The torrential rain that accompanied me on my drive to Queenstown also deposited some snow up high. Thus, my return to Q-town was capped by a fresh dusting of snow on the Remarkables (and everything else within sight). Summer, indeed!
Since my pre-trip scheduling was nonexistent, I had the benefit of taking full stock of all goals once I was on the ground and laid out something of a plan. Circumstances meant that I had a few days totally to myself aside from making phone calls and sending emails to set up meetings later in the trip.
Thus, after sleeping off the rain, I awoke to a glorious day and set right to it: time for a run! My home base was my mate Brett's house in Frankton, and it's within striking distance of pretty much everything interesting. I couldn't resist the draw of the run that happened to be the one Ethel and I went on for our first date many moons ago: Jack's Point.
I had packed light: one set of nice clothes for wedding and networking, a rainjacket, running clothes, and camera junk; ample gear for just over two weeks. I ran everywhere with a GoPro as it was a bombproof method to ensure that I always had a camera on me. A lot of the places I wanted to run would be inconvenient to go back to with the big dawg, so I wanted to document a thing or two along the way instead of totally losing out. I must say the ol' GoPro does OK:
Wakatipu and the Remarkables on the way to Jack's Point
This photo is taken at the little yellow nub near the middle-right of the first photo
The run was stunning. My soul opened to unfettered glorious nature and the miles melted away. As far as reintroductions to an old spot go, they don't get much better than this. Cool air, mild breeze, perfect surface, interesting terrain, scenery sourced straight from paradise, and willing legs. The track never leaves sight of the lake, and it winds up and down through trees, brush, and wildflowers. It all adds up to, in a word, happiness.
The first 15 miles of the trip easily under my belt, midday was gleefully wasted to a snack, a meal, and a shower. Even though the GoPro accompanied me competently, the allure of returning with the big camera to a particular spot between Jardine Park and Jack's Point was too strong to resist, so I drove back out there late that afternoon, cracked a beer as I walked to the spot, and watched the waves lap at the shore below the steep embankment as I set to work. The following is not a GoPro photo :)
Lake Wakatipu (click for -much- larger)
So what's extra awesome is that the panorama you see here is the SMALLER of the two I made (and it's been drastically downsized for web viewing, even the big one you got when you clicked on it). The larger panorama is still a work in progress, but it's gigantic and wondrous, so I hope I get to share it eventually.
The day was too good to let it expire without another run, so I went out for an evening session into Queenstown from Frankton. That put me into the realm of having earned some beer, which I amply took advantage of.
Paradise found. Let the madness continue!
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