New Zealand, January 2018

TONGARIRO ALPINE CROSSING

19.4 kilometers... 9 hours... worth every step.

We often hiked on extremely rocky outcrops that were rich in minerals, giving the rock exceptional color.

Summiting Mount Tongariro provided me with an open fount of reflection. The crisp air, whistling wind, and stark landscape gave me an appreciation of the might and majesty of God’s creation. I have never felt so humbled.

The Emerald lakes hold sacred and spiritual meaning for the native Maori people. I respectfully passed by and appreciate their vibrancy and purity.

As we began our trek to the pick-up car park, the environment around us quickly started shifting. Streams, grasses, and delicate flowers cover the once barren land.

The final 2 hours proved to be the hardest mental game. It felt like the trail would never end, but we persevered.

9:00am - 5:50pm. The most physically/mentally challenging, awe-inspiring, and humbling hours of my life. I am so grateful to have had the privilege to experience the most raw and relentless beauty in the natural world.

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