No Hut Creek (Part Three) – Hut Creek Camp

“On a Mish” #139 No Hut Creek (Part Three). Hut Creek. Earl Mountains. Fiordland National Park. 23.1.2013. There are places in New Zealand that have had huts built there and the people of the world have come in their masses. We kiwi are very lucky to have a country practically built for hiking / trekking / tramping and camping. With that said some of the beauty exists in remote and at times dangerous areas and research needs to be done before going on your mish. We do have some misleading names and a great example is Hut Creek, or shouldn’t that be ‘No Hut Creek’…

An early-ish start was needed the next morning so I could avoid the approaching Fiordland rain. The scars on the mountains and many dry riverbeds showed me Hut Creek was not a safe place to be during a storm. While sitting out a storm here in a hut would be cool, it wasn’t possible at this stage in human history. Maybe in the future?

As I began to sort out my gear, I heard multiple swaaarks and a real commotion going on behind my tent. The bush rustled and then two Weka burst out beside me battling each other. I paused and watched the free entertainment until one Weka stood the victor.

I started day two of my mish with morning legs straining under the weight of my pack. However, in no time I found my rhythm and began to make good progress down the valley. Before re-entering the forest near the gorge, I took one last look back at the area I had called home for a single night. A hut here would be awesome!

I could see grey clouds so dark they could be called black starting to roll into the head of the valley. The change in atmosphere made me quicken my pace towards the safety of the Milford Road and my car. The beech forest did its best to shelter me from the pre-storm drizzle and I knew now I wouldn’t be back at my car before the waterlogged sky released its damp deluge on the Earl Mountains. The rain was in full force by the time I got to the crossing of Mistake Creek, knowing I was close to home made me not worry too much about my near soaking situation. This was about to change.

After getting to the river’s edge, I lowered myself down the crumbly riverbank towards the river and suddenly the branch I was holding onto broke. In slow motion I began flying backwards towards the river… splash! Although the river wasn’t very deep, it was swift, and the fast flow made me flail around for in the water for a while before I could regain my feet and stand up. Thankfully my bag cushioned my fall into rocks in the river, and I might have been drenched I got through the ordeal without any injuries. As you can imagine I wasn’t very happy at the extremely wet situation I was in, and a few angry four-letter words were exchanged with the tree and the river.

Now soaked to the bone, I continued my quest towards the Milford Road and the end of this mish. Hut Creek may have had the last laugh on this adventure, but it was going to take more than a soaking to keep me away from the Earl Mountains. I had been in and out of the valley named Hut with no hut and returned. I’d call that a successful mission even if I did have a little whoopsie at the end!

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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