This past week we carried on from Christchurch by way of Dunedin and Invercargill, and that carrying on was accomplished in proper road trip manner: lots of detours, cafe stops, perusing postcard racks, and pulling off on roadside overlooks. I'll put together a post of some of the travel-related findings once I've got a nice set.
We arrived at the doorstep of the Fjordland region on Wednesday and after a big dinner, I set out towards Milford Sound, stopping at the pull of for Key Summit. The guidebook approximated a 3 hour round trip journey and I started up the trail about 8:45 pm. I made it to the top in a bit more than an hour, fueled by hints and glimmers of the valley view awash in deepening sunset light. Above the tree line, euphoria (or "viewphoria"?) provided the last bit of adrenaline.
I stood on a little alpine meadow with thick, wet moss on every surface, a small, clear pond directly at my feet, and 360-degree views of snow capped mountains passing clouds between their peaks.
On the flight here, I read Alan Watts' "The Wisdom of Insecurity," in which he quotes Goethe on the second to last page:
"The highest a man can attain is wonder, and when the primordial phenomenon makes him wonder he should be content; it can give him nothing higher, and he should not look for anything beyond it; here is the limit."
I was alone in a foreign place, watching something unfold me that occurs everyday, but not once identically.
I watched the crescent moon crystallize out of the clearing haze, and saw the first, brightest stars emerge on the dark way down. I whistled my way back through the dark.