We arrived at Nugget Point, a large rocky peninsula jutting out into the Pacific Ocean on the very south-eastern corner of the island, at a wee bit after six o’clock.  A lighthouse sat high on a hill out on the Point, with dozens of small rock islands scattered around it. We had been told that elephant seals, sea lions and penguins could sometimes be seen there; we were eager to see some interesting NZ wildlife, and this seemed like it might be our best chance.  We especially wanted to see penguins!  
     We started on the 15 minute walk along the top of the cliff out to the lighthouse – but in the end it took us over an hour to get there.  First we stopped to observe a colony of birds nesting on a huge rock outcropping far below the path.  With our binoculars we had a pretty good look at them, and we were delighted to see several spoonbills nesting among the gannets and gulls.  These large fluffy white seabirds were very distinctive and almost comical looking with their large black shovel-like bills.   
     As we stood watching the spoonbills we started hearing amazing loud noises from far below us, reminiscent of the trumpeting of elephants; it was obviously the sound of some large animal.  Unfortunately, whatever was making the noise was around the corner of a rock outcropping and just out of our sight, but we surmised that we must have been hearing elephant seals.
     Presently we continued down the path towards the lighthouse, searching the shoreline carefully.  Rounding a bend, we found ourselves looking at a colony of sea lions on the rocks down below us.  They looked somewhat similar to the fur seals we had seen earlier in the trip, but they were much larger – the males can weigh up to 2000 pounds.  Several of the females had young babies; some of them appeared to be nursing.  Several youngsters were romping and playing in the tidal pools.  The huge males slept on the rocks; they looked like giant slugs.  We stood and watched the sea lions for a long time.  

     We followed the trail out to the lighthouse at the very tip of Nugget Point.  We stood on the overlook and watched the waves coming in, crashing on the many rock islands that stuck up out of the ocean like teeth.  The sun was low, its brilliant rays slanting over the water, shining golden in the waning light.  Below us we could see fur seals, resting on the rocks, and diving in and out of the water.   

     We went over to Roaring Bay , on the south side of Nugget Point, to the penguin sighting area.  We were really hoping to see penguins, but they are scarce and very shy, so it’s quite difficult to get the chance. 
     We went down a trail to a wee building overlooking the beach; the ‘penguin blind.’  We were looking for the ‘yellow-eyed penguins’; a colony of them lived in the area.  We had read that just before sunset was the most likely time to see one; that is when they come in from fishing in the ocean and cross the beach to return to their nests.  By then it was 8:15 p.m., and since it wasn’t fully dark until after ten o’clock, we figured our timing was about right.
     We walked down the winding path to the blind, and the wind was fierce and bitter cold.  We huddled inside the small open-fronted shed, which was designed to hide us from view but did nothing to block the wind.  Four or five other people were there, watching intently.
     We saw our first penguin right away, standing on some rocks by the beach.  He was adorable!  We were not very close to him, but we could see him fairly well with the binoculars.  He stood for a long time, gazing out toward the ocean.  After a while he lay down on his belly on a rock, where he remained for the whole time we were there. 
     Before long, a second penguin appeared suddenly on the path directly below us, much closer.  He was about two and a half feet tall.  His back and wings (arms? flippers?) were a bluish black color, and his belly and front were pure white.  Pale yellow feathers surrounded his eyes, and his feet were pink.  He walked down the stony path, hopping from rock to rock, and set out across the beach.  He waddled along, rocking back and forth from one foot to the other in a comical manner.  But as soon as he hit the water all of the funny bobbling was gone, and he was swift and graceful as he dived and disappeared into the waves.
We watched for a long time, waiting for him to come back, but nothing happened.  The other people in the blind left.  We were shivering with cold in the icy wind, but we were determined to wait, feeling sure that the penguin would return.


     We were rewarded for our vigilance.  Eventually our swimming friend came out of the waves and waddled across the sandy beach.  He stopped not far below us and shook himself vigorously, and then he went through an elaborate grooming and preening routine.  We had a great view of him, and though the light was a bit dim for photographs, I was clicking away with my camera like mad.  He put on quite a show for us.  He would pose, with both stubby wings held straight out from his sides to dry.  Then he would waddle a few steps and preen, combing himself with his bill, and then pose again.  It was hilarious! 


     Suddenly he turned and faced the ocean again, looking intently toward the waves.  Another penguin came in from the surf.  Apparently this was his mate, and he greeted her as she came across the beach towards him.  (Not that we could really tell which was ‘him’ and which was ‘her’ . . .)  They ran (waddled?) eagerly toward each other, stubby wings outstretched, and for a moment I thought they were going to hug.  They stood and posed together in some sort of greeting ritual, with their noses in the air and their flippers stretched out, and then they started the whole preening routine again.  

     After a while our pair made their way up a very steep path to where presumably their nest was located in the bushes.  They hopped up the stepping stones, leaning forward to scramble their way up the steepest parts.  We were surprised that they were able to negotiate that sheer slope, but the penguins proved to be much more agile than they looked.
     During this time, yet another penguin, the fourth we had seen, emerged from the underbrush and crossed the beach for a swim.  We surmised that it might have been the mate of the first one we saw, who was still lying belly down on the rocks.
     The sunset had painted the sky red and purple, and as the last daylight faded we headed up the trail to the car.  We were ecstatic - we couldn’t believe our good luck.  Seeing the penguins was so much better than we had anticipated.  They were very much cuter, funnier, bigger and more beautiful than we had expected.  It was amazing to watch their behavior and interaction.  We felt that we had experienced an exceptional wildlife viewing day.  The only thing that could have made it better would have been to have seen a baby penguin as well.

     Before penguin viewing, we had used our rented cell phone to book lodging for the night; we reserved a room at a motel in Balclutha.  We were dismayed when the receptionist told us that they were only open until 9:00 p.m., until she said, “No worries, I’ll just leave the key for you under the mat.”  Gotta love NZ!
     It was quite dark by the time we found our happy hour spot, overlooking the beach near the point.  We sampled the Montana Chardonnay; it was fair, not outstanding but very drinkable.  We dined on peppercorn pate and Colby cheese, on crackers with apricot preserves – it made for an excellent dinner. 

     It was almost 11:00 p.m. when we finally headed for our motel, but our adventures weren’t quite over.  It was the first time we had driven when it was fully dark, and we had several more wildlife encounters.  We saw something that we had been starting to doubt really existed; a live possum!  We had seen hundreds of these nocturnal creatures dead in the road, so we were really excited to see one that hadn’t been run over.  We also saw a hedgehog crossing the road.  I slammed on the brakes, but by the time we fumbled for our torches and went back for a closer look he was long gone. 
     Then something really special happened.  As we drove along the beach road we suddenly saw a shadowy shape come from the side of the road into the view of our headlights.  To our utter surprise and lasting delight, it was a baby penguin.  Unbelievable!  He wandered along the edge of the road, and we got to watch him for several minutes before he disappeared into the bushes.  He was amazingly cute.  We didn’t know what he was doing out of his nest at that time of night, but we felt extremely lucky to have gotten a chance to see him.  We decided that we should drive at night more often.

Day 12
     In the morning we went to Mosgiel, near Dunedin , to look at a horse, our only ‘business’ part of the trip.  In this area there were a lot of nice horse farms, with their green fields and high hedges.  Soon we were on the road again.  We passed through lovely farmland with great numbers of cattle and sheep in their small rotating paddocks.  We saw what we thought must be called ‘shoe fence,’ a section of fence with shoes of all types and sizes hanging on it.  Was this a replacement for ‘bra fence’?  As we headed north up route 87 we had panoramic views of the farming country; big long green hills, very open, with just a few stands of pine trees, and lots of sheep.

     We pulled out our map book and located the smallest wee yellow roads we could find, and we set out northwest across central Otaga.  It was the warmest sunniest day yet.  We followed a series of small unsealed roads that led us further and further up into the hills.  As we left the lush green valleys behind, gradually the landscape became drier, browner, rockier.    

     Everywhere we looked there were sheep, thousands and thousands of sheep.  No small paddock rotations out here; they grazed on huge open ranges.  They were quite shy, and ran when our car approached.  No fences separated the pastures from the small road; we were right among the sheep.  At one point we drove through a mob of them and they were all running with the car in a panic.  We were stampeding with the sheep!   

     We turned on to the first part of Old Dunstan Road , a 4WD track marked on the map as ‘summer only.’  The road was narrow, and in places extremely rutted.  It passed through gateways with cattle guards, open stream fords, and many gates that Jineen had to get out and open.
     The landscape grew harsher as we went on.  The trees were replaced by rock formations, as we passed along the edge of the ‘Rock and Pillar Range .’  It was still a country of great long rolling hills, and we were struck by its vastness.  The ground was covered in brown tussock grasses and rocks.  Sheep still dotted the hillsides, but fewer numbers could be supported here. 
     The further we went the rougher the road became; less maintained and definitely less traveled.  The fords got deeper and the gates got harder to open.  Rock outcroppings and formations were more and more numerous, many of them large and weirdly shaped; some of them resembled animals or faces.  High up in the hills, we passed a large lake that apparently had no name; at least none was listed on our detailed map.

     Soon there was nothing but rocks, as far as the eye could see in all directions.  There were long sloping hills, tough tussocky grasses, and rocks, always more rocks.  The countryside had a unique beauty, a kind of quiet grandeur, very different from anyplace we had seen.  The vastness of it was amazing.  We had left the sheep behind. 

     We had been steadily climbing, and once we crossed the ridgeline the grass between the outcroppings grew slightly greener again.  The dark grey layered rocks formed exotic shapes and tall pillars.  The hills and rocks just went on and on, but after a while we started to see steep brown and grey mountains in the distance, capped with snow.  This area was where they filmed the ‘Plains of Rohan’ in the Lord of the Rings movies.  The countryside was quite beautiful, but also sort of lonely.  It was very remote; the whole time we were on this road we had seen just one farmer, and one 4WD pulling a boat. 
     We descended off the high ridge and drove back down into a river valley, lush and green again, with signs of civilization: farms, houses, and crossroads.  We had come to the end of the first section of Old Dunstan Road . 
It took a bit of navigating and a few wrong turns, but we finally found the turnoff for the second half of Old Dunstan Road .  It was marked with a warning sign:  ‘Not suitable for cars.  Lightly Traveled.  Closed in Winter.  Poolburne Reservoir - 31 Kilometers.’  There was a gate across the way, which Jineen opened with difficulty; it was rusted shut.  (The gate less opened . . .) 

     The road seemed to go on for ever.  It takes a long time to drive 31 kilometers on the kind of track we were on.  We didn’t see a soul, and there was no sign that anyone had been this way in a long time.  We passed through probably a dozen gates, and half that many stream crossings.  The only other living creatures we saw were numerous magpies along the way, and high above us the falcons riding the wind.

     We were back to brown tussock grass and rock formations again.  We climbed up a long gradual slope to a high ridge; we could see row upon row of rocky hills, rolling back to the mountains like waves.  At last we crossed the top of the ridgeline and came down to Poolburne Reservoir, a large irregular-shaped lake with many arms, surrounded by hills of tussock grass and rocks.  We could see the Dunstan Mountains ahead in the distance.
     We parked the car near the edge of the lake.  It was quite warm, so we cracked the windows a bit so that Manny the Driftwood wouldn’t get too hot.  He was just dumbfounded by the vastness of the area – he hadn’t realized that the world was so big!
     We walked around the area, exploring.  It was very quiet; nobody was there except for a few birds.  There were some small fishing shacks or holiday houses (known in NZ as baches) around the lake, but they all seemed deserted at the moment.  Crossing the spaces between rock outcroppings, we found the walking more difficult that it looked; the ground was uneven, and the clumpy grass was hard to traverse.  There were many rabbit holes, and we saw bones of long-deceased sheep.  We climbed on the rock formations, peering into all of the wee nooks and crannies.  The reservoir stretched serenely before us, quiet and peaceful.  

     Eventually we came down out of the hills and back to civilization.  We stopped in the town of Ophir for a coke, and then headed for Dansey’s Pass.  We crossed through a fertile green valley; yellow broom and purple lupins lined the shores of the braided river, and steep brown cliffs loomed above.
     We passed the Dansey’s Pass Hotel, sitting by itself in the middle of nowhere, and then the road turned into a 4WD track.  Immediately it began to climb.  The road was narrow, and it wound its way up the side of the mountain in a series of tight turns.  There were numerous places where the road had seriously collapsed, with just one lane remaining, and a sheer drop-off where the edge of the cliff had crumbled away.  (No guard rails, of course!)  They had shored it up on the collapsed areas with small rocks held in place by chicken wire - this did not inspire confidence.
     Near the top, we saw firsthand evidence of what happened if you took the turns too fast.  We passed a van that had been pulling a garden spray trailer; it had run off the road and was on its side about 50 feet below a particularly nasty hairpin turn.  It looked like it had been there a while.  
     At the top we stopped to enjoy the view - it was spectacular.  The mountains surrounding us were grand and majestic; they were all of brown and grey, with big gravel slides on the higher reaches.  We could look down on the green valleys far below.  We saw a dragonfly and a couple of butterflies; both seem to be quite rare in NZ.
     Presently we made our way down the other side – carefully.  The grade was steep as we wound down the mountainside.  Toward the bottom we came to a single house, all by itself near the base of the mountain, with no other dwellings for miles.  We figured whoever lived there had quite a long way to go to pick up a bottle of milk.

     Having successfully negotiated Dansey’s Pass, we followed signs for the Vanishing World Earthquake Site.  We thought this would be an interesting place to visit, since neither of us had seen an earthquake site before.  But when we got there, the sign explained that it wasn’t really the site of an earthquake at all, but actually just a big landslide.  We passed on that and moved on.
     Our next stop was the Maori Rock Drawings.  This was a large undercut cliff face where some symbols and drawings were visible, dating back to ancient times.  As artwork it was not too inspiring, but the sense of history of the Maori people made it quite interesting.
     Humans first came to New Zealand about a thousand years ago, during the Stone Age.  They used stone axes to cut trees for their canoes, and built them with only the most primitive tools and supplies.  They sailed across the ocean without a compass, navigating by following only the stars, the waves, and the migrating birds.  They must have been amazingly imaginative and brave to have done this.  Imagine the courage it took to set out on a one-way trip across the wide expanse of ocean, in tiny canoes, not knowing for sure if there was even land on the other side.
     We had called ahead and booked a room at the Thames Court Motel .  It turned out to be a really nice big room with a full kitchenette, for $90 NZ, or about $60 US.  It was a great deal! 
     We had happy hour at Kakanui Beach Road , overlooking the Pacific.  It was mostly dark; we looked for penguins but saw none.  We made a meal of fresh bread with pate, cheese, and chutney.  We finished off the Montana Chardonnay and tried the Delegati Sauvignon Blanc; it wasn’t especially good but we drank it anyway. 

Day 13
     We awoke to overcast white skies for our last day in NZ.  We stopped for scones for breakfast on the way out of town, and headed north with the ocean on our right.  We passed a highway department safety sign that showed a bunch of sheep jumping in an arc, and said, “Feeling sleepy?  Pull over and rest.”  We stopped in the town of Geraldine to do a wee bit of shopping (Christmas was just over a week away), and then turned inland.
     We headed northwest, and turned left at Mt. Somers .  We took a long unsealed road through breathtaking mountains and valleys.  The weather was cloudy, but there were patches of blue breaking through; it looked like it was clearing up.
     On this trip we had visited different places than when we had come previously.  For the most part we took a completely different route, and where we did repeat some of the west coast roads, we stopped at different spots, and saw different sights.  But there was one place we had visited on our previous visit that we really wanted to see again.  Jineen and I decided to return to Mt. Sunday , better known as Edoras of Rohan in the Lord of the Rings films.  It was an incredibly beautiful place, and both of us had really loved it on our 2004 trip to NZ.  This was the only place we had visited before that we specifically returned to (other than the Kaikoura Whale Watch at the beginning of the trip).

     Mt Sunday is a large steep hill that rises quite suddenly out of the Rangitata River valley, on the Erewhon sheep station.  It is surrounded on all sides by incredibly beautiful mountains; even for New Zealand the scenery is exceptional.  For the filming of the movie, a great golden hall had been built on top of it, to portray Edoras, home of the Horse Lords; but all of the set had long sense been removed, and we saw the hill as nature made it. 

     As we approached, we topped the ridge and looked down at the river valley stretched before us, with Edoras rising abruptly out of the flat plain.  The first thing we noticed was that the mountains at the far end of the valley were invisible, obscured by white clouds.  Not a good sign.  The closer we got the thicker the mist became, and soon it was starting to rain.  We went further up the valley and explored some side roads, hoping for a break in the weather.  We crossed several open fords where the gravel slides came all the way down the mountain and into the road, with wide areas of fallen scree.  We passed some fields with horses; they were breeding Clydesdale crosses there on the sheep station.
     By the time we parked the car by the trail to Edoras, it was raining steadily.  It had been our intention to pack a picnic, hike over across the many-channeled river to Edoras, eat our lunch there, and then thoroughly explore the area.  Because of the rain we canned the picnic idea, but set out for the hike nonetheless.  However, by the time we got to the first river crossing (there had been 7 in all last time!) the rain was coming down in sheets and the wind was blowing it horizontal.  We decided to abandon our plans and head back to the car.  With all of the lucky timing we had enjoyed with our hikes and the weather on this trip, I guess we had to pay for it sometime.  Perhaps we weren’t meant to return to Edoras. 

     As we drove out of the valley, Edoras disappeared into the rain and mists.  We were disappointed that we didn’t get to explore Mt. Sunday as planned, but we decided to follow another small road, north, up to Lake Heron .  Once we had traveled a few kilometers away from Edoras it was no longer raining; but we could look back and see the Erewhon Valley still obscured in raincloud – the stormy weather seemed to hover over it. 
     We turned up another beautiful valley, and set out to see what we could find.  There was a wide flat plain on either side of the unsealed road, and the mountains rose up rather abruptly at the edges of it.  The mountains were steep-sided, brown and grey, and accented by bits of white snow at the tops of the taller ones.  There were green foothills in the foreground, with occasional secluded farms at their base.  


     It was extremely windy as we headed up through the valley.  As we drew closer to the lake, we seemed to be heading into doom and gloom again, and the mountains were obscured by mist.  We passed a pond, and swimming on it was a pair of black swans, with tiny downy babies, young enough to still be almost white.  We came to a nice wee house with a yard full of flowers, and a brass plaque on a large stone:  ‘In memory of Max and Robert Buik, who farmed the Clent Homestead for 60 years.’  It was an intriguing memorial, and left us wanting to know more.  
     We rounded a corner and Lake Heron was before us, framed by brown and grey mountains.  It was a dark green color, with whitecaps and breakers rolling in to the shore.  Whitecaps and breakers?  Wait, that can’t be right, it’s a lake, not an ocean.  But if you mentally cut out the mountains, it did look like the ocean.  The wind was just howling across the surface of the lake, creating the waves.  It was so strong that when we stopped, we could feel it shaking the car. 

     We parked by the edge of Lake Heron and had an early happy hour (it was about 4:30).  As the wind continued to buffet the car, we had our now-traditional fare of peppercorn pate, cheese, and chutney on crackers.  We opened a bottle of Five Flax Sauvignon Blanc; it was fabulous.  We decided it was as good as the Stoneleigh, and it was very economical in price; we gave it four stars.  After a while we noticed that our car seemed to be moving more; either the wind was stronger or the wine was making us more attuned to the motion.
     Soon the waves were so strong that you could have surfed on them.  The car was shaking.  I, of course, decided it was a good time to take some photographs.  When I got out of the car, I had to hang on to the door to make sure it didn’t get ripped off.  Or maybe I was just hanging on to it to be sure I didn’t get blown away.   Trying to take photos was a joke; there was no way I could hold the camera steady.  The wind blew all of the time in New Zealand , but this was above and beyond - I think it was the strongest wind I have ever experienced!  I do love the wind, though, so I found the whole thing exhilarating. 

     We kept a notebook on the dashboard of the car, like a journal, to jot down notes for this trip report.  Later, upon reviewing it, I found the following excerpt written in it by Jineen:  
     “Phyllis seems compelled to have a Kodak Moment – the car is shaking – she is in serious jeopardy of being blown away.  My god, you could surf on the lake!  I, being older and wiser, am calmly sipping my wine, and resisting the urge to put on my seat belt.  I’ve just been informed that I have no sense of adventure.”      
Major wind continued as we drove up the valley past the lake.  The tall tussock grass was blown flat on its side.  We took photos out of the car window so we wouldn’t have to get out in the wind.  We imagined the caption: “Photograph New Zealand from the comfort of your vehicle!”  But we really didn’t want to risk losing a car door on our last day.       
We headed east again. We passed a herd of red deer , all does, looking alertly at the car.  I rolled down the window and called out, “Hello ladies,” and they all took off.  Jineen said maybe it was my accent, so the next group we came to, I yelled “G’day, mates,” and this was much better, they just stood and stared.  Further on, we passed a paddock with three elk stags, with the most enormous antlers we had seen. 

     We were heading for the town of Methven , where we intended to stay for the night.  But as we got near, we decided to drive up the road to the Mount Hutt Ski Field.  The map showed a small road winding back and forth up to the top.  It was 7:30 p.m., and we hadn’t yet booked lodging, but we figured that if we arrived in Methven by 8:30 we should be OK.  We thought we should be able to make that all right; after all, it’s only 16 kilometers to the top; and anyway, how hard can it be?  (Sorry, I had to do that just one more time!)

     We headed up the curving road.  It was a wee bit wider than the one at the Remarkables Ski Field, and there were fewer really tight steep switchbacks, but it was still nerve-wracking, especially as we got higher.  As we climbed, we encountered dozens of rockslides; we repeatedly had to pick our way around the rocks and rubble in the road.  It looked like nobody had driven up here in weeks, maybe months.  The wind was whipping, and in the exposed areas I feared that we would be blown off the mountain.
The views were spectacular.  There were level plains far below us, with the hedges and paddocks of rich fertile farmland, and the wide many-channeled river flowing through it. We could look down on the green fields, laid out before us like a patchwork quilt.


     Closer to the top the turns became tighter and the road steeper.  My nervousness increased along with the altitude.  I wondered why on earth we had decided to drive up this ski road.  We should have learned our lesson at the Remarkables!  Slow learners, I guess. 
     We were getting close to the top, and I was gripping the steering wheel white-knuckled, when we came around a bend to find  . . . a locked gate!  There was no room to turn around; I had to back the car up on that narrow gravel road, with a wall on my right and a thousand foot drop-off on my left (no guard rail over the abyss).  Were we going to die on our last day in NZ?  Jineen got out of the car to direct; she said it was to see better, but I suspected it was in case I went over the edge.  Presently we reversed back to a wide enough spot to turn around.
     As I carefully negotiated the treacherous road back down, going in first gear and pumping the brakes, Jineen said, “You better hurry if you want to make Methven by 8:30!”  Ha ha.  Needless to say, we didn’t make it. 

     We pulled into town about nine o’clock, and we found a room right away.  It was actually a very spacious and classy condo, with a living room, full kitchen, two bedrooms, and really nice furniture, all for $130 NZ (less than $90 US).   
     After checking out several pubs that didn’t suit us, we had dinner at the ‘Ski Time’ restaurant.  It was a bit noisy, but the food was good.  We went back to our rooms and repacked our bags for the trip home.  This was quite challenging, because we had to find room in our luggage for Manny the Driftwood, who was about three feet long and very oddly shaped, and also for the dozens of ferns we were planning on smuggling out of the country for Mom.  We could only hope that the fern-sniffing beagles wouldn’t be out at the airport!

Day 14
     On our last morning in New Zealand it was raining, which seemed fitting.  We headed for the airport, but had some extra time on our hands.  We explored a few last back roads, drove along the edge of a lake, and passed some nice horse farms.  A Standardbred harness racer with a sulky came trotting up the bridle path past us, with his driver leading a second trotter behind him.  We saw a field full of pinto mares and foals standing together in a group; it looked like something out of a Bev Doolittle painting. 
     We stopped at a wee café for lunch, where we had a great last meal; delicious meat pies (chicken with cranberry) and chips.  Then it was off to the airport, where sadly, it was time to say goodbye to New Zealand .  When we returned our rental car, we had put 3592 kilometers on the odometer; that’s 2155 miles.  Not bad for two weeks; we had covered some ground!  
     We managed to get through the airport without our luggage being confiscated by the fern police, and we successfully smuggled Manny onto the plane.  It had been an awesome trip.  And now we had the wonderful Air New Zealand ‘Business Class Royale’ to look forward to on the plane ride home!

     ~The End ~

The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

  I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

                                ~ Robert Frost ~  

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