The day that we went to Mount Ngauruhoe (more commonly known as Mount Doom) was so jam-packed with activities that we ended up having very little time to spend at this national park. In fact, we had only about 30 minutes, so it was practically a drive-by hiking. Although the weather was lovely, albeit a wee bit windy, there were clouds that hugged the mountain and prevented us from getting any clear views. However, upon agreeing that the landscape strangely reminded us of Scotland, it was at this location that we started a new game that I would like to call "Unofficial New Zealand Slogans". Some of the ones we came up with would include:
- New Zealand: the day god learned how to Photoshop.
- New Zealand: Earth's leftover cookie dough. [Hmmm, here are some mountains from Iceland, highlands from Scotland, rain forests of Costa Rica. Throw in some rolling hills from upstate New York, but let's scrape those trees off first. Whoa, loads of fjords from Norway, ....]
- New Zealand: one giant scenic lookout that will destroy your drive times.
Unfortunately, as the worst travel journalers ever, neither of us wrote any down, so some of the best will be lost forever.
As we were making our speedy getaway, a sudden clear view of the mountain popped up on the side opposite where we'd been hiking. Unfortunately, we were far away and driving like fiends, trying to make it to our stopping point by nightfall. So as my friend drove, I was leaning out the window, taking photos and praying that nothing hit me or my camera. (This would become a common photo technique for the rest of the trip.) As luck would have it, every photo instead captured the bushes along the side of the road. Ultimately, the final 2 shots came out fine, but I kind of enjoyed the duds even more. They immediately made me think of a scenario: Imagine a dad dad in the 70's, forcing unwilling but too polite guests to view all his vacation slides of New Zealand in his brown and avocado shag living room. He's the most enthusiastic dad ever, but he also happens to be the worst photographer in existence. Every single frame is a miss-shot, but he instructs his occupants with such zeal and enthusiasm to imagine how it was ....
Date: March 2017
Camera: Canon 6D