Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Driving on the Other Side ( Part 26 )

nz spring creek
As Bender started his drive toward the Hunters home, he came to a pull off that over looked  the Gin clear river named after the family dynasty, in which the river meandered it's course until it reached the Pacific ocean. A spectacular river indeed, not too large to intimidate,  and not to small to become a bore if fished many times. A perfect small river that snaked it's way through the Valley grassland. Billy was drawn to the beauty of the over all complexion of this wonderful body of water, and stopped by the side of the road to have a closer look. Like many fanatic Fly Fishermen, when one gets close to a River with Trout, one needs to stop and have a closer look. Bender thought about what Ann Hunter had said to him the first day they met, how she had caught a 12 lb Rainbow on a Dry Fly on this very river. He thought, Ann must fish very well indeed to catch such a large trout on a river such as this, not an easy accomplishment. Billy's mind started to wonder, thinking about what Ann would look like in waders and all the gear for Fly Fishing, it brought a smile to his face  as he returned to the old Ford wagon and continued his drive along the river to the Hunters home.
Kelly and Jane had a smile on their faces as well , but not due to a River, nor fishing,  just because they were in the company of  a charming man, who happened to be a couple of years their junior, who was single and free.  Jane pipes in  " hey we are almost at the parking lot and the beginning of our hike'. Kelly, " I'm ready to get some exercise, this will be great, what about you Mark, do you like to hike?" Mark replies, " Oh yea, I hike all the time in Montana, usually 3-4 times a summer, we have some great trails in Montana, just about all over the Western and Central part of the State". Jane says, " I'm glad we don't need a tent, the idea of having huts is way easier". Then she adds, Mark, I'm from Montana, I grew up in Great Falls, we use to do some hikes out of the "Bob", Bob Marshall Wilderness, I'm sure it is much wilder hiking than this will be, I mean they don't have bears or any native mammals here, nothing to attack you".  Mark with a huge smile add, " I'm so glad that you two feel comfortable with my presences, it would be such a drag if you were uptight. But, if you want to be attacked Jane, I'm more than game, give me the word and I'll be your Grizzly bear. Jane smiling from ear to ear pipes in, "Sweetie, you can't rape the willing, and for you, I'm willing, so , lets just leave it at that, OK?" Kelly turns to Jane and asks, " are you going to tell Mark about Billy? Just then the Dark green Land Cruiser comes to a stop in front of a sign that reads " Milford Track, Start Here". The three all jump out and stretch, Jane adds," Mark, it's a long story, I'm not so sure you want to hear it". Kelly barks out, "Janie, Billy is only 150 miles away, your not going to tell  him!" "Give me a break Jane, chances are they are going to meet".  Jane with a look that could melt steel says, " OK, I'll tell Mark tonight, you OK with that Marko?" And the three start to assemble the gear to get ready for their three day, two nights hike.
NZ Milford trck
Bender is negotiating the gravel road that leads to the Hunters home, there has been some damage from the big quake as Billy has to get out from time to time removing large boulders that have been displaced onto the road. After a fifteen minute drive, Bender finally arrives to find Jack and Heddy Hunter waiting for him at the front door. In Billy's mind flashed The Field, the classic British Magazine that is  for sportsman of the UK, unconditionally always showing photos of men and women clad in their Logan greens, Jack and Heddy could have been on the cover. As Billy approached he notices that both Hunters are quite tall , Jack at least 6"4 and Heddy close to 6"0 herself, and both as handsome a couple as Billy can remember ever seeing. Jack Hunter with his long arm out reached to welcome their new guest, greets Billy with a " Welcome Mr Bender, I'm so sorry, Ann isn't here to welcome you herself". Bender replies, "please you can call me Billy, very nice to meet you, what a beautiful property you have, I'm so impressed" Heddy is the spiting  image of Ann, a lovely women who in Benders mind must be close to 70 years old. Heddy is tall and thin, her head is covered in long , straight, silver hair, tied back with apiece of  black  velvet, she is from head to toe in Green Logan. Jack is also adorned in Green Logan with the exception of  his brown leather boots, that come  just below the knee.  Jack also has straight, silver locks, a bit longer in length than Billy is use to seeing. Both are warm and inviting, with enormous smiles inviting Billy into their home. After the formality's the three enter the kitchen and sit at a long wooden table where three places are set for an informal lunch.
Heddy asks, " So Billy, I understand that you met a dear friend of ours last night during this awful Earthquake , Kate Granger?" Billy, " yes, I did , I was spending the night at her B & B, Kate was so gracious to allow me to stay, you know she wasn't really open, but she gave me the four star treatment" .With a rather large smile Heddy remarked, " I bet she did indeed". Then Jack asked, " how was the road down here, it must have been an awful mess, how bad is it in Christchurch? Bender replies, " the road wasn't too bad , they have crews out cleaning  up most of the mess, but Christchurch is in ruins , I'm afraid.  Jack, " well , that will take sometime , tell you the truth, we were quite lucky here on the farm, not much damage at all, thank god". Heddy, " so, you spoke with Ann last night? Poor girl has to work, she is in Australia on another photo shoot, last minute , but she insisted that we take good care of you, she said you were quite a sportsman?" Bender laughs , " well, it sounds like Ann is the one, she told me she caught a lovely 12 lb Rainbow from your river, on a Dry Fly".  Jack in a quick response, " Ann did that when she was not quite so busy, I think she was 16, maybe 17, but that was before she started working like crazy". Heddy, " oh Jack, she loves her work, you know Billy, Ann is quite famous, she is getting to be an excellent actress , besides from the modeling". Bender, "I know, the flight attendants made a big fuss over Ann on the flight down, she seems to be all the rage". Heddy, " well, she is almost as famous as her cousin Rachel, who is a international super model/actress, who married quite well. For sometime it seemed every magazine we saw had something about Rachel, but , now that seems years ago, these days Ann has taken over".  Jack, " well, we sure don't get to see much of Ann these days, with her working as hard as she does, Ann is our youngest, so, now we are here on the Hunter Farm alone. Heddy, "So Billy, you seem to be a few years older than Ann, have you two known each other long?" Billy feeling a little heat from the question replies, " No, we just met on the flight down here, Ann was gracious enough to invite me here to try out your river, she knew I was an avid Fly Fishermen".
The three finished their lunch and moved into the sitting room, where coffee and dessert was served, the questions continued. Heddy," So Billy, Ann said something about you taking sometime off of work, she didn't mention why, are you on vacation?" Bender looked down at his empty plate, then, spoke, " to tell you the truth, I wish it was on a real vacation, my company gave me a month off to have time to discover if I was negligent in allowing our security system to fail. I will know next week what the outcome will be, but until then, I guess I'm on vacation.  Jack, " Ann mentioned that you work at an investment brokerage, things must be difficult at best these days, I can't even begin to tell you the losses we have seen in the past year or two".  Billy, " yes, I know, it's a world wide disaster, effecting everyone, I'm the head of security for a home grown Investment company in Great Falls Montana, we were hacked by a couple of thugs  from Eastern Europe, the timing could not have been worst." Jack, " well, enough about that, you get settled in , and we can go out and have a look at the river and see if we can't find a few rising trout, what do you say?"
Jane, Kelly, and their new friend Mark donned their backpacks and started the hike, along with a dozen or so other hikers, in a rain forest that many who have completed this hike, say it is one of the most scenic paths on the planet. Kelly was quick to have a look at the other hikers to see if there was any potential looming, for she was tired of Jane having all the fun.

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