January 12th 2017
Bog Inn hut – Waihaha hut
Total distance: 622.9 miles
Despite the scuttling noises before we went to sleep I slept very well, I wasn’t really ready to wake up, but there was a lot of rustling so I had to get up.
We ended up leaving about 7:30am, we didn’t have far to go today but we wanted to get to the next hut and hang out. The forest was absolutely beautiful, all mossy and enchanted. It was such a nice walk, gentle elevation gain and so little mud. We had about 3 miles to reach the Weraroa summit. The summit was so disappointing the we walked right past it! As we started going downhill we thought it was odd, so after checking the GPS Julia and I decided to backtrack and wait at the ‘summit’ for the others. We took an hour break there which was nice but unexpected.
With only 6 miles to go we decided to walk 4.7 more before having a break for lunch by a stream and leaving ourselves the steepest part of the day to the hut until after we had a break. The next part of the forest was equally as beautiful, a little muddier and lots of roots and vines, so it was slow going at times. We started to feel things stinging our legs and decided it was probably the grass. It felt really sharp as we passed it. Very unpleasant. From now on it shall be referred to as bastard grass. The dark coloured ferns were also very spikey.
We did reach the 1000km mark which was very exciting as it means we are one third of the way through the trail. Exciting and sad because there is only two thirds left now. We carried on through the forest. Tripping occasionally on tree roots, slipping occasionally on the mud. The last part which lead down to the river was super steep. It was more of a scramble and the tree roots which are normally out to kill you were now your main life support as they gave you something to cling onto.
We finally made it to the river after what seemed like a very long time and took a lunch break. We headed out for our last 1.3 miles to the hut which was steep uphill and slow going but we made it to the hut at 4ish. The hut is a cool one, much more modern and although we couldn’t find a construction date, it was obviously a lot newer than the Bog Inn hut.
We had all planned for a swim in the nearby river, and Julia had found a great swimming hole, but the weather had started to take a turn for the worse and the water looked very cold, so Erin and I stood on the side lines while Julia and Kristen jumped in the water, and it was very cold!
Back at the hut a couple of mountain bikers came by and then a couple of hikers arrived. Jeff and Everett, a father son pair from Canada. Everett hiked the PCT in 2015 but started and finished later than I did so we never met. His trail name was Cheech. They had already hiked further than we had today but they wanted to carry on to the next hut. So off they went. I hope they make it before dark.
About half an hour later another hiker arrived, Dingo Dave (hiked the PCT NOBO in 2016). We chatted with him for ages and he was waiting for his identical twin brother to arrive who had recently earned the name Mongrel Mike, both from Connecticut in the USA. They were great company and we may have convinced they to come on the canoe trip with us.
It was raining lightly just after we arrived at the hut and continued to get all afternoon and into the evening. I’m glad we are in the hut and not out hiking in the rain. Julia had wax in her ear and I convinced her to put some olive oil in it. While she was letting it sink in I read aloud to the group from a book about Captain Cook. It raining heavily now as we are all in bed. 10 bunks in this hut. All in all a great day.
I’m walking thousands of miles for Just A Drop because everyone should have access to clean water. Please donate here, every little bit helps.