Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Ben Lomond Saddle

Are you feeling fit today?
We have 504m (1654') of 'up' today.

First let's hop onto the gondola - it starts at 9.00am.
I have my freshly minted annual pass in my hand.

Come, walk with me.

The early morning haze soon disappears as the morning warms up. 

Into the Lomond forest we go. 

So far, so good. I am on the right trail.

Watch the cloud formations as we walk. It must be a busy jet stream up there. 

Goats foraging.

A lovely cool beech forest.
Up, and up and up....
Thanks for the photo, Bos.
Some of us like our own company, but I also really enjoy the chance to talk with fellow walkers.
I met Bos from Holland on the trail.

 Ben Lomond beckons

From the Saddle I can see Skippers Canyon and the snow-capped Southern Alps in the distance.

 and to the south, The Remarkables, Lake Wakatipu and Cecil Peak.

 I begin to descend.

The track steeply wends its way downhill.
I recall that one of the people going up today said 'Sometimes you just have to back yourself'. So I remind myself that I got up here safely and can return safely.

A bit of divine help would be welcome, so...
I pray, 'Lord, keep my feet stable, please send me angels'
and, within moments Rebecca appears.  This is amazing.
Rebecca is no ordinary angel. She was working in Coldfoot  cafe/store when we were passing through in July, 2012 on our motorbike adventure. Coldfoot is a camp north of the Arctic Circle Alaska on the Dalton Highway. 
How about that?!

We encourage each other.

Thanks for this photo Rebecca

My feet feel lighter and steadier.
Habbakuk 3:19 The Lord gives me strength. He makes me sure-footed as a deer and keeps me safe on the mountains.

I look back to where I have been.

and to where I am going...

There are lots of diverging paths along the way. I make my own decisions about which way to go.
Like a lot of life choices the end point is the same even if the route is different.

Here is a welcome sign.
Anne and Colin from Australia have just walked the Milford Track and are off to do the Otago Rail Trail (with gel bike seats.  I must remember that tip). A few laughs on the trail today. 

The lake view accompanied by the rattle and roar of the luge carts.

These information panels tell me about the ice age (The Wakatipu Glacier), gold, a store keeper in Skippers who delivered his last mail and supplies when he was 86, and that Sir William Hamilton (Jet boat inventor) devised the rope tow that was built on Coronet Peak in 1947. This was the beginning of mountain skiing in New Zealand.

New Zealand has many creative minds past, present and future.

 Queenstown Hill with Coronet Peak in the distance.

Just step this way... 

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