I just wanted to mention one or two things about my post: Easter at Helms Deep.
1. I seem to have consistenty misspelled "Butler" by swapping the t and the l.
2. My Grandfather, Malcom V. Prouting, bought Messy from the bank long before it went to his sons.
3.A note on my description of travelling upstream to find some water (Priority1. Get the dog some water);
The terrain that the Alma flows across and through once it leaves the gully is ancient gravel river bed. The land was formed by glacier, then claimed by glacial and snow-fed rivers. This is why the Rangitata is known as a braided riverbed. It is free to wind about and make its own path across the wide flat valley floor, and carves new 'streams' each year as it floods with the spring melt. Where the Alma emerges from the mountains to the side it has shifted its own fair share of broken down greywacke rock and built up a high causeway of gravel that follows its path from the mouth of the gully out to the Rangitata. You could see how high this was in the pictures, we had to scramble down one bank and the stream has since eaten into its own creation another level again.
When we aproached the Alma from the side, following a rough hunters track, and made our way up onto the causeway, we discovered old stream bed but no water. None. The place was as dry as a lizard's back. But only a few metres upstream, say 50m, there was a trickle of beautiful clear snow-fed water. And another 50-100m up the stream the water was rushing so fast and deep I could only wade through in places (and you saw how high my 'gumboots' were) and the dog didn't want to attempt it at all.
The madly rushing water upstream was gradually soaked in through the gravel until it was running underground and would have come out into the Rangitata again somewhere lower.
Now isn't that amazing???