10 March, 2007

new roads



Today I slept a bit, due to a long musical evening hours before.  But when I did start working I never stopped.  The work was good.  I cleaned my prop shaft and propeller—which were a bit dodgy and came out with a shine.  And then my rigger showed up unexpectedly: a) it was Saturday, b) since when do riggers deliver?  He had a big roll of rigging for me.  Wow, it was shiny and fat and rather glorious to behold.  We chatted a moment then he got on his way.

It was about lunch time, but I couldn't help going up and putting in this new shiny steel.  It would take a bit of work.  The clevis pins on this new wire are a few sizes bigger than my old ones, so I'd have to drill them out.

I went up and down twice, but the job got done.


With this finished (well, sort of. . .) I realized it was nearing five and I had wanted to send off a few emails that were somewhat time sensitive.  I have friends in Paihia who run a art gallery called the Flying Fish and they let me come in and use there computer for internet.

So I grabbed my computer and my running shoes—I figured if I was going all the way to Paihia, there was some beautiful terrain up there above Waitangi—I might as well have a new run.  Off I went.

I managed my computer biz and drove up and up.  Amazing green land overlooking the Bay of Islands, real spectacular vistas.  I didn't really know where I was going.  I randomly pulled Vanetta over, sort of at the top, a top, somewhere up there.  I would run from there.  It was all beautiful.  So I started off.


The road soon turned to gravel and wound down to a shallow bay and rec. area.  It was all so quite and the sun was bright in the lower sky.  I found a Heritage site and from there the road was closed to all but walkers, horses and bikes.  The land was flat, and it has been many months since I've had a flat run. 

The further I went into the preserve, the more I wished I had paid better attention to the map.  But also, I half wanted to get lost—no better excuse for a very, very long run than if you are lost.  And I felt it was time for one of those. 

I randomly turned, but also was drawn to a fork leading to higher ground.  The roads went on and on and just kept trodding along.  Soon the higher, muddier track forked back into a very important looking gravel track.  Could I have crossed the whole Preserve?  Looking at the map originally I had thought it far too large.  I was moving back up into the hills and had a decent since of where I was.  I was a long way from Vanetta, for sure, but going the right way.

And sure enough there was the gate.  I was across.   There was another map.  Now I needed to see how to get back to Vanetta.  I got the gist of it and started off.  First I wanted to summit Mt Bledisloe.  It was very small, but the view was as good as any I've seen in many a day.  I stretched a bit and got on my way.


More gravel roads, gently sloping down and toward the sea.  It would be a ways, but I still felt very fresh.  I passed a fork without much thought (without enough thought) and kept heading down.  If I had thought I would have realized that was my turn, but I happily continued on, merrily heading farther and farther away from where I intended to go.

But fate was following beside me.  Because, blind that I may be, I have a habit of finding things along roads.  And what did I see but a dusty-looking camera case right in the middle of the gravel.  I stopped and picked it up—it looked fine, not run over.  I opened it up, a little giddy.  (I've always wanted a tiny little camera.)  And yes, it was a fine camera, a Cannon, 6 megapixel, and brand spanking new.  I couldn't believe it.  This was an expensive camera!  And some poor soul, Oh we're going on vacation to NZ, we'll need a new little expensive camera to memorialize our trip.  Lost.

And all they needed to do was put their name inside the case.  I would—reluctantly—send it to them.  I'll even put some signs up.  How much good they'll do. . . but I'll try.

As it stands, I have inherited a very fine little camera.  A have a nice new BIG camera, a serious camera, but you can't take it everywhere.  A little point-and-shot can live in your rucksack, always ready for those quirky moments that you never are ready for.  Except now I have three cameras, which is at least one too many.  I need to find a home for my old Sony that has been so good for so many years.


So I was running in twilight, a camera in one hand, still heading hopelessly the wrong way.  It did dawn on me eventually.  I could see it.  I knew where I wanted to be going and I wasn't heading that way—and there was little hope of a change of course.  But as I neared the bottom of the basin, I came upon a bridge where a waterfall rumbles down.

A local there said, yes, indeed I had missed my turn, but not to fear.  If I carried on across the bridge it was only 3k to Waitangi, from where I could climb back up the bluff to where Vanetta awaited.  But. . . there was also the trek.  It followed the river, but it was a 2 and ½ hour hike and it was getting dark.  He didn't recommend it, though he said it was a great tramp.

Oh. . . but I couldn't help it.  The road or this fine little trail in the woods??  I love night running and this way I was assured of a very nice LONG run.  So I took a picture of the falls with my new camera (haha) just for fun and then set off down the trail.

There was still plenty of light, the trail wandered gloriously around what looked to me like hemlocks and other conifers.  Lots of bridges and a mangrove (?) swamp.  It didn't quite take me an hour to make the other side.

The trail came out just at the bottom of hole #17.  Amazing.  I climbed to the top of the hill and I could see Vanetta a quarter mile away in the dusk.  The bay was dark and the wind was fresh on my face.  The road was vacant and there wasn't a light within miles.

I trotted up to the van still feeling great.  It wasn't as tough as I had thought (or hoped) or as long.  My watch fell while I was rigging so it is decommissioned until 'real' watch arrives from the States.


This is a very long description of a run.  So sorry if you expected something more from it.  I am just writing this for pleasure.  It was a fine day.   

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