Posted by: Talie Morrison | February 13, 2017

From Death Valley to the Queen Charlotte

I know – it’s been a while since I “blogged” – and, as is the case in my life, lots have happened since November 1st!

I left Crested Butte and took about 3 weeks wandering across the desert heading to California.   I went to many of my favorite places (Crystal Geyser, etc) and decided to check out something new:   Death Valley.   I had always pictured, in my mind, a flat hot desert landscape.   Was I ever wrong!   It was beautiful!   Lots of canyons and places to hike – and since it was November, it was not too hot!   I spent 5 nights in the Valley – and had a great time!   Then it was off to LA and flying to New Zealand (with a quick trip to visit Craig, but Steve was out of town).

A couple of short hikes on the North Island – Dianne and I went to the Rangi Hut and visited friends in the Hastings area.   Then she went back to Auckland and I headed to the South Island.  Since the November earthquake, the routes around the South Island are a bit different (the road along the East Coast is totally blocked still).   But I managed to get as far south as Christchurch, and then for Christmas week I wandered up the Rakaia Gorge (another new place for me).   I loved Lake Heron and went out to a couple of huts above the lake – The Double Hut and Manuka Hut.   Then I went toward Arthur’s Pass and hiked up to the Cass Saddle and the Cass Saddle Hut.

I made an appointment to see a chiropractor in Nelson (preventative maintenance), and while I was up there Vinnie (the van) died.   Yikes – that was pretty traumatic!   But pressing on….. in a couple of days, I had managed to get another van (1996 Toyota) and transfer my New Zealand life into those wheels.   So Big Blue Angel is my new rolling home (nicknamed “Blue”).   I hope she will give me a couple of good years!

Then I was off to do a week long volunteer hut warden stint on the Old Ghost Road – it was VERY fun and I hope to do it again next year!   And after that Dianne (what would I do without my Kiwi hiking compatriot) came down and we hiked the Queen Charlotte Track (5 days – but a boat takes your pack from place to place! Yea!)

So – as always, a picture says 1000 words – so without putting down a couple of thousand words, here are my photos!   Enjoy!





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