Saturday, January 19, 2008

The final installment

OK, so it's long overdue but here are the final posts, at long last. After a few weeks of actual work and studying, I sold my road bike, boxxed up the mountain bike (which ought to publish its own blog from its travels through homeland security. Next time I'll just buy my bike a plane seat...) and hit the road for two final weeks of backpacking, skiing, and road tripping. Below are the pics from those final adventures. I broke the final weeks into three posts for each of the three trips. The quoted pieces are pulled from my journal. Big thanks to Zoe and Missy for a few borrowed photos, and thanks to Annika, Caitlin, Missy, Val and Zoe for helping close out an amazing semester with such a stellar set of final adventures. Lastly, thanks to everyone who kept in touch while I was gone.


"July 19, 2007

Ethan Allen Express (NYC-Rutland, Vermont) (Albany area)
Nearing the end of a long road. I saw dark clouds in the distance reminding me of even farther distant peaks. It feels like the rainforest here. Everything is so green and wet. All this green was hidden when I left. Where do you go for 6 months a year only to show up for the warmer months?
I keep thinking I’m on the west coast. I keep looking for the teal rivers and the snow clad peaks, for a silhouetted rimu or a stand of fern trees. Instead I see roads sprawling everywhere, telephone poles, cars, people – America.
I can’t wait to get back, to what I don’t know, to my home, to New Zealand? I can’t wait to leave, but I haven’t even got where I’m going. I’m so anxious, it feels like I’ve started all over again, but have no where to go."

Trip 3; Mueller Hut Trip (Jul 10-11)

Day 1

"We got up at quarter to 5, loaded the car and on the road soon after."

Chain Gang

"just past Fairlee heading into Burke’s pass the conditions sign warned that ‘chains essential.’ Turned around and went into Fairlee. Had some breakfast and waited for the ski place to open so we could rent some. Back on the road around 830ish, got through the pass no problem without chains… Road was still pretty bad given that we were in a junkie little 2wd with worthless little tires, though overall nothing to pull hair over. Snow was much better than the black ice from earlier that I’ve never seen so badly. Driving up to Cook was bliss as usual. The looming massif loomed ahead as we went in and out of snow squalls."

Ski tracks with the sun shining bright over Mt. Sefton

A long white trail

Down the valley towards Lake Pukaki

Mathias stands a few hundred feet above the Mueller Glacier

Mueller Hut

Mt Ollivier (1933m), Sir Edmund Hillary's first peak

These guys made me wish I had a split board or a pair of skis so bad

alpenglow from the comfort of the hut

Frost bite! Not quite, i think this was from Zoe's exploded pen

Enlarge this lower night shot and you can see the silhouetted ridge of Mt. Sefton

Day 2

We awoke to a world submerged in clouds. the night snow showers had blown off but the clouds had settled in right in at about the level of camp.

Back down in the valley, the Mueller glacier cast a wild blue light onto the low hanging clouds

Snow kiwis

The warm sun and blowing snow left these patterns in the fields as we drove home.

Strange cloud formations

"Today I lived a dream
I won’t wake up tomorrow though
Just go on to live the next day"