warm. I was growing antsy to be in my tent and wearing dry clothes. Orange was leading the group and I didn’t want him to stop walking at any point since I was shivering and it would take a really long time for my body to heat up again.
At one point, he decided to randomly take his pack off and pull out some chocolate for us to eat and I thought I was going to lose my shit. His gesture was sweet, yet I felt convinced that if I wasn’t going to be dry right that second I was going to die. So, I cried silently and in secret, the rain disguising my tears while the group asked if I was okay after I became unresponsive to the offer of my favorite chocolate.
We found a campsite just south of the river crossing on an abandoned dirt road. Upon making it there, Orange set up my tent and I watched since I had zero clue on how to navigate putting together a Zpacks tent. Just his sheer act of taking care of me before himself showed me how loved I was. He had been doing all these things that I had been paying attention to, such as buying butter and red pepper flakes for us to use on trail since I always asked for them on my pizza.
Then, upon getting into my tent, he got me water and all the condiments together so I could start making food right away. I found the way he took calm charge to be a very masculine trait. He could see that I was experiencing overwhelm and needed space to figure it out and let the emotions pass. His relaxed way of being seemed to help ground and recenter my Spirit. I found it was just what I needed from a friend when I was in my head that way.
The experience also showed me to take a breather and simply communicate that I was feeling out of Spirit because truthfully, the feeling of overwhelm had nothing to do with him. Everyone in my group was experiencing the same feeling of cold and wet discomfort, they just weren’t expressing it outwardly. Sometimes I wished I could see through those moments faster, as I knew projecting the sadness wasn’t helping nor did it add any kind of benefit to the situation.