Two cuppa hike

I feel slightly guilty at wanting to get AWAY from my family on Mother’s Day weekend, but that’s exactly what I was craving.  A day without the incessant “Why, why Mom?” or “What?  What, Mom?”   I distinctly remember when Milo was 2 looking forward to him learning some language, and other Moms warning me that once he learned to talk, all I’d want was quiet….well, their prophesy has come true.

This morning I drove up to Arthur's Pass, nearly two hours of uninterrupted podcasts, only to find the valley shrouded in low cloud.  I climbed up through the beech forest gloom, wishing I'd picked another day to walk Bealey Spur, reputedly a lovely ridge walk with spectacular views.

This morning I drove up to Arthur’s Pass, nearly two hours of uninterrupted podcasts, only to find the valley shrouded in low cloud. I climbed up through the beech forest gloom, wishing I’d picked another day to walk Bealey Spur, reputedly a lovely ridge walk with spectacular views.

The lichens are spectacular in the fog.  Maybe it's the closed-in feeling or maybe it's the gentle quality of the light, but these beech forest adornments are brilliant in the mist.

The lichens are spectacular in the fog. Maybe it’s the closed-in feeling or maybe it’s the gentle quality of the light, but these beech forest adornments are brilliant in the mist.

A luxury of hiking alone is the ability to stop and scrutinize plants (in this case lichens, which are really fungi and algae living together).

A luxury of hiking alone is the ability to stop and scrutinize plants (in this case lichens, which are really fungi and algae living together).

I'm still not sure what these pink fruits are.  These tiny plants put forth a massive effort at reproduction, proportional to their size.

I’m still not sure what these pink fruits are. These tiny plants put forth a massive effort at reproduction, proportional to their size.

As I climbed the cloud started to thin and sunspots appeared, illuminating the beaches festooned with their old man's beard lichen.

As I climbed the cloud started to thin and sunspots appeared, illuminating the beaches festooned with their old man’s beard lichen.

These sassy orange berries glowed in the clearing fog.

These sassy orange berries glowed in the clearing fog.

The beech forest feels a bit like home to me, at least a bit like that subalpine birch zone in the Adirondacks where the lichens bedeck the branches.  Lots of greenery, makes the heart glad!

The beech forest feels a bit like home to me, at least a bit like that subalpine birch zone in the Adirondacks where the lichens bedeck the branches. Lots of greenery, makes the heart glad!

Ah, the first "cuppa" stop.  As per usual, Kiwis shorten anything in language that is more than two syllables long, so "cup of tea" becomes a "cuppa."  I sat my back against a rock in the warm sun and watched the clouds thinning below as I hugged my cup of tea.

Ah, the first “cuppa” stop. As per usual, Kiwis shorten anything in language that is more than two syllables long, so “cup of tea” becomes a “cuppa.” I sat my back against a rock in the warm sun and watched the clouds thinning below as I hugged my cup of tea.

Next to me the tussock grasses were flowering, and I had time to notice.

Next to me the tussock grasses were flowering, and I had time to notice.

Clouds have evaporated enough to see the Waimakariri river down below.

Clouds have evaporated enough to see the Waimakariri river down below.  I could hear a kia.

Winter is coming--the Southern Alps are capped in snow, and in the shade the mud is frosty.

Winter is coming–the Southern Alps are capped in snow, and in the shade the mud is frosty.

There now, it's a brilliantly clear day.  I'm glad I came.

There now, it’s a brilliantly clear day with hardly a breath of wind. I’m glad I came.

Second "cuppa!"  It's so simple to stop when I'm hiking alone.  No admonishments about cliff edges, no wheeling and dealing over snacks.

Second “cuppa!” It’s so simple to stop when I’m hiking alone. No admonishments about cliff edges, no wheeling and dealing over snacks.

I’m happy to report that after a day to myself I came back to the kids and realized that if I was away from Milo and Naomi every day from 8 to 5, I’d really miss them.  I’d hardly see them.  And they won’t be little for long.  Even when the kiddiness wears a wee bit thin, being home with them a lot is a good compromise for this era of life.

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4 thoughts on “Two cuppa hike

  1. Everything you said in this post spoke volumes about the human need for space, alone time, companionship, love of self, nature, family. As usual thank you for sharing your lovely new land and memories with all of us.

  2. Great photos Molly. I Love the one of the bright berries in beach forest of greens and browns. It stands out like some mystical forbidden fruit. Glad you had a good day. Having some time for yourself is important too. Don’t feel guilty. I find if I can get a short break I come back to them more relaxed and attentive. It’s good for everyone.

  3. Beautiful photographs Molly! What a lovely gift for all of us. Wonderful that you had such a great respite. Happy Mothers Day.

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