The Mount Somers Track has it all and we would have to rate it as being a fantastic slice of back yard that must be explored.
We had already gone in from the top end to Pinnacles hut; this time, it was from the bottom end to Woolshed Creek Hut.
Accompanying us were newbies to boots, packs, dehydrated food and then subsequent jelly legs, stinky socks and no soap or shampoo for the over night expedition – Mike and Lynn.
Following the Miners Track, remnants of coal mining yesteryear lay at peace. An old miners hat, shovel and horse dray hung from the entrance to an old mine shaft. The landscape in parts was artificial from the dredging of earth from deep inside the old hole.
You would think that the foot hills would be the beginning of the Alps however, as we gained altitude to look towards the western horizon, it opened up into a sparseness of brown hinterland. Quite remarkable.
Reaching the hut took under a couple of hours. Lot’s of stops for newbies to wear in their bodies. Mental state too.
Woolshed Creek Hut sleeps 26 and being first to arrive meant the pick of the bunks; the choice of seating and with ear muffs positioned strategically, other comers choosing to fill up the other bunk room first! We were also in control of the wood burner and as the sun dipped below the crest – it was roaring to the brim with flame and wood.
As did the hut eventually become, full to the brim. Oldies, youngies, locals, internationals, a cacophony of chorus huddling around flame lit candles – shadows dancing on the hut walls. And the best way to meet like minded travellers.
As we were the first to arrive, we were the last to depart, taking the Mt Somers Track to meet up with the Rhyolite Track. That’s the part where ‘jelly legs’ became the result as we ascended more to see the coal mine from the day before somewhat way below! Notwithstanding, the views under the huff and puff, spectacular.
The decent had some technical aspects to it to and the wind along the ridgeline meant holding onto your cap. Follow the orange markers is enjoyment. Lose one and go over the sides, that’s a different type of enjoyment.
Arriving at the car to a flat tyre well, who the hell invented space saver rubber when you have a heap of kms to retrace back to the flatland treadmill!
It didn’t take away how the weekend was made special with meeting the Topp Twins at the Stavely Cafe on the way to the tramp. Jools and Lynda are two iconic folk singing treasures, having entertained NZ’ers for over 30 years. They were on the road doing another tour, both in their sixties and humping a trailer with a square tin shaped box as their abode. It was a mansion compared to the womb they once shared, as the conversation went.
Right time, right place.
Righty, onto the next micro-adventure.
Hoping Mike and Lynn are still speaking with us!