Friday, April 17, 2015

mount john summit

I am literally having trouble finding the words to describe this place/day/hike/moment/feeling.

This was possibly one of my favorites days, ever.
Like in the history of my whole entire life.

I guess I should first introduce everyone.
Everyone, this is the summit of Mount John.
That down below?
That's Lake Tepako, or Lake T as we took to calling it because we could just not figure out how to pronounce it correctly. 
Over yonder in the distance?
Those are the Southern Alps.

Okay, now that everyone is acquainted... I still don't know what to say.
Except, maybe: LOOK! BREATHTAKING! HARD! GO! SEE! CLIMB! SIT! ADMIRE! 
Phew, I am glad we got that out of the way.

I have been postponing writing this post and looking at these photos because I knew that no matter what I did, I could never do this place/day/hike/moment/feeling justice, so I guess instead of trying, I'll just tell you all about this place/day/hike/moment/feeling instead and see what happens.

Mount John kicked my booty, and I have been working my booty hard this last year running, running, running.

The endeavor to get to the top of this mountain was a challenge
I huffed. 
I puffed. 

I took more than one extended breather photo opportunity stop, but I liked that.

No, I loved it.

I have been working so hard to get healthier and fitter, and I liked that I could do something that I am not sure I could have done one year ago. I liked that my legs burned as we steadily climbed up, but I liked even more that I knew I could make it to the top. I liked knowing that I possessed the resilience and strength and will to make it to the top of anything. 

This mountain made me proud of myself and everything I have worked so hard for this past year, and that felt... well, the word good does not come close to capturing it. 

I liked even better that the moment of victory, when Lake T spread out before us, was totally worth the sweat and burn, and I am not gonna lie; when we finally crested the last hill and this was the view, my inner dork emerged and the only thing I could hear over the wind was the Lord of the Rings soundtrack.

And then I fell in love with this place/day/hike/moment/feeling even harder.

But it was even more than that.

My dad is no longer of this world but for this place/day/hike/moment/feeling he absolutely was.

He was everywhere.
And in some ways, this was for him.
This place/day/hike/moment/feeling.
I know he would have been awed by this.
I knew it would have moved him, just like it moved me.
And because of that, I was him and he was me.
And unless you've lost someone who was a part of you, you just will not know what I am talking about, but these moments matter so much.

...

Do you see what I mean?

Word vomit is the best I can give you for this place/day/hike/moment/feeling.

For some people, Mount John and Lake T and the Southern Alps might just be another pretty place and another pretty hike. I am not most people. 

So, there.

That was the best I could do. 


Check out the Sunday Traveler and Travel Tuesday for more travel stories!

14 comments

  1. Good on you!!! All of those breather stops, er photo ops were worth it!!

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  2. Stunning! And how awesome that you're working hard to get your booty into shape. Doesn't it feel incredible to be able to climb something like that and see those views from the top? I loved this post, the pictures, and the sentiment. And as a former Taipei expat, I especially loved that it came from a blogger who's currently in Taiwan. :)

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    1. Yay for Taiwan expats! And thank you! It feels amazing every.single.time I go running and prove to myself that I am so much stronger than I ever gave myself credit for! It's seriously the best ego boost in the entire world! Looking at your blog, I am sure you get that :)

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  3. Beautiful views! I'm glad the 'photo opportunity stops' paid off.

    And that picture with your hair all windblown is totally adorable. That's what I like to think I look like when I am hiking on a windy day. In reality, I just look like I've been zapped with static electricity.

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    1. Awe, thanks! Sometimes the static electricity look is inevitable. But I think there is something so beautiful about those moments too. They are real and not posed.

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  4. Super beautiful! I full adopt the photo op strategy when attempting to do anything physical too :D

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    1. :)

      Maybe we need to do a PNW hike together over summer and take lots of photo stops.

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  5. Oh that is amazing! I congratulate you on making it to the top and what an inspiring story to read about your adventure up. I know how it feels to accomplish a hard hike that happened to me when I went to see a waterfall in Yosemite and there's no other feeling when you finally make it to the top and take in the glory of seeing the magnificent views and the feeling of accomplishment. Great post!

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    1. Thanks! I would love to see your photos! Do you have a link??

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  6. This looks absolutely wonderful and well worth the hike! I've nominated you for the liebster award :) read more here: http://wanderingwelshie.com/?p=413 :)

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    1. That was so nice of you! I will be sure to do this soon :)

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  7. Good for you! Sounds like you really deserved that view in the end, after the work you put in on the day and before, those views are one epic reward.

    I loved reading this post, I love the rawness and honesty in your description of this day. Also, having lost my father two years ago, I know exactly how that feeling is. Sometimes the people are with us, and it's a wonderful feeling.

    ~ K

    www.crumbsinthebed.com

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    1. xx

      Sometimes, as I am sure you know, it's hard to express what these moments feel like or mean. It's always so nice to come across someone who can truly understand!

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