Arthur’s pass

The road up from Greymouth to Arthur's Pass hugs the steep mountain sides with a raging river below.  After half a meter of rain in the past couple days (that's right, more than a foot and a half of rain), the rivers were full and land slides were being cleared by road crews.  This is a clever solution to water and gravel pouring down onto the road--make a water bridge!  The big bird is a parrot, a Kea, native to New Zealand.  They seem to like posing for photographs.

The road up from Greymouth to Arthur’s Pass hugs the steep mountain sides with a raging river below. After half a meter of rain in the past couple days (that’s right, more than a foot and a half of rain), the rivers were full and land slides were being cleared by road crews. This is a clever solution to water and gravel pouring down onto the road–make a water bridge! The big bird is a parrot, a Kea, native to New Zealand. They seem to like posing for photographs.

The west side of the mountains were still spitting rain, but as soon as we crossed the divide, the eastern side had blue skies and fresh snow on the peaks.  We could once again feel the warmth of the sun.  What a relief!

The west side of the mountains were still spitting rain, but as soon as we crossed the divide, the eastern side had blue skies and fresh snow on the peaks. We could once again feel the warmth of the sun. What a relief!

I'm not good at guessing heights, but this is a no-nonsense waterfall, several stories high (Jeremiah, feel free to comment here).  All over the mountains were sniveling and dribbling with water, like giant runny noses, if you'll excuse the analogy, shedding rain and melting snow from the past few days.  All over were fresh gravel deposits, mountains crumbling slowly into the valleys, rivers moving the gravel down, eventually, to the plains.

I’m not good at guessing heights, but this is a no-nonsense waterfall, several stories high (Jeremiah, feel free to comment here). All over the mountains were sniveling and dribbling with water, like giant runny noses, if you’ll excuse the analogy, shedding rain and melting snow from the past few days. All over were fresh gravel deposits, mountains crumbling slowly into the valleys, rivers moving the gravel down, eventually, to the plains.

We chose a day hike and started climbing.

We chose a day hike and started climbing.

There's a little glacier, cradled up in that mountain.

There’s a little glacier, cradled up in that mountain.

We followed this no-joking-around "trail" up a steep ridge with loose scree drop-offs on both sides.  Bravo Jeremiah for carrying Milo sure-footed up that path.  When we reached the top my first inclination was to crouch down to avoid falling over the side.

We followed this no-joking-around “trail” up a steep ridge with loose scree drop-offs on both sides. Bravo Jeremiah for carrying Milo sure-footed up that path. When we reached the top my first inclination was to crouch down to avoid falling over the side.

Aw, another family portrait.  Milo's in that blue lump on Jeremiah's back.

Aw, another family portrait. Milo’s in that blue lump on Jeremiah’s back.

Milo could actually see out believe it or not.  Down in the valley in the sun was short sleeve weather, but it was still spitting a little snow up here, so we had him bundled away and he seemed happy with that ride.

Milo could actually see out believe it or not. Down in the valley in the sun was short sleeve weather, but it was still spitting a little snow up here, so we had him bundled away and he seemed happy with that ride.

These Kea parrots are inquisitive and naughty, not at all too shy to steal your shiny possessions if you but turn your back on them.  I saw one take a bright green cup and drop it over the side of the mountain, apparently just for fun.  When they fly they flash the bright orange feathers under their wings.

These Kea parrots are inquisitive and naughty, not at all too shy to steal your shiny possessions if you but turn your back on them. I saw one take a bright green cup and drop it over the side of the mountain, apparently just for fun. When they fly they flash the bright orange feathers under their wings.

Slightly battered but in amazingly good condition considering the fierce wind and snow over the past couple days, this ranunculus was probably glad to see the sun again.

Slightly battered but in amazingly good condition considering the fierce wind and snow over the past couple days, this ranunculus was probably glad to see the sun again.

A classic view of the southern alps from Avalanche Peak.

A classic view of the southern alps from Avalanche Peak.

Doesn't this orange moss look like 70's shag carpet?  Probably smells about the same too--musty.

Doesn’t this orange moss look like 70’s shag carpet? Probably smells about the same too–musty.

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5 thoughts on “Arthur’s pass

  1. Tom says Avalanche Mountain doesn’t “sound” safe…yikes. Beautiful pictures and love to hear the news and take the tour with you. The mountains are awesome; love the parrot. You all look great!

    • Nope, Avalanche mountain definitely wasn’t safe! There was a sign at the bottom with a stern warning (for New Zealand, anyway) to only hike it in good weather and in good fitness, because of loose rocks and drop-offs, and I can see why! It’d be downright treacherous in the fog.

  2. I better not show this to Dean he could say I could send Teakco to you to let free. I have a Hahn’s Mc Caw. He just said the other day if any thing happens to me Teakco is the first thing to go :(.
    Love all your post Molly and Jeremiah. Hugs to that little cutie pie. Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!

    • Oh, yes, Jeremiah said the same thing about Perchik, my pet rabbit. But I figured that if I was dead, I wouldn’t be around to care for him, and he’d be better off at a new home anyway. But Teakco probably wouldn’t like New Zealand–too cold and the Keas are bigger than him and might pick on him. Better choose somewhere warm and tropical if it comes to that!

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