Working for a living (Part 3, days 4-5)-Xroads

I was feeling the effects of the first three days (Day 1, Days 2-3) on the fourth day when I had to hump all my gear up and over a pass to a new Bivy. It was exciting to get a change of scenery, but the pack was heavy as I was carrying gear for the days trapping plus all my overnight kit plus the damn laptop and Ipad and book and journal that I’d decided to bring (the former two having long since become little more than dead weight).  I tried to convince myself that it was good training, and maybe it was, but man it was hard work!   But once at my new digs I got to lighten my load and explore some cool country, including some wicked and precipitous ridges on the last day.

A ridgetop path straight out of LOTR. Wicked!

A ridgetop path straight out of LOTR. Wicked!

Burning the midnight oil...

Burning the midnight oil…

Glassy eyed, up-nosed self portrait on the morning of day 5.

Glassy eyed, up-nosed self portrait on the morning of day 5.

Tools of the trade--eggs, raw meat, and a drill.

Tools of the trade–eggs, raw meat, and a drill.

Looking south, planning future swim runs!

Looking south, planning future swim runs!

A nice tortuous ridge to walk on the last day.

A nice tortuous ridge to walk on the last day.

Even after 5 days of sun, the place was still wet and verdant!

Even after 5 days of sun, the place was still wet and verdant!

X-roads biv. Home sweet home.

X-roads biv. Home sweet home.

Working for a living (Part 2, days 2-3)-Astelia Biv

Although my island days (see part 1) were hard work, they weren’t that long.  Typically I’d finally muster the will to get out the door around 9:30 and on some days was back at the hut by 3:30 or so.  That leaves a lot of time for thinking.  Sometimes I’d spend an extra hour or so in the sun on a ridge above camp, but much of that time was spent in the bivy. Once my laptop ran out of charge (I got through two movies, but only by fastforwarding through then end of ‘the circle’–didn’t miss much with that one) I would read the old issues of whatever magazines or newspapers were lying around (except pig hunter, just couldn’t get into it) and do plenty of journal writing.  Oh, and cook and eat too. Here are a few pictures from days 2 and 3.

Over 200 traps checked and only 1 stoat caught.  We've gotta bag em for DNA testing...

Over 200 traps checked and only 1 stoat caught. We’ve gotta bag em for DNA testing…

The Astelia biv in the morning.  It sits in a pretty shaded valley. There was a skein of ice on the lake that never fully melted.

The view from the biv in the morning. It sits in a pretty shaded valley. There was a skein of ice on the lake that never fully melted.

Boredom and hunger can cause creativity.  Here I sample an avocado, salami, tasty cheese, and berry jam wrap.  Try it.  Delicious.

Boredom and hunger can cause creativity. Here is an avocado, salami, tasty cheese, and berry jam wrap. Try it. Delicious.

Astelia Biv catching a few moments of afternoon sun.

Astelia Biv catching a few moments of afternoon sun, just about to go into the shade.  Look closely!

Astelia Biv self portrait. There is not heat in the huts, save for the candles, but it is warmer than you'd imagine!

Astelia Biv self portrait. There is not heat in the huts, save for the candles, but it is warmer than you’d imagine!

A camera + candles + too much time on my hands means I have WAY too many pictures like this...

A camera + candles + too much time on my hands means I have WAY too many pictures like this…

I wasn't by myself the whole time...this Weka was good company during my stay, a bit cheeky though, inviting himself for dinner...

I wasn’t by myself the whole time…this Weka was good company during my stay, a bit cheeky though, inviting himself for dinner…