I was planning to write about something totally different, but a series of blog posts from Alison Young landed in my inbox this afternoon and changed my mind.  She's thru-hiking the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand;  I mentioned her journey before in this post.

She's a remarkable hiker, excellent writer, and great photographer -- and does daily posts along the way.  What's not to like about that. 

Today, 4 batched posts came in a group from Alison.  Wow -- amazing vegetation and views as she's going south on the North Island, heading towards Wellington.

This post of hers has the most amazing photos of alpine vegetation and mossy elfin forests, reminding me of places in South America we've visited:  the Enchanted Forest trail in Chilean Patagonia and Lago Cuicocha in the Central Highlands in northern Ecuador near Otavalo.

Lago Cuicocha, northern Ecuador

enjoying the view
I so enjoy reading Young's posts and marvel at her determination and perseverance.  She's a total inspiration, as I've been working on my physical strength, not just endurance (which was already fine), for X-C skiing this winter and biking and kayaking this summer -- all recent new endeavours for me.  Hey, if she can slog through endless mud on the Te Araroa trail, I can do weight machines on a regular basis at the Y!