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(By Texas Mike)

Happy New Year from Queenstown, New Zealand – welcome to 2007. Erin and I joined fellow adventurers Erik and Deborah for a toast at midnight, as we were among the first on the globe to usher in the new year.

There were no loud countdowns. No frenzy of camera flashes. No keg stands or yager shots. No Dick Clark. No cell phone speed dialing. No mad dash for that last taxi.

Simply a glass of local wine, some good conversation and our shared awe of the Routeburn Trek and all its timeless beauty: the silent sillouettes of grand mountains among a few stars flickering through our bright, moonlit sky.

We were on top of the world. Hope your New Year was grand too.