FiNZ 23 – the only humans on earth

Apologies for the late post for anyone paying attention to my typical blog schedule. It’s been an interesting week of getting prepared for some upcoming court cases. As an engineer this just means making sure all your documents are in order, you’ve reviewed everything pertinent to your case, and you think carefully about every single statement you write down. Between that and taking time to celebrate Keith & my 3rd(!) anniversary yesterday its been quite busy! Our 1st anniversary I was here and he was back in Maryland. Therefore, it was lovely to both be in New Zealand this time.

This past weekend I planned a detailed & packed day trip to the west coast. As probability would have it, it POURED. I literally woke up at 6am on Saturday hoping the weather forecast changed. When it hadn’t I picked the closest spot that the rain radar didn’t show up–Mt Somer–and we drove there instead! We drove about 1.5-2 hours, onto private property, past a lot of sheep, and down a long dirt road, and we finally got to the Woolshed Creek Parking lot. We embarked up, up, UP the Rhyolite Ridge Track, up and down some valleys, made it to the hut, and walked up and back down to the parking lot. It was tiring 5-6 hour tramp. Yet, awesome and beautiful and we felt like the only ones on earth for a bit.

See below for our string of photos throughout the day…


Trail Loop


Once we reached the top of the initial 400m climb


Check out that view!

We took a side trail to this amazing waterfall. I could totally see us breaking here to swim if it was a tad warmer…



Jen & the views

Not going to lie, by the time we got to the swing bridge I was tired of heights and it didn’t help much. Remind me never to design a bridge that only has the load capacity for 1 person.






We arrived at the hut where we saw our first other humans of the day. We stopped briefly to chat with a kiwi couple and then continued on our way. If you look closely below you can see the hut far behind me to the left.



As we walked down the Miner Trail we came across a field of…WEEDS! Well, beautiful yellow flowers, but I’m sure they were some sort of weed. It felt like we had stepped into OZ. Can you spot Keith hiding below?…



As we continued further down there were areas of old mining relics. By this time the fog had really rolled in, so it was nice to have some other fun things to look at besides the hidden view.



Overall an amazing day hike I would recommend.

With a full Sunday left in the weekend I met my coworker for a class at Christchurch’s first painting & wine studio. This trend has not yet caught on in NZ so a local young American opened up her own business. So far it seems to be thriving in Christchurch. Kiki & I chose to do the “snowy lindy pass” because it reminded us so much of quintessential New Zealand.


That’s all for now! For the next two weeks I’ll be working & studying all the time before we return to the States for 10 days. I’ll attempt to creatively post a couple of things before then. Cheers!



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