Lets Get High

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When me and Michelle first met she told me that she’d always wanted to hike up Ben Lomond in Queenstown (she pronounced it with a French accent which made me laugh since its a Scottish name, I soon set her straight). While she lived in Queenstown for a year she never actually go round to it. So when we were down there for a few days before doing the Milford track we decided it was now or never.

 

So we headed off (cheating slightly by getting the gondola up the first stage, but we’d both hiked this part many times) It was a crazy hot sunny day, and having hiked up little ole Ben Lomond before I knew we had a sweaty day ahead of us!

 

Up we went, taking in the amazing 360 degree views the whole way, first reaching the 1326m Ben Lomond Saddle where the real ascent begins. A couple of hours later we were standing at the 1748m summit, looking back down towards Queenstown, what a view! I can never get enough of looking down over my old New Zealand home, and to do that you really do have to get high!

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Roam Free

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This was the second design I did on my return from my road trip from Seattle to L.A. What an amazing place to get inspired! I had been to Yosemite National Park before, way back in 2001, I’d driven through it and stopped for a picnic lunch, but I don’t remember it being as awe inspiring as it was on this trip, I don’t know why, but on this trip the place just blew my socks off!

When we entered the park via the tioga pass entrance we were handed a flyer informing us that we had to re-route due to fire and that the de-tour would be an extra 4 hours drive, not the best start. On our way round to the other entrance we stopped off at a small place for lunch and i checked my emails to discover that my residency application for New Zealand had been accepted, I was beyond happy! Before we arrived at the West Gate to the park we spotted a campsite by a river and decided to stay for the night, it was now late and had no chance of getting a spot at camp 4 within the park

The next day we were up early and in the que to secure a spot in camp 4 where we spent 3 nights. It was funny because before we headed to Yosemite we told all our family and friends that we were heading into the wilderness and would be out of contact for the next few days, we also stocked up on plenty groceries and prepared to be cut off from the world for a while. When we arrived we were a bit taken aback that there was cellphone reception, restaurants and even a supermarket right in the valley!! I have to say I was a bit disappointed that it seemed to be so commercialised until I read that tourists have been going there since 1855 and it has an extensive history of tourism so the commercialism wasn’t actually a new thing, its been there for a very long time. Although we weren’t roaming as free as i would have liked, i can see why its so busy and popular, it really is one of the most dramatic landscapes I’v ever seen.

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On Top of Mountains and Beneath the Stars

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This adventure started with a friends birthday, she wanted to head out into the wilderness, so off we went. We headed out the stunning road between Queenstown and glenorchy which runs along the edge of Lake Wakatipu stopping at the whakaari carpark where we would start our hike to McIntyres hut. It was a steady climb up an old mining road, which proved to be extremely interesting with lots of old mining relics to explore, including an old open mine. We also had quite a deep river to cross which we didn’t expect

As we got higher and higher, the views unsurprisingly got more and more striking. After making it to our accommodation for the night, we dumped our bags and headed the further 1.5 hours up to the mountain ridge and McIntyre Hut, the views from there were absolutely amazing! looking right down the Rees and Dart rivers over to Mt Alfred and beyond. We didn’t stay for long, although long enough to take some pictures and collect firewood to take back to camp

Back at our hut we cracked open the wine, made a campfire and ate dinner outside surrounded by nature, the only people around for miles. I cant think of a better place to spend a night, on top of mountains and beneath the stars

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Happy Camper

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The setting for my Happy Camper design was an island themed film festival on Pigeon Island, Lake Wakatipu in New Zealand. It was an amazing location, only accessible by charter boat/kayak/SUP/swimming. We managed to get onto one of the boats that the organisers managed to arrange and headed over for a night of camping, island themed movies, popcorn and wine

I don’t think I’ve ever had a more memorable movie experience. We also managed to squeeze in a small hike up to the trig to really appreciate the surrounding landscape, and also hung out with the locals (the locals being weka who seem to almost over run the island, they are very inquisitive and not at all shy).

 

Thinking back to that weekend I can say that I was very much a HAPPY CAMPER

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Go Camping

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This was the first design I did for The Cabin Supply Co, it was back in 2014 when The Cabin Supply Co was just an idea, i spent the 5 week trip developing what i wanted my little self indulgent design project/company to be.

 

I was on a road trip from Seattle to L.A. with a good friend of mine, we’d been planning it for about a year (she was in the UK and i was in NZ so it took a bit of planning) the image in the background of this design was taken in Olympic National Park in Washington, we spent 2 nights there camping and went on a hike from Obstruction Peak down to Grand Lake and back up again, a hike of around 13.5km. We hiked over snow covered mountain tops, through alpine forrest, past lakes and marmots. It was stunning and I was inspired.

This is still one of my favourite designs that i have done, I love the message, the style and of course for me the memories it brings back.

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