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Happy New Year!

It’s great to be hiking my way into a new year. I’m currently just north of National Park while preparing for the remainder of my hike of the North Island. It’s been bucketing down for the last couple of days and the cloud cover seems to be firmly set in. My plan is to wait for tomorrow before heading off as Tongariro National Park is one of the hiking highlights of New Zealand.

The blogs Route Page will remain up to date showing my current position but for now the structure of posts will have to simplify until after my traverse. As far as posts go, I’m looking at cutting them down and sending them more frequently. I really wanted to keep the blog running at full pace but I was finding it a daily struggle. The main reason I looked forward to this traverse so much was so that I could escape the daily grind. Getting away from my home office and hiking away from technology was No.1 on my list, but No.1 seems to have followed me. So I’ve decided that posting photos will have to wait until I have completed my hike. While the photos are worth a few thousand words, they actually change the way I’d choose to write. So, for now I’ll just be sending quick posts and will briefly reply to comments when I’m in a town for longer than just one day.

I took a few days off to spend time with family around Christmas and in that time my body went into recovery – again. Both ankles became swollen, retaining fluid they stayed that way for days and have only just started to subside. While it’s not painful I’m keeping an eye out for them along the way. I’m thinking it’s probably due to the weight I’m carrying.

One part of this site I value most of all are all the comments. They have meant a great deal to me and hopefully I’ll still receive a few more along the way as they really do make all the difference.

10 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jill Alexander #

    A very happy New Year to you, Kenyon. Hope your ankles return to their original size very soon. Very best wishes from Jill and Malcolm.

    Monday 2 January, 2012
    • Thanks Jill. So far the year is working out well and I hope the same for the two of you. My ankles are back to normal provided I keep moving. Why it happens, I don’t know? I’d actually like to know the real reason behind such a change but if the doctor doesn’t know? My best guess is that it’s just part of the healing process.

      I wish you both all the best for 2012.

      Saturday 14 January, 2012
  2. John Phillips #

    Happy New Year Kenyon
    I see you are in a way making a fresh start in the new year. I hope the break was good although I see you are struggling with recovery from the stress on ankles and probably knees too. The break should help but you should take it easy for a while rather than injure yourself.

    Diane and Jon and Tess left yesterday for Auckland and we have just had word that they are at destination in Russell. They are very happy to be there and apparently Tess travelled very well. She slept 10 hours and was good when awake. She is at a stage where she can enjoy her surroundings even though she can have no clue where she is. No doubt warmer weather will agree with her. We miss her already!
    We leave Jan 22nd as you know and will head south from Auckland on Jan 24th on the East coast route probably meeting up with Diane and Jon at Touranga. We will be in Wellington from Jan 29th to Feb 1st.
    Where will you be in that week – best guess?
    I see the weather outlook is improving. I hope it is good for you
    Best wishes John and Pippa

    Monday 2 January, 2012
    • Happy New Year John and Pippa!

      You’re days away now from departing Canada for what seems like quite a unique trip. I’m sure Tess would have grown in your absence which you’ll no doubt appreciate on arrival in Tauranga which I see is just over 200km from Auckland. That should be a nice drive.

      My best guess for late January would be around Wellington but at this stage I’m not sure which track I’ll be taking. There are two very different tracks that lead to the south of the north island, one of which is heavily weather dependant and isolated. I’ll be sure to let you know of my whereabouts by 25th Jan which will allow us to the make a plan.

      I’m looking most forward to catching up with the two of you. It will be a highlight of the traverse – I’m sure of it!

      Saturday 14 January, 2012
  3. Happy New Year Keno! What a great place to start off the new year. Did National Park set off any fireworks?

    I’ve been reading through that book of yours on the Te Araroa Trail. The 3D maps provide an interesting perspective of the trail. While you close in on Wellington, I’m looking over the maps and looking forward to making the trip over to cover some serious milage with you.

    Jill, I hope Malcolm is feeling better and that the new year is good to both of you.

    John and Pippa, HNY-12 to you too! Hopefully I can fit some hiking in and amongst your NZ plans.

    Ken, I hope the remainder of the North island goes to plan. My thoughts are with you everyday!

    Monday 2 January, 2012
    • Hi Gordo! This reply is so late. I remember not having internet at the time whilst on the Tongariro Crossing.

      There were no fireworks at National Park but I did spend the hours up till midnight at the Ski Haus sitting by the fire chatting to others there. I appreciated doing something different for a change on New Years Eve. It was a rather quiet night which I didn’t mind.

      Cheers, K

      Tuesday 29 May, 2012
  4. Judith #

    Kenyon – hope everything is going well for you as you progress down the track. Happy New Year and all the best!

    Sunday 8 January, 2012
    • Hi Judith!
      Thanks for your wishes. When are you back on the trail next. Will you be hiking any of the South Island anytime soon. If so, please let me know. I really liked how we met up on the roadside. Thanks very much for the muffins and fruit you gave me. I was in real need of it too. Sometimes things just happen when you most need it.
      Kenyon 🙂

      Thursday 23 February, 2012
  5. Norm #

    Mr Kenyon………may I first say……Happy New Year……and may it be a fantastic one for you, and also that your journey to Bluff be a smooth and blister free one.

    Apologies for not writing sooner but as you might well remember the ‘Peak Period’ was upon us at BC and this is the first day I’ve had off this year……..we actually broke our previous record with a total of 1802 pax on Jan 2nd………..unbelievable don’t you think after 13 years in business……….anyway, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

    Your blog makes fascinating reading and I’m constantly amazed by the kindness of the people you have met………I just can’t help but think………there must have been some not so nice people along the way…..but perhaps not and you are just blessed that way……I hope so anyway.

    So how are things going……the feet, the legs and the mind? I know you’ve had company recently and that must have been really good for the both of you. So do you get lonely, or do you just get into the ‘zone’ and not think about it……..which of course leads me to the next question………what do you think about when you’re tramping away on your own? I would imagine it would be things like……..food….beer…..family…but not necessarily in that order…???

    I know I’ve asked before but time has marched on since then, and so have you, so once again I’d be interested to know what, if anything you would have done differently, if you had to start from the begining again……..of course there is an obvious reason for asking, as I’d be follish not to learn from your mistakes (should you make any) and not therefore make the same when I eventually set off in your footsteps so to speak……..in fact figuratively and literally……!

    How are you managing with navigation in general? Are you relying on the GPS more so than the maps and trail notes? I’ve been reading the posts on FB and there are quite a few that say they have gotten quite lost, and quite often, by just following the trail notes. And it seems that river crossings is another frequent cause for concern, which naturally are a cause for concern anyway if you don’t know what you’re doing (which I’m sure you do Mr Kenyon). I see that in your last post that you managed to get a ride across a river in a very hosptiable chap called Gunther’s boat…….nice work…….but given that you hadn’t what would have been the plan…….would you have had to wade or walk even more to find a safe way across?

    I’d be guessing but maybe you’re getting a tad fed up with mashed potatoes by now…….personally I couldn’t imagine ever getting fed up with them but that’s probably because I’m not having to eat them every (other) day………or has your diet been supplemented by more lavish cuisine of late? I would imagine that you’d take advantage of any opportunity to have a decent meal, especially one that you didn’t have to cook yourself?

    How are the shoulders going? Have you now got two permanent grooves where your shoulders once were?

    Again I’m guessing here, but I know that it’s the way I think when out on the trail, but do you have targets you aim for………which when reached allow you to feel that another milestone has been achieved……..or is that too optomistic an approach to such a long trail?

    Anyway, both LQ and I are following your epic journey closely and wish you all the best. I’m particularly looking forward to catching up with you in March, somewhere on the South Island. At the moment it looks like the 19th of March will be the day we’ll be coming over, so hopefully by then we’ll have a better idea of exactly where on the trail we’ll find you.

    Take care my friend and stay healthy

    Norm and LQ

    Monday 9 January, 2012
    • Hi Norm, thanks for your New Years wishes. Sorry for the delayed response.

      An all blister free hike? Sounds too good to ever be possible! Please do keep wishing – it’s a great thought.

      Wow BC’s doing ok! That is a record breaking turnout for the year – even without me being there!

      You’re right Norm, time keeps marching alongside me. Sometimes it’s on the left and sometimes it’s on the right. The painful part is when it marches on way ahead of me until I can no longer see it.

      The mind is always good but no matter how positive I am, it seems I have no control over swelling ankles apart from hiking without breaks. Anymore than a day off the track and they reappear. I hear it’s quite a common symptom amongst hikers. Do I get lonely? Perhaps a bit if I start thinking of family and friends but generally, with the preparation and planning behind a majority solo hike, the mind was set months before the hike began. The hard part is when good company departs.

      Navigation has been a little tricky at times but overall I’m happy with the choices I’ve made. The maps Gordon made me have make a huge difference. I’m not just saying this to be nice. They really have brought pleasure to my hiking. Whilst it’s cliché to say – “it’s all mapped out for me”. You’re right about what’s being said about the trail notes. This is definitely the hard part of the navigation. I suspect it won’t be as noticeable on the South Island. The more tired I become the harder it is to make sense of the trail notes. Still, someone has put a lot of work into the notes which is great but at the end of the day one can’t help but feel there must be a better way. With the GPS as a backup there is little chance of going too far off course but ultimately you need to know the track ahead of you versus the track provided on GPS.

      Meeting Jan and Gunther was a stroke of good luck. Without their help I would have waded/swam across or alternatively, hiked up river to a shallow crossing.

      About the targets, I just have one. It’s Bluff! : ) Having said that, I did see Auckland and National Park as milestones which were great to reach. Wellington is the next.

      Thanks for your online companionship. Looking forward to seeing both of you in just a few weeks.

      Oh, and I still crave the mash . . . every morning, every day and every night!

      Tuesday 24 January, 2012

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