but what about second breakfast

but what about second breakfast

te araroa, 90 mile beach, day 1: november, 2016

Our elevensies game today was spot on.

After a fitful sleep riddled with a variety of colourful trailmares…

{Trailmare is a type of panic ridden vision that often tend to happen, to me anyways, before a big trip. Usually it deals with running out of water or food, running into a trail siren only to realize your capacity for speech had fled and you may or may not have been caught in the act of something abominable or some such scenario.}

This trailmare was blizzard but shared some key characteristics. We heard from the grapevine that there were some thieving possums around some beach campsite that had left some unfortunate trampers without their food bags. K2 and I did not hesitate to store the food in our tents when we decided to turn it in.

Usually, if you are hiking pretty much anywhere but in new Zealand, you should  not keep food in your tent, especially in North American back country. Hikers in sleeping bags are the soft tacos of the bear world, just saying.

Joke aside, we should always hang our food at least 50 yards on a fairly high branch or store it in a designated food locker to prevent an accident to ourselves and more importantly being responsible for having a bear or other precious wildlife killed on our behalf because of our carelessness. It is a bear, and she is hungry and probably have cubs to feed and those Snickers bars are delicious… Do the right thing!

But I digress. So my trail had to do with keeping food in the tent. No, it didn’t involve bears but something worse: hungry thru hikers!

I dreamt that two personalities from my Appalachian trail days had wandered into put campsite and proceeded to raid k2’s tent. K2 had decided that it was too crowded in her tent with all her food. So we had decided to put both our foods in one tent and use the other for sleeping. Before all our food were lost to hungry hikertrash–of you don’t know this term, font be offended, for it is an endearment. See my older AT blog for an explanation.–i woke thrashing in my tent. There after it was one fell dream after another and I decided to end it all and crawled out of my tent to a sun flexing her muscles through a fortress of rain clouds.

Relieved at the possibility of a sunny beach walk, K2 and I broke camp and headed along the coastal track, tracing fine silt deposits varigiated like the back of a diamondback rattle snake along endless ripples of firm beach sand.

The sand was so firm for miles on end it startled me at first to hear the mean purr of something mechanical behind me. To my surprise a squadron of motorcycles whizzed past us, greeting us in recognition.

And then there were trucks, two shirtless, lost German boys in a Volkswagen–how typical–tour buses and even lonesome drivers in compact SUVs who hurried past us from time to time.

Nobody stopped to offer us a beer, though. Shame!

We had our elevensies at a campsite near the bluffs, met some lovely local hikers and a German couple who were on a honey moon hike, had a nap and continued on the beach track to this slice of heaven.

Oh we met up with both Smeagol and Golem.

If you are thinking these are trail names, you assumed wrong.

On our first day we met a hiker from Kansas and later a speedy hiker from California.  Kansas hiker trailed us all the way from cape Reinga to our first stop. We kept looking back and making sure that he was with us. Whenever I didn’t see him I asked k2 whether she thought golem was still with us. When we met the hiker from California who leapfrogged us briefly until we caught up and passed him by we decided the more innocent of our two trailers would be Smeagol (kansas) and the speedy one would be golem.

I don’t think they would really appreciate these trail names.

However I am hoping to start a tend with these trail names. If a hiker whose name you don’t know continues to follow you for miles that one shall forever be known as Smeagol until further notice. Similarly Golem if she or he overtakes you and you haven’t had a chance to learn their name.

There, I have now explained the private joke hidden behind my titles for my journal entries

There is a nice ocean breeze outside, even behind these undulating sand dunes. And wild flowers too, impregnating the air with a mild perfume.

Tui birds are chirping outside and the rain clouds have swept past the beach.

My shoulders are going to scream at me the moment I put this phone down.


thru hiking is salty, thirsty work, i assure you

thru hiking is salty, thirsty work, i assure you

so it's a beach walk, eh

so it's a beach walk, eh