Will’s First Overnight Tramp

“This is the best day ever, and last night was the best night ever” was Will’s declaration on waking at the Rod Donald Hut to find it surrounded by snow. Will had accompanied his friend Louis and Louis’ parents and grandma to the Rod Donald Hut on his first ever overnight tramp. The walk, though short by adult standards, was perfect for a 6 and 7 year old. They enjoyed the “toothbrush” trees at Waipuna Saddle and then headed down the hill ahead of the adults.

The boys grabbed top bunks and then explored the regenerating bush around the hut, spotting tomtits and korimako (bellbirds). Back in the hut they enjoyed working out where they had come from on the map and drawing on the blackboard that used to be for raffle results at a hotel. A dinner of sausages and pasta was cooked atop of the potbelly stove and then marshmallows roasted for dessert. A few rounds of last card were played and the approaching storm watched outside the window.

Upon spotting the snow out the window in the morning the boys rugged up and went out to try and build a snowman. The day was clear and sunny and the snow on the trees made a winter wonderland scene. After cleaning the hut we headed back to the car via an exploration of the Tōtara forest. “That was a hard walk back” Will said when we got back to the car.

Back at home Louis said he wished our home was the hut and for the next few days would every so often say “I wish we were still at the hut”.P1020330 P1020299