Posted by: Talie Morrison | April 9, 2016

The rest of the trip …

In early March,  Dianne flew down to the South Island from Auckland.   Grady, Heather, Dianne and I “tramped” around the Greenstone/Caples track.   This track starts at Glenorchy (near Queenstown),  then goes up the Greenstone River, over the McKellar Saddle and then down the Caples River.  The mountains and valleys are really beautiful in this part of the world!   Which I guess is why Queenstown is such a popular tourist destination!

Then Heather and Grady headed up toward the Queen Charlotte track to hike/bike/kayak, while Dianne and I went up the Hope River for a couple of more nights in huts before she flew back to Auckland.

I took the ferry to the North Island (in my little red PahutaCARwa) and planned on doing one more backpack trip – around Mt. Taranaki.   It is a beautiful volcanic mountain on the western side of the North Island,  and a track goes all the way around it on a 4 day trip.   Because it was Easter Weekend, it was really crowded – the Holly Hut had about 70 people at a hut for 36!   People were camped outside in tents, sleeping on the floor in the dining area and on the porch!   I get so used to being in remote huts where I am the only person there – this was a “trip” for me!   Luckily I “scored” a bunk and mattress so I didn’t have to sleep on the floor.   But unfortunately my back “went out” on the way in – and instead of going around the mountain (the next day was an 8.5 hour hike),  I ended up staying in the Holly Hut for 3 nights until my back felt better.  (Bummer – this is not ok with me!)

Then Dianne joined me on the west coast of the North Island and we drove to Lake Taupo and spent a couple of nights at Kinloch (at Pete and Glennis’ bach [holiday home]).   Then it was back up to Auckland, and I spent a couple of days unpacking PahutaCARwa and getting her ready to sell.   Dianne and I spent a day at the Auckland Car Fair  (along with about 2000 other people who wanted to sell cars).   We had a couple of people interested, but no serious buyers.   I felt bad having to leave Dianne with the car;  but, by the time I got to California, she had someone come look at it and sold it! Yea!

Heather and Grady showed up at Dianne’s a couple days after I left, and now “Vinnie” the van (named for “Vincent Van Gough”) is cleaned out and waiting for me till next December!

So back in the USA:  I am doing fine driving on the right again – but I am still turning on my windshield wipers when I want to turn on my blinkers…  (in NZ cars the blinkers and wipers are on the opposite sides of the steering wheel.)   But that is minor to being sure I am on the correct side of the road!  After a couple of days in Santa Barbara, I am now in San Diego (going to the chiropractor to get my back into working order again!)  It’s great to be back in the States, and I miss New Zealand already!







  1. Welcome back Talie. Hi to the boys and grandkids from me. Great photos as usual. Looks like a fantastic winter/summer for you. See you in CB–maybe soon. Worked a ton for ski and ride school and am enjoying the quiet of “off season.” Going to California on 4/23 for a visit with friends and Carnival Cruise with Aaron, Audrey, and Ava. Interesting?? Hope so. Visiting Catalina, San Diego, and Ensenada. Hope your back is well by now. XO, Roxie

    • Hi Roxie –
      Hope you have a great trip – I probably won’t be getting back to CB till June (who wants to watch it snow in May if they don’t have to?)
      Glad to hear that you are still teaching so much. How was the snow this year? I heard some worries about Spring Break not having good snow… We should get together this summer and go for a hike (don’t we “say” that every year?) Talie

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