Oct 17 day 47 National Park to John Coull Hut 87 km (50 by car, 37 by canoe, 0 by walking) 8:00-3:00
Back on the trail, sort of. Gavin from Yeti tours (along with noodleman and his sidekick) picked me and Cory up and drove us to Whakahoro Landing. The TA officially passes through there but does not start canoeing at that point; however, the trail to the next landing is closed because a bridge is out, so we started canoeing from there and made it to John Coull hut (37 km), where we set up tents and cooked. Cory and I had a good time canoeing, we work well together. Evening clouded up, but the rain held off. The hut had a lot of canoeists staying there, nice place but I’m glad I’m slept out in my tent (really like that tent– gentle rain much of the night). The hut warden is an older man, a volunteer who works there for about 2 weeks. We had a long talk, an 80 year old kiwi named Peter Young. Has four sons, used to take them down the river when they were young, and he agitated in the 80’s for national park status for the river. He has worked as a farm manager in the northlands, and as a ranger here. Fascinating gentle man who has seen so much in his life. Once again, another Kiwi aging gracefully. I crawled in my tent early to read John McPhee on Alaska, fell asleep as soon as the sun dipped down a bit.