The Dogs Tail Camp – Part Two

“On a Mish” #246 The Dogs Tail Camp (Part 2). Dogs Range. Hakatere Conservation Park. 31.1.2021. As time since my hip injury has rolled on I have been slowly recovering and slowly rebuilding my fitness. My days of 8 to 10 hours of grunting up and down mountains seem like a long time ago. The point of impact on my hip is right where any packs hip belt sits, therefore wearing a pack is a limited time recreational activity at the moment. My two pack approach has proven successful, and made it possible for some overnight, outdoor antics…

By limiting the weight on my hip I have been able to enjoy the pleasures of a stroll in the hills knowing the pay off is a night in my tent, then waking (early-ish) to a classic Aotearoa sunrise. A great benefit to being in Christchurch is being closer to my nephew and niece, and we have been on some cool missions together over the time I have been away from Te Anau. My hope is to get them into the outdoors at a young age so they too can enjoy the benefits that come with living in New Zealand and a passion for wild places. With my days up in Christchurch coming to an end soon and a plan was made to go for a hike in Hakatere. Due to work commitments the Mosley Whanau was only available for a day hike when I was keen for an overnight mission. I modified our plan to suit both parties, and in separate cars we headed west for the rolling hills of Hakatere. Over the Christmas break both Benji and Sarah had hiked the Abel Tasman Track, so I knew they were match fit and able to carry a pack. This meant I could hike with them to a camping spot (with them carrying some of my gear), then they would hike back to their car.

Things were looking good as we made our way past the historic Hakatere Settlement, then we began to head towards Lake Heron. I wanted to camp near the base of Dogs Hill(1067m), on a glacial terrace overlooking the Ashburton / Hakatere River. After distributing the collection of bags to the gang we set off. The hike went really well for about 25 meters, then the going got tough for the younger members of the party. My cunning plan of a pre-trip ice cream backfired when Beffie (5 years old) began to ask for treats in exchange for going further. It took about an hour to get around 1 and a half kilometers, and with time running out we decided that young fellas should turn back, and Paul (brother in law) would carry my gear double pack style to the campsite. After a quick family photo we parted ways, and Paul and I continued to hike on towards Dogs Hill(1067m). At least the sugar-rush from the ice cream had worked on Paul, as knowing he needed to get back to the others, he ran on ahead and dropped off my two packs at a good spot. We caught back up on his way back, then I continued on to where he had dropped off my bags. The scene was now set for another epic night camping…

Early Evening in Hakatere

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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