Recovery Camp – Rees River

“On a Mish” #264 Rees River Recovery Camp. Rees Valley. 22.2.2020. After my fridge accident I was rendered immobile for quite a while. My days of taking 11,000 steps consistently were a distant memory, and I was couch bound. The nature of my injury meant the pain increased over time as my damaged nerves / muscles attempted to operate while completely wrecked. A softball sized hematoma made movement a real mish as the lump would grind away at the internal flesh around my hip flexor every time I moved. So I found myself spending a lot of time sitting around watching YouTube, and dreaming of the days I could move around without pain. Well aware of my situation was my brother from another mother, and also a fine representation of the same name as me…

Mark invited broken Marky to Queenstown for a change in scenery, and also a cheer up, as I was feeling the gloom of immobilisation. We both decided that a mission must be done, but we needed to add in the factor that one of us was currently crippled. At Mark’s house there’s a table with my second favourite Nz Topo Map 50-CB 10, the Glenorchy area map. This map is full of wilderness gems like the Dart and Rees Valleys, and dominating the middle of the page is the Mt Earnslaw(2830m) Massive. Big country with big mountains, and most important for this situation, there’s road access. We began our adventure in style by driving along one of New Zealand’s premier roads, the drive between Queenstown and Glenorchy. With the masses gathered at the viewpoint at Bennetts Bluff, we continued north towards the crumbling cluster of cold that is the mighty Mt Earnslaw Glacier. We stopped for lunch in Glenorchy and the town was abuzz with many tourists enjoying the sunny summer’s day. With a belly full of good GY food we turned our attention to the Rees Valley. We made our way along the gravel road that weaves its way along the true left of the Rees River, and through the lower valley farmlands. We arrived at our planned destination of Invincible Creek late afternoon and the scene was set for a bit of outdoors R & R. We set ourselves up on a spot beside the river that had a huge rock for us to chill out on. Kicking back on one of Mark’s outdoor sleeping bags, having another epic feed, and watching the sun disappearing behind Mt Clarke(2285m) was just what the doctor had ordered (well, the doctor had actually given me a plethora of many different pain killing drugs). There is no better drug than a heavy dose of wilderness, and from my comfortable perch on top of the rock I began to heal. Most important was the mental de-stress that can only be achieved in the outdoors, a very important thing for a wilderness addict. After we reached a point where we couldn’t eat anymore and the sun had been replaced by a big moon and millions of stars, we retreated to our temporary accommodation. I was in the back of the car and Mark in his tent, and the constant flow of the Rees River sent us both to dreamland.

Early-ish the next day I was dragging myself out of the car and into the free mountain air. Even though my body was still very broken, mentally I felt better than I had since my accident. The power of a night in the mountains is incredible, with the doom and gloom of my situation looking less daunting. Just the hit of the outdoors that I was craving, however little did I know that I would be stuck on the sidelines for many more months to come…

Breakfast with a view!!

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

Subscribe To my newsletter