I often wondered where I’d end up on December 14th while walking the Te Araroa. I’m so happy to wake up in the Tongariro National Park – and to be packed and moving right before the rain revved up again.
Last night’s spot was perfect to look up the valley and watch the thunderstorms. But I literally turn a corner and glacier-covered Ruapehu reveals herself in all her grandeur, a small trail of fog circling like a boa. I saw her flat top all the way from Mt. Puerora days and days ago. The snow is fresh, white, gleaming against the blue gray of her folds. She’s in my sights as I negotiate a severely eroded trail – an accident waiting to happen.
I’m up and packing at 3 am. Friends, there are stars out. Glory Hallelujah. Fingers crossed we make the crossing before the storms come. Dark gives way to gray splashed with orange, a long road walk and it begins.