Alright, I know I've been a super-slacker on posting things here, but it's going to continue for a little bit longer. Basically just been way too busy to sit down and write anything resembling a comprehensive post about what's been happening since Dunedin. Baically, in a nutshell, Clair and I went from Queenstown over to Dunedin to visit with my friends Mat and Hermie for a few days. Next, we headed up to Christchurch for a couple days before heading out for a week of really nice backpacking around the Arthur's Pass area. Sometime between Dunedin and Christchurch, I started working out some modifications to my bigger plan, and after a few phone calls and emails in chch, I ended up deciding to leave NZ after only about a month of traveling around. A lot of different things worked into the decision, but I ended up deciding to fly out of NZ on April 2nd instead of leaving in early May. Had a great time traveling around, but wanted to get back into a slightly more stable lifestyle and it's working out a lot beter strategically to be back in the states a bit sooner for housing and employment sort of reasons. So, Arthur's Pass was a blast, then we went back to chch for a couple days then parted ways. Clair headed back up to the north island and I flew to LA. The flight from LA to Denver was a major pain, then the trip from the Denver airport up to my uncle's place in Longmont (where most of my stuff is stashed) was even more frustrating and inconvenient. But, I did manage to get there sometime early Monday morning, then spent the day taking care of 6 months worth of mail, sorting gear and stuff for my trip back east, buying a cell phone, and taking care of random chores. Caught a very early shuttle (since RTD was on strike...) down to the airport Tuesday morning, then flew from Denver out to Atlanta, caught the rail from there to a rendezvous point with my friend Bill, crashed at Bill's place for the night, then got a ride up to Neel's Gap (the outfitter I've worked at a bit in the past,) where I'll be living and working for the next couple weeks to get some new gear and maybe even a little cash. Going to pick up a decent sized pile of new toys, the big items are a -20f down sleeping bag (retail ~$640,) a pair of mountaineering boots (retail ~$250,) some crampons to go with them (retail ~$150,) and a bunch of relatively small items. Anyways, I'm visiting my dad's place at the moment, but at work (where I'm conveniently living as well) our modem is fried so I don't have a working net connection and therefore won't be posting anything else new for a while most likely. Will be figuring out whether/how the Mackenzie river trip is going to happen, looking at school stuff, getting signed up for a Wilderness First Responder course, etc over the next few days. Later!