Franz Joseph

Posted from Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

 When I woke up the weather was much nicer. I looked out across the field and could see a lovely lake with mountains in the background.     

I was headed down to Franz Joseph for some glacier viewing but decided to check out a small mining area on the way. There was a big gold rush in NZ in the 1800’s and there are many old mining areas on the west coast. I stopped at one if them, Ross. If didn’t look anything like a Colorado mining town. It was in a rainforest. I took a hike seeing how important water was in the process.     

A small cemetery from the late 1800s where miners and there families were buried. The headstones described how they drowned, were crushed, or were sick. A pretty hard life.   

I then headed on to Franz Joseph. I stayed in a holiday park recommended by Kathleen and John. I had a great camp site surrounded by the rain forest. There were many other campers there but they were all hidden from me. The clouds had returned and it looked like rain. Kathleen had recommended seeing the glacier in the evening to avoid the crowds. I arrived around 5:00 and there were very few cars. Off in the distance the glacier could be seen up the valley.   

It was a nice hike up the valley with lots of waterfalls.   

However, suddenly low clouds pushed up the valley and rain started. I decided to continue. As I reached the end of the valley the glacier was hidden and the rain was coming down. There was steam rising from the river, the clouds were very low and it was very eerie.   

The final path climbed up the glacial moraine. I could hear rocks falling down the valley side. It reminded me of something, perhaps Mount Doom (what do you think John?)  

If I’d had a ring I’d  have thrown it into the abyss.  

I headed back down the valley. I was soaked but no worries I had dry clothes in my RV. I didn’t get to see much glacier but it was a cool hike none the less.