Long views…

This is my latest story.  It’s abut the tramp that Dad and I went on the other day.  Please tell me if you like it.

Long views

Slowly I trudge up the steep, narrow, winding dirt path.  My pack is heavy on my back, my calves burn and my hair is wet with sweat.  The track is not an easy one.  Underfoot stones threaten to crumble at any point, if they do, I will be sent sprawling back down the track.  The hut taunts me in the distance.  Slowly, carefully, I walk on towards it, one step after another.  My pack sticks to my back, slick with sweat; the hot sun beats down; and a slight breeze rustles around me, causing bushes and shrubs to gently sway as I walk past.  I step on a stone, jarring my ankle.  The short, sharp pain calls me back from my over imaginative imagination, back to the track.  The world around me is quiet.  Birds twitter softly in the trees and the rushing of water is just audible far below.

The track turns sharply and I turn with it.  If I kept going straight I’d find myself falling down a scree to my right.  Falling down, down, down the scree.  Falling down would be a fatal move, as the scree drops steeply and crashes to an end many, many metres below in a sea of rocks.

Now the track slopes steeply upwards.  I grit my teeth against the burn of my calves, plunging myself back into my thoughts.  My thoughts are of the walk.  Of what I smell, see, taste, hear and feel.  They’re of the smell of the warm shrubbery; the spectacle of the forests around me and the highways below; the taste of the air, warm and damp on my tongue as I lick my bone dry lips; the beautiful vocals of the singing, twittering and calling birds; and the texture and feel of the vibrant green bushes and shrubs I pass.  The warm shrubs smell sweet and earthy.  They let off a distinctive smell, not a smell easily described.  The smell is welcoming, calming and sends me deeper still into my thoughts.  The views around me are stunning, a fine spectacle.  They’re views that only very few people will ever see. Every way I look there is a different view.  One way there’s a beech forest, another there are towns and fields.  Each view is unique, completely different to the last.  I taste the air, it has a peculiar taste.  A slightly damp taste.  The dampness is mingled with the taste of the heat of the sun that beats down upon the land, going on for miles and miles, right out to the sea just visible on the horizon.  The taste of the heat is sweet but a little like the scent of the shrubbery, severely difficult to define as one thing. My lips, bone dry from the sun, taste, as I lick them, of the sickly-sweet lip-balm that once kept them damp.  I hear the birds in the trees all around me.  They sing and call quietly to one another, their beautiful songs filling the air.  Each leaf I touch feels different to the last.  Each has a different texture, a different shape.  Some are rough, others soft and some spiky.  I run my fingers gently over each bush at arm height, feeling the difference between them.  Snow grasses brush my legs as I pass, cold but calming in a way.

The track eases back onto the flat and the burn in my calves calms to just a twinge.  My step speeds up slightly as I walk along the flat, enjoying myself now.  I know that the track will climb steeper still though.

My eyes follow the track ahead of me, but by now my mind is miles away again.  I think of all the people who will never get to see what I see now.  It is clear by the look of the unworn, lumpy track that not many people come up here.  The views are breathtaking, looking far out over the Ranges.  Cars crawl below, seemingly smaller than ants, minuscule specks in the distance.  Fields stretch out around them, each a slightly different green, yellow or brown, sometimes sitting with a house in their centre.  The views get murkier as they stretch further and further out, the fields and houses merge into a faint green line, heading out to the far away sea.  The view from other perspectives are again utterly unique. The forests and vegetation on each ridge around me is different.  On the track the vegetation is dark green, speckled here and there with gold, sun-crisped bushes.  The ridge to my left is filled with green beech trees and on the right there is a long rocky scree.

Quite suddenly the track slants steeply upwards once more.  I dig my toes into the ground and walk to the top of the slope.  The hut is close, just sitting there and I continue on towards it.

A bitter wind creeps in around me and I shiver.  The sun still beats down but the wind cools it slightly.  My back is still slick with sweat but I continue along to path toward the hut, knowing that once there I will be able to take off the pack and relax slightly.

The track is flatter now and my calves don’t burn so much.  A sign appears in the distance and I walk towards it, keen to find out what it says.  It reads ‘← Longview Hut 5 mins’.  I turn and walk along the track that it points to.  The track towards the hut drops sharply and I slip, regaining my balance just in time to straighten up.  Cautiously I continue down.  The hut is now right before me.  It sits there, pale yellow and green, in the tranquil landscape.  I jog the last few steps towards it, pleased to finally have arrived.

Dad walks up behind me as I open the door and, taking my shoes off, I walk inside.  The single roomed hut is dark but somehow warm and welcoming.  I drop my pack and sit at the small table in the centre of the hut, admiring the view stretching out far below me through the large windows.  The walk had been shorter and easier than I had expected, but I am still tired.

Ten minutes later I stand up, ready to head to the peak above the hut.  I follow Dad out the door and put my shoes back on.  I wander up the track after him back the way I’d just come.  Following a small track dotted with possum traps I walk up towards the mountain in the distance.  The rocks sitting at its peak have earned it its name, Rocky Knob.  There is no track up to the peak and I battle my way through the shrubbery and moss on the ground.  I get to the peak of the mountain and look around.  The views from all sides are awe-strikingly beautiful.  1,226 metres above sea-level they are better than most.

A chilling wind sends us back to the hut after a while.  The wind is getting up and clouds start to cover the views out of the hut’s window.  The clouds move fast and soon the mountains and views are covered with white.  All of a sudden world has disappeared and only a few metres of land on every side of the hut are visible.  The clouds are cold and nip at me as I step outside to check how cold it is.

Dad cooks pasta and sauce on his cooker for dinner.  The smell fills the hut.  It’s a creamy smell and the flames from the cooker heat the hut.

After I’ve eaten I watch the sky outside getting darker.  It stays grey as I unroll my sleeping bag and get in.  The sleeping bag is warm and I’m lulled into a sense of contentment.

My thoughts once again wander.  I wonder about tomorrow.  I wonder about everything happening at the moment and, lost in thought, fall asleep, ready to begin the day fresh tomorrow.

Nos vemos…




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