To Invincible and Beyond – Muddy Spur Camp (Part Two)

“A Mish a Day” #119 Muddy Spur Camp – Part Two. Rees Valley. Mt Aspiring National Park. 29.3.2010. Every now and then I will be in a very out-of-the-way location and will encounter another like minded adventurer. It doesn’t happen too often, but when it does it always makes for a good mountain yarn. A lot of the time when I encounter other people they are hunters looking for something for the freezer. This does get me nervous sometimes as unfortunately we have had some terrible accidents when hikers or other hunters have been mistaken for animals, and the result hasn’t been good…

I’m not a hunter of animals. When I go on my adventures I am hunting for stunning scenery to look at, and I had found it on a small flat spot on Muddy Spur in the Rees Valley. Just after I had finished my dinner the valley’s silence was interrupted by the thud of chopper blades cutting through the evening air. After disappearing up the valley for a while the machine returned and I was spotted. I wasn’t exactly trying to be inconspicuous and actually waved at the pilot. To my surprise the chopper circled my camp then landed around 20 meters or so from it. The pilot got out and we had a yarn. It is very important to note that I was only ARMED with my camera, and not out hunting for animals. I had to explain to my new flying friend I’m definitely NOT hunting animals, and my only shooting is done with my camera! After it was established I wasn’t a hunter sneaking into permit land looking for a feed, we chatted for about ten minutes, and it turned out the dude was quite impressed with my outstanding camping spot. He explained to me about the issues with people hunting without permits, and sometimes even hunting on his own private property. The whole time we spoke to each other the chopper’s blades were spinning in the background, and it would have to be one of the oddest chats (as far as location and circumstance) I have ever had..

The Helicopter Circling Back After Spotting me on Muddy Spur

I told him I’d keep an eye out for any suspicious activity, and he gave me a card with his number before he continued on and the valley fell silent once again. I said goodnight to a perfect sky of endless stars, as I retreated to my sleeping bag and a comfortable windless night. An early-ish start then next morning was definitely worth it, as I watched the sun touch the tips of the high peaks with a warm orange and red glow. After breakfast I made my way back to the Invincible Mine, and then down to the Rees Valley Road, very happy with an easy and epic camping trip.

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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