First day of summer, so I guess that means we get snow.

Anne Hut is just below 900 m in elevation so this morning there’s white stuff down to about 1200 m, a pretty sight on the tops of the beech trees up there.

The weather forecast is for a change from the last few day’s damp westerlies to a straight southerly, clearing skies, and some patches of blue are noted early on but as often happens with early promise things change and it’s back to a steady day’s drizzle, at least until Boyle Flat Hut is reached, much of the day is spent trudging through sodden grass, little streams, flooded patches, just enough water underfoot to get the socks damp after last night’s drying out by the fire. I’ve spotted another couple heading upwards from Christopher and once again thinking dryer clothes and footwear was the way to go. Usually I avoid fires on my own, too much fussing and having to restock the wood supply, perhaps something about global warming, but mostly about having once been admonished for ridding the world of all that insect habitat.

The snow is still around but higher, quite the dramatic backdrop and the walking, the pack weight somewhat reduced now I’m on Day 8 of this Little Adventure, and then my thoughts for much of the day were about lackadaisical progress, my biggest days effort, up to Caroline Bivvy, was walking directly away from my shortest A to B itinerary, six crossings of the Waiau River etched against my name.

And exactly how many days food do I still have aboard, maybe been tromping through it with too much enthusiasm and don’t have enough for another full week.

I stop stop briefly at both the 1965 Rokeby Hut, still with the canvas bunks a la Caroline Creek and then at the 1980 Boyle Flat Hut, over the river on a swingbridge and chat to the gorgeous German couple again, well, Daniela at least, her long blondish platt not the most practical for the bush and those sparkly grey-blue eyes, err, quite similar to my own.

But tomorrow I have a big day, could be a huge day, getting to Hope Kiwi Lodge, which will involve a short stretch of hitchhiking to the start of the Lake Sumner to Harper Pass track so I can cut an hour of tomorrow’s walk by getting down to Magdalen Hut.

My memories, I spent a summer working for the NZFS, that’s the New Zealand Forest Service back before it was merged with Lands and Survey to create DOC, doing plant and animal surveys around the Lewis Pass in decades long gone. Magdalen back then was an old worn NZFS standard hut but it turned out to have been replaced with a corker five year old, six bunker, double-glazed north facing windows, quite the biggest surprise of the day.

And on my lonesome once again.

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