It’s been a year since we took a family backpacking trip–the last time we could manage to carry all our gear and two children on four parental legs. This past Saturday we did a test walk, a day walk up the Kaituna Valley track to Packhorse hut. Six legs in gear this time–Milo walked the whole way. Results are promising. It was only 2.5 kilometers to the hut, but steep in sections.
Milo was starting to flag and M&M energy was being doled out every third trail marker when he discovered his Echo. “Go A-Way” he shouted at the cloud spilling over the saddle. “Go A-Way!” the mountain tossed his strident little four-year-old voice back. Suddenly he discovered the well of energy reserved somewhere near his lungs, and belted out his challenge with gusto. He believed another little boy was yelling back. Then the cloud receded, and he gaped in astonishment, shaking his head. “It worked!” Right, we had a little talk about echos and skipped the tutorial on correlation versus causation.
Mist shrouded the last little bit up to the hut, but cleared when we reached the top.
Cloud swathed Lyttelton harbor, and beyond the tops of the port hills sticking out we could see Christchurch still smothered in its chilly blanket. It made us doubly glad we had gone out hiking and escaped its embrace. We perched on a little promontory, watched the mist advance and recede, and precariously ate our lunches (“Naomi, sit, or you’ll tumble backwards! Milo, you sit too!”).
We have spent the night in this old stone hut before, and there looks to be a good stock of firewood so we could give it a go again this winter.
Naomi has such an engaging grin, even through grimy window glass.
Milo enjoys his chocolate reward for having made it up the whole way without whinging.
A little pouty face near the end–but a game of “I spy” perked him up. Next summer may see the whole family in the hills again.