Zen On Dirt

Fun tokens, mud running, and pylon blasting

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Ollie Whalley had a funny term for units of money. He called them ‘fun tokens.’ Used in a sentence, ‘How do you earn your fun tokens?’

I thought it was an interesting way to look at making money. Because really, I, and I think a lot of people who I spend time with, make money in order to have fun.

Anyhow, today was mostly a fun token-making day. It would have been a better fun token-making day if I’d actually done the time conversion right for Las Vegas, where the company I work for is based, and gotten up at 7am instead of 6am. Daylight savings strikes again!

It’s always interesting working during a long trip. While I’m definitely not carving out time to work here in NZ, when Scott has to be connected for tracking events in China and Baja this weekend, I’m not morally opposed to spending some hours staring at a screen and trying to get punctuation and grammar correct.

It’s a glamorous job, lemme tell you.

Still, we’re holed up in a hostel next to Nelson Lakes National Park, and entrance to National Parks here is free, so I wasn’t about to spend all of my day indoors. We are in New Zealand after all.


Kait seemed to get tired of screen time at about the same time I did, and after a quick lunch of a scone sandwich (NZ has scones down pat. So so so much better than the American counterpart. If I had to eat a cheese scone from across the street every day for the rest of my life, I would not be opposed.) we headed out for a run along the shores of Lake Rotoiti, a giant lake surrounded by even more giant mountains.


Since it pretty much hasn’t stopped raining in the past week, the trail was a little spashy and squishy, but the Freedom Step of getting feet soaked came early, so the water wasn’t that bad.


Plus, the sun came out for a little bit. I even put some sunscreen on. It was exquisite. The sun, not the sunscreen.

We got momentarily ambitious and thought about trying to run around the whole lake, but then quickly came to our senses when we got a clear view of the fact that the end of the lake was, in fact, nowhere near where we were. So we turned around.


We spent some quiet time at the hostel before the Pylon Blasters, who were staying there while working in the area, came back from work and started making dinner.

(Scott: Are you guys working around here? Dude: Yes. We’re blasting pylons. Scott: Blasting potholes? Dude: No, pylons. The tall posts that carry wires. Scott: Oh, you’re destroying them? Dude: No, cleaning them. With water and pressure. Scott: Ah.

Many things get lost in translation here. I think it’s hilarious.)


Scott and I ended up wandering over to the fancy restaurant next to the hostel and getting a wild game pizza. It was maybe one of the most delicious pizzas I’ve had the chance to eat, and I’ve had some good pizza. These Kiwis definitely have some exceptional food. And mountains. And lakes.

I do like it here.


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