Jared Ning


The Fellowship of the Ring of Fire Part 3: Snowshoeing


The #1 thing I wanted to do in New Zealand was to hike the world famous Milford track. But it was the beginning of winter, so the weather is not safe. Plus you have to book a year in advance. While looking for other hiking excursions, I stumbled on showshoeing. Snowshoeing used to be walking on top of snow with shoes that look like old tennis rackets. There have been great technological advances in snowshoeing. Now there are plastic and metal attachments that you can fasten to your regular shoes. The large footprint and spikes on the bottom help you to walk on snow, even if it's waste-deep.

Since it was just the beginning of winter, there wasn't much snow. Luckily for us, it snowed the night before we were to go snowshoeing. Plus they have artificial snow machines. Instead of skiing, which neither of us know how to do, we went snowshoeing up the mountain. It was really nice -- better than triple digit weather in Oklahoma for sure.

New Zealand is where the Lord of the Rings Trilogy was filmed, and it's also where director Peter Jackson is from. We were lucky enough to snowshoe our way to a couple of the scenes from the movie. Just before the fellowship enters into the mines of Moria (you know, speak friend and enter, big octopus thing in the lake). Except the lake was frozen over and the mountain was covered in snow. But it was still neat.

We took a break at the lake. Our tour guide shoveled us some seats made of snow while his wife made tea for us and give us cookies. It was quite tasty, and the warm tea hit the spot.