Look mom, it's an iceberg! Hooker Valley Trek and Glacier
It took 1.5 hours and I had finally made it.
There I stood amid the ice laden glacial field at the endpoint of the famous Hooker Valley trek. Then suddenly, I heard what sounded like a bomb exploding.
Looking up, I spotted the sound, it was an avalanche at 11,000 feet.
It was here that an unstable cornice finally gave way, creating a remarkable spectacle of falling ice amid a plume of mist and rock that is beyond description.
I sat there for another 5 minutes taking it all in:
The frigid NZ air, the landscape, the grey/blue turquoise water, the dark muddy ledge of the retreating glacier.
For the first time in my life I felt the pulse of a living, breathing mountain; and it stole my heart.
New Zealand has resonated with me in a way I haven’t felt since the first day I walked into Red Square as an undergraduate at the University of Washington.
The view of Mount Rainier behind Drumheller fountain is breathtaking.
At this moment, standing at the base of Mount Cook, feeling tiny amid these geographical giants I felt a sense of home and a great sense of peace.
Walking back to the car I was greeted by my kids who were jumping up and down with excitement. They were yelling so loud I could hear them as far as the base of the first swing bridge.
I was delighted when they said they wanted to hike back out to the bridge with me.
I bundled them up in jackets and gloves and we headed back to the trail this time, holding hands. We climbed to the first lookout point and then took turns jumping up and down on the suspension bridge.
How can I put into words how this makes a father feel? These are the moments that I call living.
I am sitting here now a day later writing from the water’s edge of Lake Tekapo. It is such a deep blue, as if God himself dropped his Aqua Marine Crayola Marker into the Southern edge.
I feel so lucky to be here, so grateful to have the opportunity to visit New Zealand… sad that we must go in just 9 days.
But as we all know, joy comes from the brevity of such beauty.
It took half a day for Mount Cook to reveal its summit, hidden behind the clouds I had no idea I was walking below such a great mountain.
This is a metaphor for life, and quite possibly a metaphor for this trip.