Skip To My Lou
Trip Start Sep 18, 2011
29Trip End Jun 01, 2012
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
Hope everyone is having a pleasant and happy start to the new year! Life in Queenstown has been busy busy (busy!) lately and time is quickly passing us by. I can't believe I'm saying this but we are over halfway done with our time in NZ. A quick update on our life here...Chip's work schedule has slowed down again to 3-4 days per week (wahoo!) and we were recently faced with a really tough decision. To stay or not to stay, that is the question; Chip was offered a long-term position with the Wakatipu Medical Center here in Queenstown. We contemplated what to do for weeks, making plus/minus lists and having lengthy discussions on what our future holds. We do love it here, have made great friends, enjoy the outdoor activities, etc. but (DRUM ROLL, PLEASE) we realized that our hearts are still in Colorado. So the good news is we are still planning a move to Durango with a tentative start date for Chip in July
On the flip side, my job as a recruiter at St. Mary's Hospital recently ended. It was a sad sad moment when I had to actually say goodbye to my amazing co-workers from afar. I can't tell you how blessed I feel to have worked with such wonderful people. I would do just about anything to have that job back but I know they have found someone great to take my place. So for now I have become the ultimate planner here in Queenstown. With that in mind, we are gearing up for our second round of visitors (Chip's parents and my mom) who will be flying in at the beginning of February. We can't wait to show off this country as well as explore some areas we have not been to yet. Other than that, we have done an awful lot of running, yoga, hiking, sailing (just recently!), backpacking trips (3 day/3 night Routeburn adventure is up next), reading, lunch dates, BBQs and the list goes on. Not to mention my shining moment in one of the local 5k races where I got 3rd place! That's right...it'll never happen again so I have to cherish that moment
Most recently, we ventured along a rugged (and very narrow) gravel road 45 minutes outside of Queenstown to a historic place called Skipper's Canyon. Once an area rich with gold and busy settlements, Skipper's Canyon is now filled with relics that take you straight back to the late 1800's. As we drove along the steep road, far below we could see the aqua blue waters of the Shotover River winding its way through the canyon. When we reached the road end a small ghost town greeted us. There was an old schoolhouse (recently restored), huts where people lived and random antique tools strewn around the grounds.
Our main goal was to venture even further in the canyon by foot where miners and their families once walked hundreds of years ago. We parked our car, visited the cemetery near the start of our hike then strapped on our packs for a 4 hour hike deep into the canyon. About 20 minutes in to the hike we realized we no longer needed our hiking boots when we came face to face with the Shotover River. Good thing we packed sandals because we ended up walking in, around and through the river for roughly 2 1/2 hours. By that time, the river darted to the left, so we strapped our boots back on and headed straight while climbing up and over a steep mountain towards Bullendale, the abandoned mining settlement
A few minutes later we were craning our necks around the next bend to see if there was any sign of a hut. We didn't bring any camping gear just our sleeping bags, water and food so it was beginning to look like we would soon be snuggling (and I mean snuggling because it gets COLD at night) among the miner's relics. We weren't ready to face that yet so we decided to hike 5 minutes up a hill for a look but still no hut. We were a little lost for words because we could have sworn there was a hut for us to sleep in. Is somebody punking us?! It was at this moment that we heard a dirt bike flying through the canyon making its way towards us. I have to admit, I was a little nervous at first because this was the only form of civilization we had seen or heard all day. What if he was a murderer, ya know?!?! :) He stopped, took off his helmet and made his way to the bushes for a pee break all while we watched from the hill (man, we're creepers). We realized that he may be our only hope to find this hut so we raced back down the hill and thankfully we were greeted with a kiwi smile. Whew! We chatted with the guy for about 10 minutes and he told us that the hut was located high above the hill to the left of us
Chip went off one way and I another. We climbed straight up and I found myself holding on to plants and grass for dear life. A few more steps and I peeked over the hill and there she sat in all her glory: the most beautiful little hut. Thank you, Lord, we have a place to stay tonight!!
The rest of the evening/night was perfect...we made a fire, cooked a pasta, kalamata olive, and tomato sauce dish, drank wine (that's how we roll in the backcountry...gotta have the vino), and talked about life by candlelight. It was the perfect ending to our day. The following morning was uneventful compared to our day before. We ate breakfast, enjoyed the morning sun and made our way back down, through the winding trail, into the river, and back to our car. A another great adventure in the back country!
LOVE TO ALL!!
Linds and Chipperoo
*Click on pics for more...