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December 31 2023, Stealth Site to Manuka Hut:
Right as we were all falling asleep, huge gusts of wind came in, rocking all of our tents and minds awake. Heavy rain followed. My lines came out of the stakes and I was sure everything was about to rip to shreds. I sat up and stared at the flaps slapping around in the wind, threatening my mind with memories. I was mentally preparing myself to get out and re-stake everything when suddenly Orange showed up and asked me if everything was alright. He immediately saw the problem and went to stake everything down, saying I should’ve called him over. I felt so grateful. Then, he walked around and made sure everyone else was doing okay.
In the morning I woke up in a several inch puddle of water, more like a lake. It was a bit demoralizing. The wind was coming in strong and so was another wave of rain. Orange came to check up on me while I was packing. As that was happening, his tent blew away several hundred feet so he went chasing it down before it went down into the water.
In the early afternoon Lenses had me model her ultralight pack for a photoshoot and possible advertisement for her photography. Although the pack was light, I realized how much I didn’t enjoy how the backpack looked or felt, any ultralight pack for that matter. It wasn’t for me, didn’t think it ever would be.
We had two options for where we would spend the night. The first hut felt too early to stop at, but the second one felt a bit too far for our liking. We chose the second option with the help of kratom. We took three scoops and got fucked up. We were buzzing with energy and clarity.
We sat down for a quick break and I couldn’t join them in sitting for I felt I had too much energy, so I began to dance for them. I thrusted my hips, then moved like a cyclone and lastly pulled out my ‘Squidward on molly’ moves.
“It’s funny how different you and Lenses are,” Orange said, “in the Japanese culture they’re so polite and well respected. They have manners and you’re the opposite.”
“I mean, I feel I am very well-mannered,” I said, “but I’m assuming you mean it’s cause I get naked everywhere and make snot rockets.”
I thought about how much I preferred being my weird, silly self instead of the sexual Goddess. Energetically, it felt more honest to be such like a child, ceasing to care what I looked like but rather to feel every moment. In seduction, there was none of that. I found myself putting a lot of mental thought into what I would say/do in the midst of seducing someone, which took me directly out of the present moment.
We had several river crossings, but eventually we were just walking up the current. Although in a state of hyper awareness I still managed to somehow fall face first to the ground numerous times, from stumbling over rocks to tripping into thorn bushes that had spikes a few inches long. I tripped in holes that were similar to bogs and even slipped on my butt in the river again.
During our walk we talked about trail names and I told Orange how my favorite one has been Freyja, but Goldie came in as a close second. He begged to differ saying it was the other way around for him.
“Well,” I said, “‘Goldie’ is just short for ‘Goldilocks’ for when I had blonde hair on the PCT.”
“No, I named you Goldilocks for your personality,” he corrected, “you got this curiosity about you that’s very enchanting, similar to that of a child.”
He said he could see me doing something similar to that of the little girl in the story. I also had a stubbornness in my personality where things had to be done just right or my way.
Near the end of the day, shit got weird. I danced to the vibe of the tussocks thinking I looked cool, but really I looked like a fool. Then, we arrived to the hut and it was completely full of people. NOBO and SOBO hikers were beginning to cross each other. I laid down around 8pm and got teased for being a grandma for not wanting to stay up for New Years. It didn’t change the fact I was still going to bed at 8.
There was a German guy there who was very chipper and provided the hut with snacks and story-telling. He had so much confidence in himself for speaking a new language (English).
“If I try to think of new word I will look up and learn five new words every day,” he said, “I practice all day long.”
I drifted off in sleep to the sound of the boys conversing about trail and plans of the upcoming year. It was going to be a good year, I thought to myself. I could just feel and know it.