The recent journey along Parks Peak ridge is still fresh in my mind. I can still hear the wind rustled beech leaves, the crunch of my boots through the deep snow, I can picture easily in my mind the stunning beauty of the forest, the occasional far off view of the main range across the valley as it emerges from the cloud through the swirling storm (such as in above photo), the smell of wood smoke still seems to waft in the air. I want to go back.
A comment left on my last post by Tom S. really made me realize how fortunate I am to have this mountain range, the Ruahine, as my backyard. Tom has traveled this area many times, indeed his name appears still in the hut books, though he now lives in England. It is good to connect with those who understand, yet may be far away. So Tom, this one is for you, an ode to Parks Peak ridge and the Makaroro valley. It is there waiting for you, and in the meantime I am honoured to keep you connected. Kia ora brother!
Above are all photos from various trips along the ridge, from my first in 2000 till now. The ridge has changed little, I have changed greatly. The first photo is from a solo trip in winter in which it took me nearly 7 hours to get to the old orange hut, plugging steps, getting huge slabs of snow dropped on me from the trees, arriving at the hut tired and freezing. Never has a hut, even that old one, ever looked so good. The second is Taylor and I on the ridge perhaps a few hours from the hut. I recall the day before we walked to it in sleet and snow, then this day summery and fine. He was 8. Not many 8 year old children have been to Parks Peak. I need to reconnect with my oldest son out here, though now 15 the thought of 3-4 days in the mountains with his old man not the most pleasant of thoughts for him I suppose.
and in turn was touched
"Calm is the fragrant air, and loth to lose
Photos 1 and 2 : The beech forest in summer. The lichens and mosses, or what ever they are, stun the senses.