The End

Status

Emily and I arrived safely in Park City, Utah before 11pm MST, despite leaving Vegas after 12pm PST! We managed to avoid both heavy, damaging winds and snow storms. We ran into some snow cover on the roads in Cedar City, particularly chilly and annoying when we stopped at the supermarket and gas station. Emily drove three hours from Cedar City up to Salt Lake and I took over at the chain up area at the base of Parley’s. The air was chilly, but fresh and wholesome. 6,000 feet above sea level is where I belong!

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Saturday News

Waking up to another snowy morning

Aren’t we three weeks away from the first day of summer? Ok, maybe four. Winter always tries to make a comeback in the South in late Spring. Several centimeters of snow fell overnight, especially on mountain peaks and passes. I just hope it doesn’t affect the poor little lambs as it did last year during the cold snap.

Cycling near Sunshine Bay

I went cycling this afternoon towards Glenorchy but didn’t get far up the road since there is no path, the shoulder is narrow, and the motorists are not particularly tolerant of cyclists. There is a nice single track mountain bike park farther along the roadway but I suppose the irony is that you have to drive to it!

These hand crafted soap cupcakes look delicate and tasty!

After my short ride I enjoyed fleeting patches of sun while listening to live music at the Saturday Craft Market by the Wharf, but spent most of the day reading, writing, and watching TV. I rarely keep up with the national or world news back home but in New Zealand I pay attention to it on a fairly regular basis. It’s one of the ways I explore the culture and history of New Zealand and the nature of the news stories are different from those in the US.

For those who are curious or interested in how the Christchurch CBD is doing, the status is not so great. Many buildings have been demolished and many are awaiting a similar fate. The iconic central Cathedral still stands, but has taken serious structural damage inside and out. The next step is to secure the building to recover historical artifacts inside.

Christchurch is the second largest city in New Zealand, and the largest on the South Island. Home owners are having a tough time with their insurance claims and people are awaiting the go ahead to rebuild. This weekend a new tour is being conducted by CERA, the organization in charge of earthquake recovery management, within the CBD. They aim to display the current state of the CBD and inform people about the recovery efforts.

I’m told by recent visitors to Christchurch that it is an eerie scene. I’ve posted the video in the full entry. While the video merely shows the current infrastructure and explains the recovery scheme, it may still be upsetting to people who have lived or been in Christchurch.

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Spring Snow in Queenstown

This is nothing new, but I figured I would post anyway! I woke up at 5:30am to the sound of cool pelting rain outside my window and a light mist hanging over snow-covered trees on Queenstown Hill. When I came back from breakfast I had snow flakes on my sweater, and when I walked into town around 1pm I was still getting snowed on! I managed to get to the aquatic centre to swim, but used the bus to get out to Frankton ($5 on Connectabus) and hitch hiked back to town. I took my time swimming laps and relaxed in the hot pool while watching the fierce snow and winds outside. I left just before 5pm, when the weather let up.

When I returned to town I had the $10 pad thai dinner at Tham Nak Thai. They have a selection of $10 meals, and $13 for a combo with veggie spring rolls and a beverage. I decided on the jasmine green tea. The quality of the meal was good, the tofu and veggies cooked nice and tenderly without any superfluous use of oils, sauces, or salt in the dish. The dinner was definitely a good value, but as someone who isn’t a huge lover of noodle dishes it wasn’t anything special enough to bring me back again and again. Tham Nak Thai has several other light dishes on their $10 menu from 5-7pm nightly.