Yeah, there seems to be a few around. It’s a good location if you want to see some, as I seldom see them in the forest. That made it ten deer in two days.

I gave up counting goats once I went past 40.

The day was easy enough. Walked down one flat valley, turned the corner, and walked up another.

Okay. Dillon Stream proved harder work with some steep four-wheel-drive climbs, but it was the heat that made it an effort.

Yesterday on the tops at 920 m with low cloud and strong winds I had my winter beanie on.

Today was my straw hat.

Few clouds in the sky. Hot out of the shade with the sun beating down.

Plenty of flowering manuka but no hives in the Dillon Valley.

I mooch down to Ramshead Hut that turned out to be a homestead, complete with a car visible. No one was about but I didn’t go up, instead cruising up the Dillon Stream. A four-wheel-drive track went all the way to the hut, but it didn’t look as if anyone had taken any four-wheel drives for the final few kilometres in the last five years.

A small remnant patch of red beech provided some shade. A few tiny swimming holes were spotted, but my aim was to remove my pack from my shoulders. On Day 4 they were feeling fully bruised. My legs were still up for it, well, until the steeper sections of the hills.

I sat in various shady spots for a while, including lunch. Good to have an easier day.

As I approached the hut I stumbled across a deer in the creek with the trickle masking the noise of my approach. It shot off super quick. Then one was sitting under a shrub to get some shade. Two hinds across the river took off up the hill. Then I came across one right at the hut. Stood looking at the fence to jump, then ran away.

I settled into air my sleeping bag and tent. Had an afternoon nap which I needed.

When I was cooking dinner, de-hy venison stew, I looked out the window and saw two deer, no, three . . . four, five, six, and finally seven deer, all within 100 m of the hut. I haven’t seen many deer in my time, a big bunch up Steele Creek off the Greenstone Track my other decent sighting, along with Stewart Island/Rakiura.

Few people come to this hut. The hut book doesn’t have names since 2009, but maybe that was because there was no pen. Many entries are from goat shooters with tallies of 211, 129, 124, 70.

Great hut to spend an afternoon in after cracking out 100 km in the last four days.

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