Second day on Milford Track, spent the night before in the Clinton Hut…

What an American! Instant Starbucks coffee saved me!

Again, because it was cool enough, we were able to carry in some pretty delicious food:

Ham steaks and scrambled eggs - this is the little kitchen area

We enjoyed an interesting talk by Ranger Ross the night before; after breakfast he came in with a New Zealand possum, or as he said the “troublemaker”.  New Zealand did not have any mammals before they were introduced by settlers.  What they have an abundance of is birds, of whom they are all very proud, and they don’t like the mammal predators (rats, stoats, possums) that eat the birds.  So Ranger Ross was delighted to have caught this one in his trap.

at Clinton Hut with Ranger Ross and the unfortunate possum

Day 2’s walk was delightful.  It was cool in the morning, warming up to shorts and tees in the afternoon.  Sam tried his hand at fly-fishing a time or two – we could see the beautiful trout in the river, but no luck.  The forest was very canopied, lots of the enormous fern plants; altogether very LOTR movie-feeling.  Green hills around with cascades and waterfalls, bigger snow-capped mountains just behind.  The trail is beautifully maintained and follows the Clinton river most of the day.

Flat Aden
Sam and mom taking in the view
Aden at the Avalanche Danger sign
Mintaro Hut - 2nd night - that's a down jacket and I'm still cold!

We hiked about 10 miles this day, and enjoyed a meal of pasta, chicken, cheese, pesto, and the ubiquitous Peanut M&M’s for dessert.  Ranger Ian was our host here, and the bunks in this hut were all in the same upstairs area.  Hikers were of two varieties:  the 20-25 year old backpacky-kid-college-student, and the 50+year old backpacky-granola-tree-hugging-tramper variety.  The group was split about 50-50, and we enjoyed everyone in our tramp group.

Day 3 takes us up and over McKinnon Pass…more pics to come!

Thanks for reading!