April 10, 2011In case you were wondering or had any doubts, running uphill in stiff leather boots while carrying a massive backpack is extremely painful. The boat was scheduled to depart from Sandfly Point [appropriately named] at exactly 2pm to take us across the Milford Sound to catch the shuttle back to town. I started hiking at 7:15am and discovered that 6.5 hours is not enough time to hike 11.5miles. Now I know, for next time.
Racing to the end meant everything that had been good was suddenly not: my camera was a nuisance swinging around my neck, magical views were distracting, food was a complication buried somewhere in my bag, waterfalls and moss made rocks slick, pretty birds got in my way, and fascinating fungi became my embarrassing obsession. The last day was my least favorite day.
It is astonishing how many hours I spent by myself over the last few days and how little I have thought about. Hiking in extreme conditions is clarifying, not because of what you process mentally but because of what you plan out physically. Staying upright while tramping through a precarious landscape demands strict attention and feet more durable than my own. I did not fall but I did destroy my feet.
Started hiking at sunrise, the clouds were low.
A few falls.
Things are growing.
So close to Sandfly Point.