Oct 9 day 39 Waihaha hut to Taumaranui 40 km hiking, 10 km ride 8:15-6:15
A ridiculous day. Started out slow as Jan, the Czech thruhiker in the shelter was sleeping in. I tried to be quiet (hard to do when you are opening and closing all those small bags, etc.). Still, got off at 8:15 with unclear goals. Was pretty sure I was not going to stop at the next hut and was thinking of camping at the road end. The forest was once again amazing, as was the trail along the side of the Waihaha River. Even though there was a lot of up and down, I made good time, passed the first hut just after noon and found myself at the road end just after 2:00. Cockiness got the best of me, and I decided to take a shot on making it to town before dark. Headed off down the road making good time through some pretty farmland. Got to a 40 km day with 9 more to go when a farm worker who had just finished his milking shift offered me a ride for the last bit. My head said don’t “yellow blaze” (an Appalachian Trail term meaning riding instead of hiking) but my legs said take the ride. Taumaranui is a decent sized town where I can do some good resupply and I hope get some new shoes. Found a cheap motel and some Thai food, and early to bed with very tired body.