It was really hard choosing photos for todayís blog. Here we are in the beautiful Southern Alps, the sun is shining, the temperature is perfect for hiking and we are hiking a few of the trails in Mount Cook National Park.

When we checked in yesterday the woman at the front desk warned us that a sunny day means busy trails so I got Ed up a little early today to beat the rush. We drove to Hooker Valley Trail which is the most popular day hike trail in the park.

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The trail crosses rivers in three places which means three swing bridges (and six crossings as we come back along the same trail) --- not the best for someone with a fear of heights. Looking straight ahead and singing a little song to myself got me across.

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We passed Mueller Lake.

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The trail eventually followed the Hooker River to Hooker Lake which is fed by the Hooker Glacier which is one of several glaciers on the slopes of Mount Cook.

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Several icebergs had calved off of the glacier and were slowly melting in the milky, silt filled Hooker Lake. The crystal clear blue glacier water occurs once the sediment in the water has settled. The snow covered mountain is Mount Cook.

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Itís actually quite hard to see a glacier at the water level because of all the silt and rocks on top of it. The glacier is almost in the middle of the photo --- itís the blue layer covered in black rocks and dirt.

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There were also great views walking back to the parking lot.

Another area of the park we wanted to see was the Blue Lakes and the Tasman Glacier.

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The blue lakes arenít blue any more. Originally the Tasman Glacier fed the Blue Lakes but now that the Glacier has receded only rainwater fills the Blue Lakes resulting in warmer lakes and algae that now makes the lakes look green.

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One of the icebergs calved from the Tasman Glacier floating in Terminal Lake.

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We did one last small hike near the motel looking for a geocache. The cache was at a view point looking out at Mount Cook.