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January 2 2024, Stealth Site to Geraldine:
“Guys, wake up, it’s TOWN DAY!” I shouted at 5:25am.
To be fair, I waited an hour.
“Ughhhh,” Orange moaned. “Go to sleep. It’s fockin’ cold. There’s not even goin’ to be any traffic.”
I was chipper to hike today, full of energy and happiness. That was until I started hiking and the cramps and negative thinking seemed to set in.
Down in the valley, Lenses asked if I could be her model for her backpack again and I turned around and coldly said, “Sure.”
She sensed my annoyance and frustration through my body language and tone, then immediately followed it by saying, “You don’t have to if you don’t want to.”
She was always so polite and worked very well with others, constantly wanting to make sure people felt comfortable around her. It was sweet. I apologized to her later, letting her know I was emotional and it was nothing personal.
After the photoshoot, I knelt down and began bawling my eyes out as a sharp sensation of pain moved through me. Immediately I experienced a sense of victimization and resentment for Orange and the conversation we had last night. Although it was objectively a very easy walk to the road, on my moon cycle it appeared to be a completely different experience.
At the junction just before the road, we parted ways with Lenses for the time being. I initially wanted to push all the way to the end but I felt called to make a sudden change of mind after the cramps had come on so strong. We told her we would meet her at Geraldine.
Upon making it to the road, I found a fuzzy green plan that Tara (a girl who picked me up hitchhiking) suggested I use during my time of menstruation. I gave it a go and slipped it under my yoni.
We walked into Lake Clearwater Village and were really fond of the energy. There was a lake with people water boarding and cruising on their jet skis. People walked along the edge of the water and young kids drove around on their dirt bikes. Friendly locals greeted us and told us we would find a ride to town in no time!
Orange and I sat down beside the dirt road and waited patiently for a hitch. I grabbed a pinecone to keep us company. We watched a family walking through the forest in front of us, their son wanting them to videotape him jumping a ramp with his bike. We cheered and clapped when he landed smoothly.
We got a ride to Mt Somers Village by an older gentleman. I felt a bit shy and in the clouds so I held the pinecone close to my heart for some grounding. He took us on a quick detour to show us a house that had some professional hedge work done, then dropped us off at the store where I bought myself an ice cream and Orange got himself a couple of meat pies. The woman at the register was really fond of the pinecone I was still holding.
“Would you like to have it?” I asked.
“No, I can’t take your pinecone,” she said.
“Yes, you can,” I replied. “I was going to give it to the guy who gave me a ride but then he talked about using it for kindling.”
She accepted my pinecone happily and promised she wouldn’t burn it.
“I’ll know if you did,” I threatened.
I went to remove the leaf out of my yoni and Tara was right! It worked like a charm! It absorbed all of the blood with no leakage.
Then, we walked over to the junction and waited to get a ride to Geraldine which was a little slow going. Suddenly, Lenses showed up! She got dropped off by someone and joined us in hitching! I was stoked to be reunited.
We did handstands to pass time which we all found a bit scary finding the faith in being momentarily upside down. We laughed hysterically as we switched turns in trying to grab each others legs in order to hold the position.
There was a big tour bus that was about to head our direction.
“Quick! Do a handstand fo them!” Orange said.
“I can’t do one under that kind of pressure!” I yelled.
“Jus do it!”
I placed my hands into the grass and kicked my legs up as Orange caught my ankles and held me there. I was busting out laughing, about to pass out.
The bus passed by and he let go of his grip.
Lenses goes, “People were laughing and had their mouths open. The bus driver was clapping!”
Eventually we got picked up by a young search and rescue guy who worked in the local area. He said he got called to do a rescue about 5 times a week!
“How many of them are American?” Orange asked.
“You know, not many. A lot of ‘em are from the Philippines,” he said. “They go out into the mountains and are unaware of how suddenly the weatha can shift, then they get caught up in it with not much of experience of navigating. They’re often not wearin’ the correct attire, eitha.”
We arrived to Geraldine and booked a shitty hotel room for the night that reminded me so much of the place Voodoo and I stayed at in Maine before I ran away. It smelled old, had antique light fixtures and stains on the carpets, but to me those were the hotels I preferred. They had more character. I was normally drawn away from the very expensive and shiny new places.
We walked over to a gas station that supposedly had the best ice cream in town. They would triple size their scoops and it was beyond cheap! After that, we went to get Indian food, but just as we were about to enter the building, we saw an older couple walking with a poodle dog that had the cutest haircut. It had booties cut around its paws. We began to pet her and told the owners they had a beautiful dog. The woman thanked us and upon hearing her talk, I noticed she had a thick European accent so I asked where she was from.
“Ukraine,” she said.
Then she went on a long spiel about the Soviet Union, how she arrived to New Zealand by following her heart and the way she found God after being an atheist her whole life. The story was sweet and we had goosebumps listening to it, however her husband was clearly giving signs that he was growing impatient. He was doing the passive aggressive blinking thing, signaling he wanted to move on with their day. Orange and I made eye contact with one another, on the verge of laughing because we could see her husband trying to get his wife to stop sharing her life story with us. It seemed it must’ve happened a lot. After about thirty minutes, we cut the conversation.
I felt grateful coming back to a warm, dry room after we ate. We propped the window open using my trekking poles for some fresh air, then splayed out all of our hiking gear around the room to dry. It was one of my favorite looks—hiker trash explosion in shitty motel rooms.