Some things work out differently from what you plan, and today was such a day.

It started as it often does with the 6 am radio news. The forecast was for cloud clearing in the morning, coming back in the evening.

There was some surprise to emerge from the near windowless hut to find no cloud and a completely still day. Making breakfast inside on a bench was much easier than outside a tent, although it required a 100 m trip each way for the water.

The Clarence River was blue and way down. It would be easy to cross even though I didn’t attempt that.

Instead, I slowly packed up and departed. There was an early morning heart starter, as we used to say, starting slow but getting steeper, climbing until I was way above the river. Over 400 m.

My knee was sore for some reason, and the uneven track that gets little traffic didn’t let it sit flat on the ground. Plenty of twisting.

I stopped for lots of photos as I staggered up the hill and then did the big slow sidle above Muzzle Homestead. The Clarence River was amazingly blue, and both Mount Alarm and Tapuae-o-Uenuku were visible without any cloud around.

Coming around a high bend, I could spot the Forbes Hut flat and poplars way in the distant distance. It would require plenty of work to get there.

By 9 45 am I thought these huts would be a now or never moment, and the latter would be better.

By 1 pm, when I ate lunch, I was reconsidering.

Somehow, as soon as I started up Limestone Stream, my knee didn’t matter. It wasn’t working perfectly, but it was no longer hurting.

After 3 pm, I didn’t think I’d get far, but progress seemed swift with the stream bed mostly gravel-filled. The valley was much wider than Fidget and had easier travel.

I thought I’d keep going until 5 pm as it looked as if the valley would widen once again. The first spot, however, was bouldery, swampy, and covered in vegetation.

Not that much further upstream was a wide sandy beach without any overhanging rock some distance away. I cleared a tent space amongst the vegetation nearby. It was warm, at least until the sun went behind the ridge, calm, and still not a cloud to be seen.

I don’t usually dither so much about my plans, today seemed to have worked out okay.

Just before I stopped, I saw 19 goats, 15 small kids, so there must be many more around. Then a pig ran along the ridgeline not 100 m from me. Two Australasian Harriers squawked their way close by.

It had been a day.

← Day 7 | Goose Flat Hut Day 9 | Limestone Hut, night 1 →