Saturday was a fully rainy “Southerly” (remember, south is cold here, so a Southerly means windy cold rain from Antarctica). But Sunday dawned beautifully. We packed up our gear and drove an hour northwest of Christchurch to Mt Oxford for the day. As we got a view of the mountains we realized that the cold rain we had yesterday in Christchurch had been cold snow on the high ground….and we hadn’t packed our snowshoes or gaiters. In the end it didn’t matter, as the people in front of us packed down the trail.
It’s actually really wet walking through trees while the sun melts the snow. Unpredictable clumps of slush kept bombing down through the branches. Milo complained, but he had a canopy to keep the snow off, so I think he was really complaining because he was tired. Here I’m trying to get him to sleep, and he’s not buying it.
Give me five, Baby! Jeremiah was wishing he had brought his binoculars to look for animals to shoot in this bushy terrain. We saw some hoof prints. We weren’t sure whether they were deer or goats, but we’d eat either one!
Here we’re almost at the top of Mt Oxford, with the Canterbury plains spread out below. You can see the big Waimakariri river swollen with rainwater in the background. All this plain was once ocean, but the sediment brought off the mountains and deposited by the river has filled it in. I could actually imagine it happening since we could just see the muddy splotch the river was dropping at its mouth as it dumps into the ocean.
Above the tree line the fresh snow made the tussock grasses look even more humpy lumpy than normal. The sun was melting the snow so fast that the trail turned into a mini stream.
In the lee of this little rock wall the sun felt nice and warm, and we ate our lunch. Couldn’t quite toast the cheese on the sandwiches, I guess we’ll have to wait for the full strength summer sun for that.
Aw! Milo likes the mountain tops. We’re not sure he cares a hoot about the view, but the top is where he gets COOKIES.
Milo can’t say many words, but he’s an expert at COOKIE!
Diaper change time! I guess this is Milo’s version of “Take a leak on every peak.” “Diaper change on every range??” It doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, but one of these days diapers will be a thing of the past. Until then….
More lovely views, more happy faces, you are becoming a master at sharing your adventures. Thank you.
In one of those pictures the trail looks as eroded as in the Adirondacks. The views sure are different though!
Yeah, except the dirt isn’t black! This was probably the most used track we’ve been on so far, a peak within an hour of Christchurch, biggest city on the south island. And it didn’t look like there were any of those shunts that carry water off the path.