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January 28 2024, Princhester Road to Lower Princhester Hut:
“Te Anau is the coldest place in the country right now,” one of the guys in our room said as he packed up his gear.
I wasn’t going to stay another night just because of that. Cold weather I could handle, rain, not so much.
I stretched my arms and moaned, gently waking myself up. I looked down at the bunk across the room to find Elvis writing, shirtless and in his boxers looking so unintentionally seductive. I loved watching the way his fingers moved and the way his eyes would squint as he thought of words he wanted to use.
Ben decided he would hike the last section of trail with us. It was clear he really began to fancy Lenses and vice versa. They had become more cuddly, flirtatious and smiley with one another. So us three, along with the French Canadian couple, decided we would hitchhike back to trail together. But first, we said our goodbyes to everyone who decided to stay at Lily’s.
Elvis goes, “Tell me where you’re gonna be so I can catch you.”
“Mm, yeah, catch me on trail,” I bantered.
Everyone laughed.
“Is that correct vay to say?” he asked.
“It’s sort of slang,” I said, “I was implying it would be fun to be caught like a wild animal.”
I wrapped my arms around his neck then pulled him close into my body, hugging him goodbye for the meantime. How lovely, I didn’t know him a couple of days ago and now it felt I got lucky enough to catch a glimpse of such a mysterious man. Something about his reality passing through my own felt so otherworldly to me.
Our small group meandered to a food truck breakfast joint before we left town. Ben and I decided to get croissants from the store across the street. As we were leaving, I caught a sexy punk looking guy checking me out. He was absolutely delicious and the emo girl inside of me was squealing for a taste.
“I like your snakebites,” I said to him. “They fit you well.”
He began to stutter out a “thank you” followed by an awkward smile. He turned around to look me up and down again, his face blushing red.
When he was out of ear’s reach, Ben goes, “You made that guy so nervous that’s focking insane.”
“It happens all of the time,” I said, “that’s why I always make the moves on the guys because for the most part they don’t have the balls to come up to me. By the time they overthink talking to me, the moment is already gone.”
We stood outside waiting for the rain to slow down. The punk guy watched me in his car and I could feel him attempting to summon up the courage to make a move on me. It was as if I could feel mens’ thought processes before they approached me. After a couple of minutes he gave me a wink and hesitatingly drove off very slowly, as if waiting for me to run and stop him. Usually, I would, but I felt a bit annoyed to do so that time.
“And that’s why I approach guys first,” I said, “because I’m horny and they get in their heads too much.”
I was a traveler, I didn’t have the patience to tell myself the Universe would connect us again in due time. I’d rather take the moment as it came and actually make it happen rather than wait for it to unfold.
We hit the road and ended up separating our parties for an easier hitch. We got a lift straight away, then got dropped off at the junction by Sprig & Thistle café, and guess what they were selling?! INCEPTION COOKIES. Magic really did exist.
We put our stuff down at the picnic table and there we came across some bike-packers who were headed for Te Anau. It was a couple from Canada and another guy named Greg from Telluride whom I found really cute. He showed us hilarious bungee jumping videos, specifically of a guy who was screaming at the top of his lungs, dangling around like some noodle.
We started walking a gravel road for a few miles, appreciating that we didn’t have a climb right after taking several town days. Ben and Lenses walked hand in hand while he started to ask me about Elvis.
I began smiling profusely, recalling our time together.
“You smile like that when you get french toast,” Ben said.
I diverted the topic into only speaking about how fun our sexual experiences were, not much else.
“Do you feel like you need sex?” he asked.
“It’s a fine line, but yes I feel like I often do,” I said.
I felt some intensity arise over being seen and the patterns I apparently had suddenly being put on display. Maybe it wasn’t his intention but I felt exposed. It was often why I didn’t stick around people for too long because they would eventually find out I had these intense impulses that would lead to sabotaging myself along with the relationships I had with them. And something about that made me feel uncomfortable, probably because it was hard for me to look at that about myself and have compassion for the ways I seemed to bring about self-harm to my mind.
We made it to the hut and took over the beds. It became pretty crowded shortly after. Kasper, the French Canadian couple and another SOBO thru-hiker showed up. Lastly, a handsome dark skinned guy with lots of energy came rolling in. He was going to push on several miles after taking a quick break first. He took his pack off and gave me a sharp look.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
“Oh, you’re Freyja!“ he said, “I’ve been following your writing for a while.”
Ben looked at me and laughed because he knew I wrote naughty things in the logbook.
“How was your naked swim?” he asked.
“Which time?” I asked. “By myself or with the cute guy?”
“With the hot guy,” he corrected.
“Mm, it was a really good time,” I said, recalling his cock hanging before my face.
“Mhm, I bet,” he said. “What other trails have you hiked?“
“Pretty much all across America,” I said.
“Oh all across America? The big three?”
“Wow, which one are you doing next?”
“Small one, most likely the Pinhoti.”
“You gonna take me with you?“ he asked.
“I like hiking alone,” I said.
I could tell he felt put off guard, but I wasn’t rejecting him. What I said was true, but I wanted him to keep trying. I was only challenging him. I made sure to give him some seductive glances to let him know I wasn’t saying no to him. He returned the flirtatious eye contact.
He had a primal energy about him and looked at me in a way that told me he would fuck me right on the spot, Ben agreed. He left his info for me. Too bad he didn’t stay because I would’ve let him ravage me. It wasn’t as fun for me to plan things in advance.
A local kiwi guy named Andy stopped in for a few hours to talk to all of us thru-hikers. He seemed to know all about trail culture, having followed various hikers online along their journeys across America.
He brought up Covid and shared how different it was hiking in NZ during that time.
“How do ya think it is that some people got sick and others didn’t?” he asked. “Because I neva got sick.”
The room went still, so I decided to break the silence.
“It’s a mentality,” I said.
Everyone laughed assuming I was being sarcastic, but I was dead serious. I blatantly shared how I didn’t take any vaccine nor did I wear a mask, instead I went backpacking nearly full time and felt absolutely great. When I was in the woods, that chaos wasn’t even part of my reality, nor was it in most of the towns I had passed through.