I’ve talked to Sally for years at a craft group we both frequent. We saw them in Murchison at a kayak club weekend. Her husband Nathan joined us for the Old Ghost Rd bike ride in January. But this was the first weekend trip we tried out as families. It’s a test of sorts: 1. Are kids compatible? 2. Are husbands compatible? 3. Are our ideas of what constitutes a fun activity compatible?
Check. Check. Check.
I lack a real group photo for this trip, but here are the kids. Aaron is 8, Jessica is 4.
The husbands both like four-wheel driving. Our Rav4 isn’t a “real” four wheel drive–no snorkel, not super high off the ground, no super-low gear….but it did ok on this trip into Dillon hut along the Taipo river. Jeremiah was grinning. I was tense. Pretty typical, I guess.
The woods part of the drive was very pretty–Lush west coast bush is completely different than beach forests of the east coast.
The weather turned wet one afternoon, and the kids hunkered down to draw in the comfort of the hut.
Naomi and Jessica were like two peas in a pod–they giggle together over things that only four-year-olds find funny.
The plan was to drive upstream into the hut, let the wives paddle down, and collect us at the bottom on the way out. But we were also joining the whitewater canoe club for their Sunday morning paddle so the timing worked out better to do our paddle the afternoon before, and Nathan graciously drove down to pick us up. Sally is a much better paddler than I, and I hadn’t been on the water for the past two months, so I was nervous.
Not nerves without cause, as it turns out. I capsized pretty quickly at the start, but managed to stay upright for the rest of the river. It was definitely bigger than I had anticipated.
The guys got out on a hunt, first bringing the boys for a little while, then going out on their own after dinner. No meat was gathered, but they got a good walk in.
The Arnold river the next morning with the kayak club was much tamer (and warmer).
The kids plunked their lines in the water and got some imaginary nibbles. They’re addicts in the making.