Russell Kirkpatrick's Journal
Episode 1: Russell Climbs Mt Te Aroha
I'm on a quest to reconnect with the natural landscape. For twenty years or so I've been busy, too busy to walk or climb or stop and watch. It's affecting my writing: I've searched for inspiration and come up empty. So I'm going out there and soaking in the landscape. Let's see what happens.
I've been out a few times already and have decided to report. These episodes are not in chronological order.
Climbing a mountain sounds dramatic, but in fact Russell actually walked up the access road to the TV repeater station on top of the mountain. Mt Te Aroha is the highest peak in these parts, about 1000m high, and there are said to be fabulous views from the summit.
I'm not very fit, so I thought I'd walk up the gentle access road rather than the steep bush track. I began early in the morning - before 7am - and arrived at the summit not long after 8am. To find that the Waikato was covered in fog. Argh!!
And the fabulous 360 degree views I was promised were somewhat compromised by the enormous TV repeater station. Yes, I knew it was there, but I hadn't realised how intrusive it would be. It covered 180 degrees of the panorama and its generator thrummed annoyingly.
However, the Kaimai Range north to Coromandel was clear and I got one good photo:
I hung about the noisy summit for half an hour and was back down to my car by 9.30am. Maybe I'll go up another day, but probably not.
Hopefully taking time to recharge the batteries is helping your creativity. For your sake, as well as ours.
I'm recharging because I have gradually become disconnected from the natural environment, the thing that got me writing in the first place. I need to go back there, hence the expeditions ...
I just returned from the Taranaki district on the west coast of the north island, and while the scenery and natural beauty of the country were there to enjoy; my wife and I did not get to share in the wonderful blue skies you seem to have enjoyed.
Still, a trip of a lifetime with some of the most fabulous vistas ... even with the hundreds of sheep in nearly every photo I took.
I can only imagine how the memory of the scenery will inspire your descriptions in your future work ... both your fiction and cartography.