And so, we planned a trip to Lake Waikaramoana, one of the Great Walks of New Zealand. In it's entirety, it is a five day loop that circles the lake in remote, native forest. Since Cohen's legs are only twelve inches long, we opted to shorten that. We decided on a three day, two night trip, staying at two DOC huts along the way. The first day was a short walk, just an hour or two walking to the first hut. The second day was a solid four hours on the trail. And the last day was a boat ride from the hut back to the car.
Elias was able to carry his own water, some snacks, and some of his clothes. Cohen was going to be unconsolable without his pillow-pet, so that's pretty much the only thing that fit in his backpack. Our weather was good, but it had rained hard for a few days beforehand. That left the trail very muddy with lots of standing water. We negotiated it pretty well, though it meant lifting boys-plus-packs over lots of sloppy trail. Thank you, Gortex lined boots.
We saw amazing native bush, lots of birds, great views of the lake, and had the huts to ourselves both nights. The boys were troopers, with no complaining the whole way. They especially loved the boat ride; I think we all did. Liz did great, as well. Not a lot of women would be willing to deal with three boys in the wilderness, but she does it with grace (and some cursing, but mostly grace). Given the potential for disasters of many kinds, it went fantastically. We love being outdoors with the boys.
The extra pictures are of the bow-and-arrow sets that I made for Elias, and some pictures from Liz's first New Zealand regatta. She did great in her first race in eleven years!