What a way to spend your birthday, hiking with Mom! We celebrated Naomi’s birthday on Saturday October 11 because on Sunday Jeremiah had a fishing trip to Kaikoura. Somehow when he sent me the date the significance of October 12 didn’t register to either of us. Sunday was forecast to be a stunning hiking day–sunny and light winds about the peaks, a rare combo. Our friend graciously agreed to have Milo, so I packed up Naomi and headed out to the hills with some colleagues from work.
We started down there in the valley at about 700 meters, and climbed to Cloudsley Peak at 2100m. It starts out with matagouri and tussocks but quickly climbs to bare scree…and stays bare and exposed the whole rest of the way. Impressive, yes. Grand, yes. Beautiful? Well, yes, it is in a way, but it’s awfully barren. Naked. You can see all the bones of the hills. It would be miserable in the wind.
Naomi’s tucked away in her sleeping bag to stay warm, and it worked. We were in short sleeves for part of the hike but donned jackets and mittens at the top. The two folks with us are work friends, Janine and Tim, who graciously moderated their pace for a pack-laden mama. Naomi was a good sport about being carted up and down the mountain too.
Not quite almost there–you can see the top by it was another 45 minutes of climbing to reach it. There were grass hoppers in that scree field. What were they doing there? No food, that I could see anyway.
Further west the peaks were more snowy. Somewhere not far beyond the last snowy peak is the ocean.
Maybe some day Naomi will be an avid hiker and be happy that her first birthday was spent in the mountains. That day she was oblivious to the views, and happy to have snacks inserted into mouth at regular intervals. And yes, my legs were sore on Monday.