That bright thing in the sky

Something was different when we awoke. It wasn’t raining. We hadn’t planned much for the day, beaten down as we were by the sodden weather and anticipating the cornerstone of our whirlwind South Island tour, Milford Sound, scheduled for the next day in Fiordland National Park. Before we left Invercargill we felt obliged to make the pilgrimage to E. Hayes, a massive hardware and housewares store with an impressive collection of classic Indian and other motorcycles and a few cars. 

The signature piece is the World’s Fastest Indian, one of the replicas of an Indian Scout motorbike specially engineered to break the land speed record. The story of Burt Munro’s record attempt at the Bonneville Salt Flats is told in The World’s Fastest Indian, the movie the replicas were created for. 

There are some wacky early ideas to motorize bicycles. Not sure about this one. 

It was fun to see the bikes, but the sunshine was beckoning and we were keen to get on the road. We just let the road take us and stopped wherever the mood struck us to appreciate the expansive views and the dry weather. 

Gemstone Beach had me digging through the high tide line for pretty rocks and wishing I had a tumbler to polish them.

There are plenty of suspension and swing bridges in New Zealand but this is the longest, built in 1899 with a wood deck. 

We had a hard time staying in the car but eventually we could see the mountains of Fiordland and the rivers and lakes that carved the landscape. 

We ended the day at our home for the next couple of nights, the Fiordland National Park Lodge, in a room with this view. For hill people who live at sea level these mountain scenes feed our souls. I can’t stop grinning.

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