We hike along the rolling crystalline trails at Murphy’s Point, boots crunching in the fresh layer of snow and I am aware of how much I love being unplugged, even on a little trail, in a small wood, for a few stolen hours. It’s T minus one week until Gord and I lift off to New Zealand for a three month hiking adventure, and although more preparatory body-conditioning hikes would have been better, we have been busy and we have done what we can.
Gord is fiddling with his device and trying to sort out an app that will record and analyze every aspect of our little hike. I am reminded again, uneasily, of our completely different styles and preferences and hoping we can mesh them together enough to both get what we need in New Zealand. We each have pre-trip jitters but his concerns lean more towards the physical demands of the trail, being away for three months, and the fact that that there is no drive-through on the Te Araroa.
“It’s going to be so important to have good communication,” I say.
“Yes, we’ll have our own secret sign language”, he responds, “if I’m laying on my back with my feet behind my ears, it means I’ve fallen and I can’t get up. And if I’m laying face down in the dirt, it means that’s where we are camping tonight”. I can’t stop laughing.
After a few breezy hours we arrive back at the truck. Gord heaves off his pack and says, newly lightened, “at least I know I’ll have one happy moment a day for the next three months”.
I look stricken.
He pauses. “Just kidding,” he says. But I think he paused too long. Regardless, laughter is the best medicine; and if that fails there’s always Ibuprofen and/or Xanax.
Next post from New Zealand.