Our group was comprised of Suzie, myself, Briar (a super sweet girl from the North Island of NZ), and our guide Jessica (originally from Toronto, Canada). Suzie got a draft cross named Moose, Briar rode Beer, a grey Percheron cross, Jess rode Dusty, a little palomino QH gelding, and I was on JD, a sorrel station bred gelding (i.e. he was a draft mutt). Between Briar, Suzie, and I our horses all measured over 16 hands and little Dusty was only about 14.3 or 15 hands at best.
|Suzie on Moose (with a sun guard for his nose) and Katlin on JD|
The first day of our trek we rode down the Rees river to the 'meet' - which is where the Dart and Rees River come together. We then rode up the Dart River past Kinloch Routeburn Station. Then over the Dart River bridge, across Earnshlaw station, down to the Dart River flats, then up Mount Alfred to Paradise! I didn't time it but I'm guessing that ride was about six hours or so.
|Boiler Room Hut|
We then spent the night at the Boiler Room hut on Diamond Lake. Right before we got to the lake JD through a shoe which meant we had to make a brief stop to telephone for the farrier to come in the morning. The Boiler Room hut was a cute little cabin nestled among the trees of Diamond Lake. It didn't have any running water and the privy was just down a little ways from the hut. Jess, our guide, fed us afternoon tea which consisted of meats and cheese and hot chocolate. Then Jess prepared a huge dinner of steak, salad, and bread!
The first day of the trek wasn't too cold, but the wind was outrageous and that made it feel colder than it actually was! The first day we also discovered that JD had an attitude so I put him in the back to group to avoid kicking any other horses.
|Heading up the River|
Every time we rode of a mountain, across a river, or though a station I just kept thinking 'this can't get any prettier' but then it did. I'm so thankful that I was able to go on this trek and that I was able to have Suzie come with me! I think I speak for both of us when I say that it was the adventure of a lifetime!