1/8 Postal Relay, Ostrich Answers.

Layover at Amethyst Motor Lodge

I tossed and turned for awhile last night, unable to fall asleep initially, and wake up full of awareness for what all needs completed today. I make coffee and type until I can’t ignore our pile of resupply components any longer. I count and divide and figure and heft until finally there are 5 boxes heaping with little clear ziplocks of food: potato flakes, dried peas, pasta, vacuum-sealed olives, tomato paste, rice noodles, curry paste, coconut milk powder, 3 kinds of dried mushrooms, miso paste, couscous, gnocchi, pesto, rice, lentils, pumpkin soup, cashews, peanuts, dried peaches figs and dates, soy crisps, granola bars, baked oaty bars, raw balls, spinach tortillas, tuna packets, peanut butter, honey, granola, almond milk powder, instant coffee, hot cocoa, black licorice, ginger nuts, chocolate bars, vitamins. Our portioned sustenance for 4 weeks.

We dump out each box in turn and neatly repack it to the smallest possible dimension, add in toilet paper and ibuprofen, then cut the box down and tape it. Next comes the part I’m dreading: calling each receiving location to confirm details. Everything checks out perfectly except one place, the last. Lake Coleridge Lodge will be too complicated and too inflexible to use, even though I understand their terms and conditions from the business owner’s perspective; luckily we patch together a work around and find an I-Site that will accept our package in the town of Methven, which leads to a logistics solution of a river crossing that will save us close to $200. Voila!

It takes two trips to the postal counter in the mall’s book store, hauling our boxes across the bustling highway. The clerk there seems first amused, then interested in what the hell we are doing with this many heavy and tape reinforced boxes. He runs all the possible permutations to find the cheapest mailing method, and wishes us luck.

Back in the room, we send some emails, double check logistics, and cross things off lists. Prana goes out to retrieve a pizza (a squid and mussel pizza, yum!) for dinner and we alternate stints in the hot spa tub, taking two long baths each.

I succeed in editing and uploading all of my blog entries through the end of the Tararua Range. That was more than I hoped for. While I am really enjoying the motivation to practice disciplined writing, and happy that it’s a way to keep family up to date with stories from this trip, it does at times feel like a chore, and I finally kick back to read for the first time in ages. I read a few selections from a blog I love, Carrot Quinn’s Dispatches From The Wild; I just can’t risk starting a really good book. (If you need more trail blog reading google her and read her WRHR, KCBHR, L2H, and Hayduke pages.) I finish rereading Hikertrash by Erin Miller. I watch a few canyoneering videos. I research ostriches.

Here is what I learn about ostriches. They do a courtship dance to attract a mate, and when they are reared by humans, they focus their courtship efforts on humans. The description and video perfectly matches the ostrich’s display in Taumarunui. Well. I can’t decide which I would prefer to be faced with: an aggressively territorial ostrich, or an aggressively amorous ostrich. I guess I’ll have the cake, please. Did humans ever raise Moas?!

I finally force myself to put my phone down and try to sleep, even though I don’t feel tired at all.

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