Not a cloud, first thing.

Magnificent view with the snow around, both where I came over the pass to the east, and the Gordon Range over to the west.

There is some tweeting of a few small birds, but nothing like the numbers in Kahurangi National Park over the summer. I’m in the headwaters of the Motueka River, I crossed the north branch at the bottom of the hill, and I guess dosing the the vicinity with 1080 poison becomes political too difficult, considering the proximity to a high number of people further downstream.

The beautiful Wairoa was similarly silent for the most part, if you needed a contrast with 1080 efficiency this is a good comparison.

It’s a bird desert.

There aren’t wekas running around either, the only hut with them was Rocks, whereas in Kahurangi they were found around most huts, even the remote ones, and commonly heard elsewhere.

In Kahurangi I saw parakeets, blue ducks, kaka, and numerous small birds.

Here, one bellbird, one robin, one tom tit in the last two weeks. The species seen most of is goats, with three specimens.

The last human was B, back at Mid Goulter Hut a week ago.

No complaints there.

Today was messing with the Red Hills part, up close. There were stretches where the different red colours of the rocks predominated, very dramatically.

Hunters to Porters Creek is described by the signage as taking four hours. That sounds about right but I left late, enjoyed a couple of cups of coffee out on the balcony with the sun coming over Mount Ellis.

I’m so fortunate to have these experiences.

I guess every person has the same amount of time, but I still find it wondrous to watch the day unfolding so extraordinarily. I kinda feel if you can engage with these small things about life, feel happy about your efforts to get to this point, ie, sitting on the veranda watching the sunrise in a cloudy sky, well, that’s what life is about.

Sharing the time and experience would be great too, but you can’t have everything.

For some reason everybody else I know is too busy to take 15 days off work in the middle of winter to climb some big hills, lugging a decent sized pack, and staying in uninsulated huts with excessive natural ventilation.

I’m not sure I’ll convince anyone when they read this account either.

Another night on my own. Guess it will be early to bed once again.

My sleeping bag is the warmest place in this hut where firewood procurement is a major task.

+++++horizontal rule+++++

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Porters Creek Hut

Porters Creek hut, Alpine Route, Mt Richmond Forest Park
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