|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
This was not a trail with beautiful vistas, nor was it one with a lot of elevation changes. There were few places to get water that didn't have some serious issues with suspended particles (read: mud), and if not for the blue (albeit faded) blazes, one would only have to wonder what in the blue blazes am I doing here! (Hmmm...I wonder if that phrase is why they paint them blue?) Anyway, there were jumps from tussock to stick pile back to tussock, dismembered bridges, water walks, and some serious mosquito habitat to contend with. To give an example, I was approaching a swamp, or for the politically correct, a "marsh" when I encountered a bridge across a drainage creek. I could tell that in it's day this was a very well thought out and constructed bridge complete with an outrigger railing. However, this was not it's day, and the approach section had lost it;s support on the right side, resulting in a serious cant in that direction. The surface of this section LOOKED solid, so I placed the Vibram sole of my Scarpa boot firmly on the bridge and pushed up, only to find the there was a film of slime on this section of bridge, causing my foot to slide out and the left side of my head to slide into the railing. Owe. Trekking poles only work when you have leverage. I know better than to trust any smooth surface, but having good gear can sometimes give you a sense of overconfidence. Mental note to self: ALL gear has its limitations.