Dairy Farms in the Moon Light (Part Two) – Middle Mt Peel(1583m)

“A Mish a Day” #87 Middle Mt Peel(1583m) – Part Two. Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve. 31.5.2011. We are so lucky to have long days during summer in Aotearoa. They mean you can fit a lot of mish into a single day. However, the flipside is that in winter the days are short, and the sun can vanish on you while you’re still mid mish! A couple of times I have been caught out by the day ending before I was back at the hut, and while on Mt Peel(1743m) I didn’t want that to happen again…

I had a couple of kilometers of ridge to traverse before I could relax. Traveling east, I had the sunset happening behind me, so every now and then I would check on the location of the big ball of fire. Just as the sun dropped behind the western skyline I made the final steps back up to the summit of Hautekerekere / Little Mt Peel(1311m). From here I looked down at the mountain’s perfect pyramid shadow, which had turned out the light in the Peel Forest village far below. I was back at the hut in time to cook a feed and then enjoy my meal on the summit of Hautekerekere / Little Mt Peel(1311m) as the stars began to light up the night sky. It was a chilly night and I will never forget seeing the moonlight shining off all the man-made lakes that are scattered throughout the many dairy farms of the Canterbury Plains.

Early-ish the next morning I was up just before first light and was treated to an incredible sunrise, and for breakfast I was once again perched up on a rock on the summit of Hautekerekere / Little Mt Peel(1311m), a scramble I had done many, many times. With the day now in full swing I packed up and prepared to say goodbye to the tiny hut on the top of a mountain. I made the trip a loop by taking the much steeper south ridge track down. I carefully negotiated the exposed upper section, made more interesting with a big pack on my back. After successfully negotiating the ridge I was down back into the beech forest and on the home straight. I enjoyed the peace in the still forest as I hiked, and in no time at all was back at my car with another awesome mish finished. It was great to finally tick off a mission idea that I had been holding on to for so many years!

The Many Dairy Farms of the Canterbury Plains at Sunrise

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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