Wooooohooooo Wiiiiiiwaaaaah! I'm in love with the Tararua's. This stretch can be the most difficult or most spectacular depending on weather conditions. Let's just say I got lucky.
I met a rad group of hikers that I'm proud to call lifelong friends. Since abandoning the YOYO attempt, I finally learned how to enjoy shorter distance days. This was the first time on any of my hikes that I camped before complete exhaustion. The first time I took an afternoon nap in the sun while listening to Rodriguez on a friends phone. I get it now. Thank you.
The morning climb up Mt. Crawford was one for the books. I literally inched through the clouds for a perfect view. This is the spot, I'm certain, where angels learn to fly. A buddy left me a bouquet of wild flowers and note of encouragement on my sad day. I know I'm exactly where I need to be, doing exactly what I need to be doing. The temperature begged us for a lunchtime swim in the river, followed by a spectacular candlelight dinner.
It's simple, really, to thru hike an entire country. You just have to put one foot in front of another and trust that you'll get to where you're supposed to go.