One Friday evening in the middle of February, one of our older children had a sudden inspiration: “Why don’t we go camp at Nelson Creek tonight?” Gayle and I weren’t interested, but all the children were, so, except for the two little girls, they all packed up tents and sleeping bags and breakfast, and took off. It’s only 15 minutes from home, so quite doable on the spur of the moment. They cooked sausages over a fire for breakfast and then took a long hike before coming home late in the morning. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves and want to do it again sometime.
Mr. Intellectual, Mr. Diligence, Simon, Mr. Imagination, Mr. Sweetie
That same afternoon, Simon loaded three of his brothers into our ute and went to pick up a few more boys, friends from the North Island who spend part of their time down here, and they all went looking for a track Simon had heard about. They couldn’t find it, so they ended up back at Nelson Creek, and grabbed a friend who lives in the village. He went along, and they went up the same track our children had hiked that morning. When they got to the end, however, instead of coming back down the track, our friend led them down into a ravine, saying there was likely an old mining dam down there. They had quite an adventure scrambling down sheer cliffs and through such a narrow valley that they had to have a foot on each side to get through.
This pickax is likely left from the old gold-mining days.
Simon brought two of their friends home for the night, and the boys decided to sleep on the lawn under the stars. About 3:00 in the morning, though, it started to rain! One of the boys woke up and felt the rain, so woke the others and they all quickly came inside. When we got up in the morning, there was one boy asleep on the couch, and the rest were in the bedroom. I was very pleased that my boys could do something like this with friends; they don’t have this kind of opportunity very often. We have so many great places to hike in this region.