Day 17. To the peak!

9:54 pm

First of all I wanted to say sorry for leading all wrong! I told you C.S. Lewis himself narrated the book. The book started over and I heard him say it was read by another guy. My bad.

Second of all. I need to post pictures with my donors names on them, just haven’t had the signal to do so. Igor, I almost forgot about yours. 🙂 Buuut I didnt.

Third of all. Without solid signal it will take a long time to post pics in the blog, but I should have them up and linked soon. Tomorrow I guess will be a long day but I will have to be at a campground I was before because there isn’t really any huts left because they figure it should be easy enough hiking downnn the mountain.

Last but not least, Thara Sekar (aka Tarrrfishhhh, Tar t tarr tarrrr) is who I will be hiking for today! Today is also her Birthdayyyy! Happy Birthday!! I met Tara working at Stereo D. Ok. So. there are people from India who stay together in cliques and then there are those that do not. Those that do not clump together with their own for comfortability are the most open minded ones. No offense to the clumpers, they just like to be comfortable and there’s nothing wrong with that. Tara frequently steps out of her comfort zone to meet new people. I think that’s why we became good friends. We don’t really judge people unless we know them already. Lol 🙂 She is very sweet, shy, and sensitive girl. LOVES new experiences and want to try everything at least once. Sounds familiar!

She wanted to dedicate this day to 2 people.

Rayza. Her very best friend who developed a brain tumor in 2013. The most amazing person she ever knew. Rayza isolated herself from everyone after she found out about her diagnosis. Tara figures she didn’t have the strength to accept it and even with all the treatments she passed away a few months later. Those are the kind of people I do this for. The people who quit life after hearing the big C word. I want people to see it can be ok! It can even be better than before! I need to make a video and make it mandatory to watch when anyone gets their diagnosis of Cancer. Might soften the blow a bit? Or at least people can come to me with questions, I know a lot about brain Cancer, but any kind of radiation or chemo questions are good too. Sorry Tarfish, side rant!

The second person was her Grandmother. She passed away November 12th, 2017 from stomach Cancer. She fought it the first time and won. She was brought back to health quickly actually. It came back October 2017 and it spread throughout her body and only made it a few weeks. She spent her last days with her grandchildren, family, and friends. She died peacefully and had a good life. She was the best grandmother and we will cheer on her life today instead of her death. Ill be hiking for them both today.

Bloggin:

Today I pretty much slept in, I knew I didn’t have a long way to go to get to the next hut. A sign said 2-3 hours but I also knew that it was the biggest elevation climb in the shortest amount of distance I had done in the last few days. The next hut only had 4 bunk beds but was first come first serve. I wasn’t sure if the couples were going to stay at that hut at the top or just make a long day of it and tramp allll the way back down in one day. As I was almost ready there was a couple came in about 2pm? (Yea I left late) Check the place out and decided they would just head up to the higher hut since it was close enough and early enough in the day. Then another couple came right as I was getting ready to leave they were out of breath and sweating but stopped to have a bite to eat and decided to head up also. They said they would save me a bunk bed. Lol It was a nice thought but I knew I would get up there close to last anyway. Finally headed out after trying to upload those pictures to the blog. Each picture was taking 3-4 minutes. So I had to keep my phone in the air in front of me to get the best signal and some of them kept failing! Ughhh. I have to go. I loaded a few at the top then counted the pictures heading to the bottom. I think I had 11 pictures. Calculated like 45 minutes except for some panoramas would take much longer. When I get to the bottom tomorrow Ill spend some serious time social media’ing. I will have to upload and link all the pictures I put in this one as well, because the hut I’m in, once again has no signal. Outside I can get very little.

I think I left about 2..or 3? I see a time stamp of the hut at 5pm. So it took me a few hours..

The steepness of the trail forced me to a breather every about 53 steps. Specific! It was an average. This is like legs day / stair climber every day. Sweating and panting…stopping frequently I can see the hut. I thought it would be at the peak or at least higher up for some reason? There were the 2 couples that stopped in before I left just hanging outside in the sun chatting. I panted “Hello again” and just dropped my pack and sat down. It honestly looked like I peed myself. My shirt was once again soaked and my entire crotch area was wet. (Does that count as my TMI for the day? ‘Too much info’). I attempted to be more social this time around. They were talking about being in the armed forces innnn Iran…? Or one of those counties over there. I chimed in and asked questions whenever I felt necessary. Arabs maybe…? Sigh I wish I could remember better. One couple had been from there and the other couple was from some place in Canada because they were speaking French. They blur together, I’m not sure. As we were talking another couple came up the trail looking exhausted. I hadn’t even been in the hut yet, but they set their packs outside and walked in to check the place out. They came back out a little bit later and started to setup their tent. They really didn’t say too much. I walked in after and was pleasantly surprised with the amount of room there was. All the bunk beds were taken but I could at least have my own side room of a wooden floor. Hey its inside at least!

Pictures of the hut:

I had decided after a relatively short break that I wanted to see the top of the mountain. It might be only a 45 min climb. I was eager to see the top mainly because I didn’t need to take much. I grabbed what water I had, some snacks, and my drone and go pro. Wow, it was soo light! This is how the kiwis feel tramping up a mountain!

In this picture I was up a little bit and took a picture down. If you zoom into the center right of the picture you can see the hut.

You will defiantly need to revisit these blogs after I can get the pictures up because the pictures look like postcards…seriously. You know I try to use filters to put on Instagram or facebook and they never look as good as the original thing.

I also encounter snowww! I guess most of it melted but a few patches up here.

I am basically at par with most of the mountains around. There are only a few that have tons of snow on the top and poke through clouds that you cant see the tops of. No one else at the hut plans on coming up here. I don’t understand why. You made it this far, you only have a teeny way to get to see the top! Nope. I made it up the trail relativelyyy easy. I approached one side of the mountain and it was a drop off, yet I wanted to get up to the highest peak. There had been a trail all along, and I saw a small one looking like it wrapped up the other side of the mountain. Alright, lets try that. It got steeper and steeper, and the ground included squishy dirty, and loose gravel and shale rocks. The kinds you can see all giving out at a once. I tried to stay on as much chunks of grass as I could because I knew at least they had roots and wouldn’t give out from underneath me. I could see the trail go from thin to nothing now. It was getting a bit more hairy as some of the light rocks under my feet would roll down the mountain a bit. That’s steep. I had planned to climb until I literally had to climb then I would turn back. I might have pushed it a bit far and got to a drop off and could go no further. I needed water but didn’t want to let go of my poles or take my backpack off. I made a short video and took some pictures while sitting on a ridge of dirt and grass.

I took some deep breaths and a short prayer. You know what’s worse about going up? Getting down. Climbing is one thing because your face is facing the rocks, but being forced to face down the steep mountain is another thing altogether. I sit there for a while and choose the best path and also see there is a small trail going up the mountain beside me. Maybe Ill do that to be able to see the top. My ultimate goal was to be able to do a 360 and not have to look up at anything taller I could have climbed up. I had to at least focus on getting back to flat ground again. Verrry slowly and steadily I used my poles while mainly on my butt to head down. I poked at each pole spot several times to make sure it was solid. Scaring ya aren’t I? 🙂 After 20 minutes I’m back where the trail was and I feel much safer now. I think I honestly had less fear bunji jumping. Lol. I had contemplated going down and around and up that other mountain. Wait a second….why did I need to take myself to the top, I had my drone on me! Boom, plopped down and got the goods out. Besides some of the advanced follow features, I think I have it pretty well down. I snap some pictures with it and get a lot of good footage. You know before I could even fly the thing, my phone said a update was available. (Oh, I had amazing signal at the top by the way but it got really cold because of the wind up there. I was also worried about getting back to the hut before the sun went down. Soo no time to social media anything. ) The drone needs the controller and the drone to have the same update version on them both. I made the mistake of saying ok to download the update not realized it had to download 2 updates and install both. As soon as the first update went through, I saw the second one coming and said nope. I don’t think I’ll have enough time. I exited the app and restarted the drone. Sigh…I wont let me fly it till the versions are the same… UGHHHHH DJI!! I’m on a mountain with this drone and I’m updating the software…on the side of a mountain! I say fine download the huge update and it super slowly installs to the drone, which the phone needs to have enough battery, the controller needs at least 50% battery and the drone needs at least 50% battery. It takes 25 minutes. Seriously. At least I have another spare battery that is 75% full cuz this update about killed the drone battery. Finished! Slap the new battery in and get ready to take off. Of course I had plenty of time to think of pictures and video I would like to get.

Here’s an amazing shot of yours truly on a boulder from the drone. ..

I know i know, you cant see it. You will definitely have to come back to look again later. It’s epic!

I do my rounds with the drone and the controller starts to beep that the drone battery is at 30% which is considered low. I could change it to less if I wanted to, but why, its just a caution and I get it back pretty quickly.

Pack it all away and head down the mountain again. I cant stop taking pictures..

You can see the huts in this picture.

I get back in time to see everyone out preparing the watch the sunset… I quickly go cook some food and set my phone down on a tripod to get a time lapse. A few of us chat while watching it go down and its a nice moment of solitude and triumph for me. I went further than anyone had up that mountain and got some amazing shots and still get to see this amazing sunset with some hot food. I count that as a big win in my book.

One thing about the sun going down…it REALLY gets cold fast. I setup my air mattress and sleeping bag. Everyone went to bed at 9:30pm. One of the couples said before I went up the rest of the mountain if they could see my photos when I got back so they didn’t have to. They were just playing cards at the table when I left. As it cold too cold to sit outside I came inside to eat at the table and I lit 2 candles that were on the table. I overheard her say to the others that she set her alarm for 1am to go out and get some pictures of the stars. She has a Cannon with a pretty large lens. I have been typing quietly at the table with my jacket, t-shirt, thermal top, pants, thermal bottoms, gloves on and hood up. My fingers are freezing and so are my toes. Both candles went out about 20 minutes ago.

Picture of the sunset over the mountains.

Kinda spooked..just heard an animal running around full speed on the front deck and ran into the door. Changed my red head lamp to white and peered out the window…nothing there. Hm. Red makes it easier on other peoples eyes so when I go into the bedroom my light shouldn’t wake them.

Thoughts:

Today I learned that I’m the turtle in the rabbit and the turtle race story. Probably not the right fairy tale name.

Pause: I just heard the animal again. I turn around and look out the window again. It’s sitting on the railing. Fat cat sized animal, with large ears, a gray body and black tail. He is just racing back and forth across the porch.

Shivering now.

As the turtle, I will always finish the race. I might take a bit longer, but ill be there and probably beat you in the end.

It’s kind of sad that my motivational part is at the end, because thats when I’m the most tired and cold. Might think about changing that.

I also like the phrase..that ‘I am faith fueled’. I like the sound of that.

Not much motivation.

I need to wake up at a good time to get out so I can get back down in a good time.

Ill post this tomorrow when I have signal.

12:12am

4 Comments on “Day 17. To the peak!

  1. You will do it Kevin! Stay positive and focused on why you are doing this. You’re a miracle in itself and you’re meant to experience miracles yourself. Big hug!!!

  2. Really enjoying your blog Kevin!

    The strange cat animal is a Possum haha, harmless and kinda cute looking but introduced from Australia and a pest to our Native Forrest.

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