–submitted by Matthew Lettington
–photographs submitted by Sharon Hagen
I was awoken at 6 am by the sound of my cellphone –ding, an incoming email. I lay in bed a while longer, staring at the ceiling. I was listening for the sound of rain. The South Island was in the midst of a sever weather warning but I was planning on hiking regardless of the weather. As I listened, I could hear droves of rain pummeling the roof and periodically waft against my bedroom window.
By the time I pulled myself out of bed my phoned chimed several more times. Each ding brought another cancellation, the participants were cancelling their trip plans because of the rain. I was confident that the weather would break by the time all the hikers met at the rendezvous. I was right.
7 hikers, a combination of members and guests, rendezvoused before organizing the car shuffle. We didn’t delay long before starting our hike. We started at Westwood lake and travelled up and over the first two ridges, before exiting Morrell Sanctuary.
Though we had a constant drizzle throughout the day, low cloud robbed us of any views, and the steepest sections of the trail had small creaks flowing down them, the day was great success. We didn’t hurry. We took our time stopping often to enjoy those moments in the forest.
All-in-all, it was a great day in on the trail. I’ll lead another Westwood Ridges trip again soon. It’s always a good way to spend a few hours on a weekend.