So here I am, sitting once again in a hut on my own, that’s still Helicopter Flat, drinking my morning coffee. I’m kind of feeling that you can overdo this solitary thing.
32 nights since I left Nelson and I’ve had the majority on my own, 19 by my count. You can overdo the introspection thing but despite it all I know it’s really the end of an era, 2016 will see me, finally, make some serious efforts to be social. Not that it will be really any effort. By the end of the year I suspect there will be someone else in the picture, not yet met. It helps to have an income and, I guess, soon enough some all weather transportation.
In the meantime it’s somewhat gloomy outside, I haven’t managed to get the weather forecast in recent days, the major issue is crossing the Karamea River, or a major tributary Kendall Creek between Trevor Carter and Thor Huts. Once I’m over that the big rivers and creeks have swing bridges.
There’s the rush of the close by river, I actually quite like this hut even if you have to have the door open to see the river while seated at the table. No sign of the whio/blue ducks seen on the river outside the hut as noted in the hut book.
With the long grass the place has an unkempt appearance but to me it has more heart and soul than Taipo.
Drizzle when I left Helicopter Flat, immediately crossing the river on stepping stones, not really getting my feet wet. Then, despite what I said yesterday about general flatness, immediately into a 150 m climb through the south facing forest, well marked, but the dampness had made the shades of green on the open floor of the forest spring to life. Not many walk the Lost Valley route so the track is great, not heavily walked, a long way from the Heaphy roadworks for sure.
At the top is a calm tarn, I’ve been over that way 12 years ago so no surprise there. Forest all around, a startled shag disappears in a hurry with a feverish flapping of wings, a couple of young weka call out to each other, drizzle continuing. I’m startled myself by the highest dracophyllums I can recall, 7 m by my estimation.
Then it’s down the other side which starts like it’s been mown, a full 3 m across the track, very easy walking, but eventually I get into the tutu which covers much of the route, not so easy not being able to see where my feet are landing, and the last bit I fell in a hole rather unexpectedly, no bones broken. The last part is well overgrown with prickly lawyer involved so instead I take to a stream.
It’s only been a couple of hours over to Trevor Carter Hut but that’s enough for me, around four hours to the next hut. I’d rather put in a more major day to Venus tomorrow, then charge on to Karamea Bend.
The sun has come out so I collect firewood from down at the river.
And have a few thoughts of my classmate Russ, whose brother Trevor gave his name to the hut, a good guy who was killed in a motorcycle accident at an early age.
Now swallows flit around the hut a young weka stalks the long grass. I can hear the river running, there’s fly screens on the open windows, birds are singing.
It’s super peaceful, on my own again.
But this is one hut where it’s okay to be on your own.