FiNZ 31 – Summer Sizzlin’

Happy Thanksgiving all! This year I got lucky and my company got a surprise extra holiday. Therefore, us in the New Zealand office decided to utilize that during Thanksgiving. We have Friday off and most of us will be getting together for a tasty meal tomorrow.

Last weekend Keith & I stayed in town, and the weather predictions were overdone per usual. The weather was beautiful (at least until the evening), so Keith and I headed out to Taylor’s Mistake for an afternoon run.

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Running is always easier when there is a fear of rocks falling on you, right? It was a beautiful backdrop for the day. After a nice run we went to the beach and decided to try the water. It was FREEZING, but everyone else swimming looked like they were having a great time.

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Keith suggested doing the Mt Oxford loop trail on Sunday (within an hour of Christchurch) and I reluctantly agreed. I had previously heard it was a strenuous climb but we figured it would be a nice workout and good excuse to be outside. Because we did not bring any food, I may have forced Keith to pull over at a gas station so I could load my bag with granola bars. I’m glad I did…

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The first couple hours were great–rolling hills, we went to a waterfall, took some photos, then we started climbing…

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Mt Oxford doesn’t look like much considering it’s on the outskirts of the southern alps, but in relation to our minimal east coast mountains, it is rather high! At 1300 m and an elevation gain of 1000 m it was not quite a Mt Washington climb, but at least something like climbing Mt Monadnock…twice.

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I have never felt so exhausted hiking in New Zealand. It got to the point where I would literally trudge 3 steps and then instantly forward fold and catch my breath. We tried to tell ourselves this was good training for our upcoming Kepler Track walk.

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In the end it made for some great views. However we both agreed you can hike with far less effort in New Zealand for the same or much better views.

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We like to make a point of beating the times shown on all the Dept of Conservation (DOC) trail signs. New Zealand trails love giving you an estimated time it will take you to get to a certain point. We typically crush the DOC time. The uphill was one of the first times it took us a bit longer :-/ We did, however, crush the downhill and even jogged a bit of it (you kind of had to since the trail was so steep!). Half of my speed was probably my need for water (yes, I went through my Nalgene far too quickly in the beginning of the hike).

Overall, a lovely 7 hours of exercise on Sunday afternoon!

With Thanksgiving dawn upon the east coast, I’d like to state that I’m thankful for you who check in on us/send us emails/texts/read the blog, experiencing this gorgeous country with Keith, and for the mini string of visitors we will have over the next few months! Enjoy your friends, family, homes, and meals today. Until next week…

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