A year ago today, Riley and I went on our last date. It had been snowing for a couple of days and was starting to melt. He told me we should go up Mt Cargill, play in the snow and take some photos.
Driving there was a nightmare, it was frosty and snowy even though it was late morning. We parked up at Bathun’s Gully at the base of our mountain. It was only a 1.5 hour walk if I remember correctly but it was steep. The snow was fresh and the sun was shining. It was a perfect day to take a hike. Walking up we realised we had bundled up too warm and stopped for a water break and take off some of our layers. I then realised I had forgotten my drink bottle, Riley sighed and rolled his eyes in a joking fashion and passed me his. I declined because it was my own fault for forgetting mine and it meant if he needed it later he wouldn’t have it. After some insisting and some talks of being able to fill it up with snow at the top I had some and we were on our way again.
Half way up the snow started to fall flicks off snow stuck in my hair and on my face. It was so beautiful. He wasn’t having a bar of getting in my selfie I was taking but I snuck a photo of him hiking up with his hiking pole. I made fun of it so many times but it is actually very useful. Multiple times he has come walked me home in the snow and we didn’t fall and break our necks because of that pole.
We finished walking up to Butler’s peak. It was snowy and it was so cold but he had this gleam in his eyes as we finished our trek up. He set up the camera and I played with the snow. Freezing our arses off we stayed up there for 20mins and I convinced him after ALL of the photos of the mountain, the view and of me, he should be in at least one photo. And I’m so glad I did because that was the last photo we have together while he was alive.
My heart breaks every time I see it but I know that, though I couldn’t save him, together we had that most perfect day just before he died. With our red cheeks and snow in our hair we travelled back down towards the carpark, holding hands and discussing whatever came into our minds. (We did have a laugh at the fact we witnessed 6 young adults in summer wear walking up the mountain with beers in their hands and copious amounts of alcohol already in their systems. With one poor wretch who was obviously the sober driver suggesting that they put on jackets.)
It will be a day that I know I will never forget.
Too cold and uncomfortable (being on the wrong side of the camera) to crack a smile! He had fun I promise