No Backwards Steps (Part One) – Acheron Homestead

“On a Mish” #330 No Backward Steps – Part One. Acheron Homestead. Molesworth Station. Marlborough. 5.6.2022. To watch hard work disappear before your own eyes is tough. Years of guiding and consistently going on many different missions had got my fitness to a point where I felt like I could set myself a challenging target and then head out and achieve it. Staying fit and hike ready has been something that has naturally worked in with my job and spare time. All was well and I was blissfully unaware of what was around the corner in the game of life. After my initial injury to my hip I slowly watched and felt my muscles, fitness and overall well being drift away, and I endured a couple of dark months where I almost decided that my adventure days were over. Luckily there was the lockdown!?

Yes, an odd thing to say, but if it wasn’t for the lockdown in 2020 I wouldn’t have started writing these short stories. And without reliving my missions when I write them out I might not have found the mountain motivation to get myself back into the outdoors. I now have to deal with round two of my hip saga, which includes hernias that must be operated on. But you can bet the farm that I will not let myself slip back into a world of sitting around feeling sorry for myself and getting unfit and overweight. No backward steps! The classic saying “everything happens for a reason” really does come into play sometimes (in the game of life), as due to my need for surgery in Christchurch I have been able to spend some excellent time with Te Whanau.

A tradition around Queens Birthday weekend for the fam is to head to the alpine village of Hanmer Springs. Two years ago I was just getting used to a life with a bad hip, however luckily got to spend some of my rehab time with the team up at Hanmer Springs. Deja vu had me back in Hanmer in a lot of pain, but this time I was armed with mountain motivation. People who have had bad hernias will most likely agree with me when I say that it sucks! A nagging gut pain that feels similar to a kick in your manhood which increases whenever you do anything. I wasn’t going to let that upset my time in Hanmer (as much as I could), so it was time for a family mission. The cross section of ages sunk in when after helping my 5-year-old niece with her shoes I then turned my attention to helping my 84-year-old Grandmother with hers! Both of them, plus many more, were in Hanmer with me two years ago when I was at my most injured (worst state) and as if to show the positive difference between the two occasions, back in 2020 we watched the TV as the chaotic BLM riots took place in America. But on this visit we were treated to a much more positive TV experience with the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations accompanying our breakfast. After the show we were hyped to go on a mish. Our goal was to drive up and over Jacks Pass into the Clarence Valley, then follow the Tophouse Road into Molesworth Station. The forecast told us to hurry, so an early-ish start was needed and after bouncing over the pass we braced ourselves for the adventure ahead…

Looking down the Clarence Valley

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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