Hiking New Zealand’s Kepler Track, Part 1: The Way to Luxmore Hut

I had been staring at the triangular wooden ceiling of our A-Frame cabin for nearly 20 minutes, listening to the wind howl and willing the pressure in my bladder to ease off so I could steal just a little more rest. This would be my last night sharing a room with only my husband for a little while. We were set to head off on the Kepler Track – one of New Zealand’s incredible great walks – in just a few hours’ time. And while we carried our tents on our last great walk on the Abel Tasman, this time we would be spending our nights in the huts, sleeping in dormitories of dozens. We were in the Fiordlands now, and the scene could not have been more different than the white sand beaches of the Abel Tasman. The weather was much harsher in this southern corner of the southern island, and the topography a lot more extreme. Our walk was to take us along steep mountain ridges unsuitable for camping – hence the huts. And so here I was, treasuring what very well might be my last snorer-less sleep for a few nights. Besides, it was a long, dark walk to the toilets. And if the howl of the wind was any indication, it did not sound warm outside. Continue reading “Hiking New Zealand’s Kepler Track, Part 1: The Way to Luxmore Hut”

3.5 Years Later, Shut Down Again

During the last big government shutdown in 2013 I was working for the NPS as a Park Ranger. As a direct result of the shutdown I decided to leave the NPS and switch careers completely. Continue reading “3.5 Years Later, Shut Down Again”

This is What Happens When Your Best Friend Visits New York

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If you’ve been keeping up with this blog, you’re probably pretty well-versed on my feelings about my current residency in New York City (Not caught up? You can read all about that here and here). It’s easy to get lost in the negatives of a place like this, but nothing is better for refocusing on the positives than playing tour guide for visitors. Continue reading “This is What Happens When Your Best Friend Visits New York”

The Abel Tasman Coast Track Part III: Torrent Bay Through the Final Farewell

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The spirit of conservation seems to be ingrained in Kiwi culture, and I found myself reflecting often on why this must be while hiking the Abel Tasman. Continue reading “The Abel Tasman Coast Track Part III: Torrent Bay Through the Final Farewell”

The Abel Tasman Coast Track Part II: Onetahuti to the First Glimpse of Torrent Bay

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Bark Bay as we made our approach

The pristine bays of Abel Tasman National Park are divided by fingers of land that reach out into the ocean and range in width from pinky to palm size. Continue reading “The Abel Tasman Coast Track Part II: Onetahuti to the First Glimpse of Torrent Bay”

The Abel Tasman Coast Track Part I: Getting There & The Way to Onetahuti

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It’s a few days after Christmas 2015, and I couldn’t be farther from my New York City apartment. Continue reading “The Abel Tasman Coast Track Part I: Getting There & The Way to Onetahuti”

The Great Penguin Incident of Christmas 2015 (or How to Be a Good Steward)

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It was Christmas Day in Sumner, New Zealand, where I was spending the holidays with Tom and his family. Continue reading “The Great Penguin Incident of Christmas 2015 (or How to Be a Good Steward)”

NZ South Island Road Trip Stop 1: (No) Stars and Hot Pools at Lake Tekapo

Our roadtrip itinerary
Our roadtrip itinerary

My first hours in New Zealand are a total blur. Continue reading “NZ South Island Road Trip Stop 1: (No) Stars and Hot Pools at Lake Tekapo”

Photo Blog: New Zealand from the Road

My trusty driver and I as we prepared to head off!
My trusty driver and I as we prepared to head off!

Unless you live in Australia or a smattering of Pacific Islands, New Zealand is not an easy place to get to. Continue reading “Photo Blog: New Zealand from the Road”

Update: Grad School Life, Writing Without Moving, and My Next Big Travel Adventure!

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Things have been pretty quiet here on the blog lately – but not for lack of activity in my own life. Continue reading “Update: Grad School Life, Writing Without Moving, and My Next Big Travel Adventure!”