Day 110 Telford Campsite to Birchwood Station

6 Mar, 20km + 7km road, 8.5hrs, Northerly strong gusts, overcast

Sunrise was a lovely sight this morning as the light hit the mountains.

There are lots of rules to follow crossing this Mt Linton Station. It is rumoured that past walkers have abused the right to cross private land and so TA walkers must stick to the track or be trespassers and sent back to where we came from. There is much more behind public or Te Araroa access to these tracks and paths I have since heard.

There’s also no water source on this track. I’m not sure if it’s because of the stock roaming and spoiling the waterways or trampers having to leave the track to fetch it.

However, my calf muscles were screaming this morning after yesterday’s climbs and camping in my tent last night on a bit of an incline.

From the campsite in no time the track went into a river crossing, so wet feet. It then followed a farm track down to the side of the Wairaki River before going inland away from the river.

pretty grass to walk through
So many thistle seeds everywhere about to burst.
Pretty but spreading the prickly thistle.

Around the corner came two black dogs, they got as much of a fright as I did and backed off. Then I saw the white farm truck of a station worker pig hunting in the weekend. He was really friendly and gave advice on the 4WD from here to the river.

I followed markers along the farm track through the hills to a sidling back along side the river.

I stopped for lunch and then missed the turn for the river crossing. Others before me had done the same. It took a walk back along a new fence line to find the track, climbed the fence and crossed the river.

I rejoined a farm track that was meant to be busy but being Sunday no farming activity was taking place today.

A strong northerly was blowing me over as I climbed between hills, it was hard walking in the open tops. As I neared the top of the hill I saw markers go up a scrubby hill. I chose a farm track that went around the hill and came out at the same place, just no hill to climb. Despite the trespass warnings.

Where the true track and 4WD track merged

There was a lot of variety in today’s walk. Small stream crossings changing direction, straight up short paddocks, through herds of black cattle on the track, beside and around large stands of pine and it went on.

Through farm gates and stiles across turnip fields. My hand slipped on a fence stile and I was reminded they are electric fences. Acres of turnips, paddocks and more paddocks as the gradual climb off the Linton Station down to the highway.

Up and over so many of these stiles.

Finally I arrived under the power lines to the final paddocks, across a bridge and onto the road.

Instructions to get to the station were fairly easy and I got there at 4:45. A short road walk and I was there. A short cut and direct line missed a little bit of road.

Birchwood Station Hut

I washed off the mud and sorted my resupply box. It was when I was getting my dinner ready that I saw the mouse. And then I saw it again skittle over my bunk.

So I packed everything in my yellow pack liner and hung it up next to my pack hung upside down.

My food bag was hung next to the washing line inside.

I settled in for the night having organised my stuff and prepared for yet another long day tomorrow.

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