Smith Stream Hut, Ruahine FP, 14 September 2016
Banner Pix: Elly checking out Smith Stream
Hilary (our very responsible leader, as neither Alison or Kelvin were available) drove us close to the Waipawa River where we started walking on a cloudy day. We tramped on a well-marked track through undulating open land with regenerating scrub and forest to Middle Stream which we were able to cross easily.
Then it was a steep climb out of the river onto open land. There was a cool wind at the top but the view of the snow-capped ranges was magnificent. Some of us climbed close to 1100 metres. We came to fallen branches across the track and walked through these for a short while.
It was decided to stop at this point for lunch as we had worked out that it would take 9.5 hrs to complete the return trip to Smith Stream Hut and we didn’t want the remainder of the group to have to wait too long. (Well, that was our excuse – another reason was Elly had told us that the trip down Smith Stream was very difficult. Some people mentioned that we were all getting “soft”.)
While eating lunch, Hilary shared wonderful tales of her adventures with LandSAR and the knowledge she had learned which included examining faeces when tracking. A very interesting topic while eating!
We did a little track clearing on the way back. Some parts were quite steep and slippery and we had a bit of rain but generally only drizzle. Bruce discovered that his new waterproof socks were not waterproof!
We got back to the van around 2pm and found that some of the group had walked along the Waipawa River, Swamp track and part-way up to Sunrise Hut.
The van needed some assistance getting out of the car park as the ground was sloped and pretty wet. John managed to get bird poo splattered over his clean dry trousers while pushing the van. Murray W didn’t sit down in the van quickly enough as it took off and probably has a bruise on his derriere. So, all in all, there seemed to be quite a lot of toilet humour (which we also learned is known as scatological humour).
An enjoyable day ended with coffee and eats at the Tikokino pub on the way home.
Trampers: Peter Slagter, Paul Exeter, Vic Bullock, Bruce Hodgson, John Burrell, Murray White, Hilary Heath-Caldwell, Elly Govers, Murray Goss, Denise Payne, Sue Marshall and reporter Sally Woods