For various kid-health-related reasons this weekend’s Plan A and Plan B fell through. Both had entailed going on hikes with other families with children, and I had been looking forward to chatting and getting to know some new people while we walked. Plan C was hatched in Jeremiah’s mind of Saturday night–fishing at Lake Coleridge, a giant lake up in the foothills of the Southern Alps, about 90 minutes from Christchurch. Time for true confessions: I HATE FISHING. Alaskan salmon fishing has been the only exception so far, because there are so many fishing that there is always something on the hook. The rest of the time, “fishing” entails swatting at blood-sucking insects on the bank of some random body of water for hours on end, trying to keep Milo from drowning and myself from dying of boredom. Needless to say, I wasn’t in the greatest mood as we bumped along the gravel road to Lake Coleridge (Jeremiah will confirm this, no doubt). But Jeremiah decided to take Milo fishing with him let me go climb up a small mountain near the lake, panoramic views the whole way, and I returned in a much improved frame of mind. There’s nothing like some exercise and alone time to improve one’s outlook on life.
The mountains here must be made of very brittle rock. There’s not much topsoil, and the little vegetation that manages to get a foothold is in constant danger of sliding off the steep sides in a jumble of scree and meager grasses. The whole landscape looks like it’s slowly drooping and schlooping down into the valley, to be carried out to the ocean by the rivers.
Milo spent the day as “Daddy’s Little Buddy,” happily playing in the sand while Jeremiah fished in the lake, sporting his new Cornell hat from Abi and Omi and his snazzy red sunglasses.
For most of the day the lake was glassy smooth, a rare no-wind day in New Zealand. Towards late afternoon the wind picked up and a few minutes after this picture was snapped, our warm little water hole was swamped by waves. That explains the driftwood “tide line” and beach-like appearance of the lake edge.
Jeremiah built a fort with Milo to cast a tiny bit of shade, decorating it with grasses and seed heads. When I returned Milo showed me proudly the part that he built.
Clean at last! The sheen of sunscreen and sand in every crack and crevice (use your imagination) gave way to a hot shower.
I thought the eroded dirt at the bottom of the valley was a glacier for a second. Yes, impressive unstable dirt. (I apologize to other readers that our nerdiness–inclination to focus on erosion in an otherwise beautiful scenic picture–is being exposed here.)
What a wonderful family outing – even after your early plans went awry. Kudos to Jeremiah for putting on his thinking cap. Looks like you got it all -beautiful land, water, sky and fun on this trip. And your little Milo is such a cool dude!