Day 43: St Arnaud to Red Hills Hut

My pack is so heavy.

So.

Heavy.

But I did manage to cram everything inside it! I was expecting to have to have stuff hanging off the outside to get all of the food in. But nope, it’s all inside.

Today started off fairly boring. Road walk. I half heartedly tried to hitch but really wasn’t making an effort at all to do it so I didn’t get picked up. Once I reached the track I stopped, sat my pack down, ate a bar, and had a rest.

Just before this is found the laziest farm animals around, they were all just laying down in the shade. Sadly, I think the sheep are the cancer ward, many had large lumps on them and one had some really odd fur. Poor things. Glad they’re resting then.

Then for the next 45 minutes or so I had a crisis. Do I go? Do I turn back? I’m scared. My pack is heavy. Is it ok if I turn back? What about just one more night, I’ll try again tomorrow?

Eventually I talked myself into going. And about 5 minutes later, I regretted that. But I kept going.

Up first was a 500m climb or so, which nowadays isn’t even really a thing. But with 10 days of food my back I felt every step.

Slow and steady.

Finally I make it to the top and I set my pack down again and have a rest. This time there was no convincing to get me going again, I was just worried about time.

While it was on the ground I noticed some of my packs straps weren’t tight at all. When I picked it up and adjusted things, a world of difference. I finally understand what all of the adjustments do and now the thing is so comfortable on my back. My hips still complain though.

On down the trail. Lots of descent today. Climbing is getting to be not a big deal generally but descending still sucks.

And every impact with that extra weight is torture. I keep telling myself that my food is actually less weight than the amount of weight I’ve lost. My legs aren’t listening.

Back up and down a few more times and some really nice views along the way.

Finally I arrive at the hut. It’s newish. Nice. Has screens in windows. Only 6 bunks but nobody was there and still nobody has shown up.

I looked over my notes again and I think if all goes well this section will be 8 trail days. Which is handy because I can divide my 2 blocks of cheese easily for that, I know I have extra food so if I get hungry I can just eat some more. The candy is going to be the hard part though. I’ll want to eat all of that. Gotta ration it a bit! But at the same time, it’s heavy, so I should eat it now to make my pack lighter!

Looking at the notes, Mt. Rintoul is on day 5. Top Wairoa to Mid Wairoa is on day 3. DOC has a warning out for that section but says there’s an alternative. Hopefully I can figure out what that is. The hut book has a little greetings, NoBos in it and talks about that section being harder than Rintoul, so who knows. I’ll see in a couple days anyways!

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