Sunday, January 25, 2009
Under the Shadow of Mt. Doom
Yesterday, I completed the Tongiriro Alpine Crossing. It was a one day hike that covered 19.5 Kilos (Roughly around 12-13 miles) of at least 3 different ecosystems. We started with a hilly desert landscape with an array of rock, sand and small golden colored plant vegetation. As we climbed up towards the volcanic mountain "Ngarhaoe" (AKA Mt. Doom) the vegetation had almost completely vanished and the ground was covered with pumice rock formed from the fire of Mordor! This was a strangely beautiful terrain. With volcanic rock gardens in the foreground and in the background the idyllic volcano covered in red and black rocks. A dark and eerie vista The last change in landscape was on the other side of the mountain and it was completely unexpected. As we wound down the cut backs on the back side of the mountain we walked around short desert plants that continued to get higher and higher on either side of the trail. Eventually they grew to be taller than we stood and like a tunnel it lead us into a beautiful temperate forest. The hike was long but amazing.
(I have to go I will add more about it later)
Hope all is well