Mid Mish Bliss (Part Two) – Rangitata Valley

“On a Mish” #390 Mid Mish Bliss (Part Two). Rangitata Valley. Hakatere Conservation Park. 17.1.2024. The wilderness provides so much more to humans than just fitness. To sit surrounded by sweet serenity soothes the soul in a special way. After a few years out of the outdoors I returned, at first to work as a guide, and then as an enthusiast who would need to venture out as often as possible…

Everything came to a crashing halt when I had my hip injury, and yet I still found a way to get my mountain fix. The death of my very special dog made me think I might not venture out on my own ever again, but I knew that he would be happier if I was out doing what I love. Mid mish bliss is missed if time goes by and signs and sounds of mankind are all you experience. I didn’t realize it, but I needed to get out now more than ever. Any reluctance I had to go out was washed away just like the 4wd track out onto the Rangitata Riverbed used to be. The mighty CR-V had got me to a spot much more epic than first expected, and the wilderness was working its magic.

I had to sit out the first hour or so in the car due to very windy conditions. I knew I had many hours of daylight left so I hoped the unexpected wind would ease. While waiting I enjoyed my dinner, a small walk, and a unique view of the mountains I knew so well. Eventually the wind calmed down and I could get my tent up without anything going flying.

I was now mid mish, and as the sunset began to colour the sky I was really loving the simple bliss I had found way out on the Rangitata Riverbed. While the sun did its thing, I had thoughts of how much cooler this would have been if I also had my little sidekick with me. Ernie would have loved this spot, and he could have explored and chased rabbits until I would have had to spoil the fun. I’m positive that I won’t be able to go another mission again without having sad thoughts about my fallen friend.

With the first stars starting to appear I retreated to the warmth of my sleeping bag and the trickle of Powerhouse Stream outside my tent. After a couple of months of very little motivation I could feel the need to go outdoors often starting to flow back into my bloodstream.

Early-ish the next day I woke to the sound of my alarm. The comforting warmth of my sleeping bag was encouraging me to stay wrapped up, but my bladder was telling me it was time to get up. Thankfully my morning duties were accompanied by the surreal surroundings I dream about when stuck back in Christchurch. My next task was to watch another stunning sunrise on the Rangitata Riverbed, and it is safe to say I was up to the task!

After watching life begin its day in Hakatere I packed up and began to prepare myself for a return to a populated area. As I made my way over the Canterbury Plains, I realized what I had been missing over the last couple of unmotivated months. The loss of my dog was and will forever be heartbreaking and there will never ever be another Ernie. But there will always be the wilderness, and for now that will be my companion (for now…) whenever I go on a mish…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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