By Kathleen Griffin, 25 April 2023
I would say I’m not a competitive person.. But that would be a complete lie. One Tuesday meeting Jackson was bragging about how he was going to be the first in the club to bag Zekes Hut in the Hihitahi Forest Park that weekend. I secretly thought it would be really funny if I drove up on Friday after work so that I could be ready waiting for him when he arrived on Saturday. Luckily for Jackson, I already had a tramp planned for Burn Hut that weekend. Unluckily for Jackson, Chris managed to convince him to come on my tramp instead, which I’m sure he regrets considering how unhinged that trip turned out. Unbeknownst to Jackson, I had a work trip coming up requiring me to literally drive right past the entrance to the Hihitahi Forest on my way home.
It’s a pretty normal track - mud, trees & a scenic view across the Rangipo Desert. Tbh it just made me remember my time doing basic training in the army which was not good vibes. The hut is nice & new, but I still had a three hour drive ahead of me so I smashed a Cookie Time cookie & a shot of rum with the hunter staying there. I ran the whole way back to the car in my heavy boots, whimsically sliding down all the muddy slopes & skipping over fallen trees & losing the trail markers. You might think it was the rum, but I’d say I was just high on the satisfaction of being there first.