This was a training weekend for leaders and prospective leaders of pack-carrying trips, and covered planning,
preparation, costing, leading the trip, camping, equipment, river crossings, safety and risk management.|
Route: From Franklin Road to Waitawheta Hut and return. We left Bracken Ave
7.30am (4 cars) meeting Alasdair at Franklin Road. Joining us as well were David from Eastview Baptist
and his grandson at Franklin Rd. (Tramping independently but with our group.)
a prayer and the reading of Psalm 121, we set off across the farmland at 10.10am. Jocelyn warned us
to look out for electric fences, before we stepped over the stiles. Near the bush entry, a bull took
an interest in Andrew’s pack to his astonishment. I think he hurried to the gate at that point and wished
he had a tramping stick to fend it off. Once in the bush our search for native orchids in the bush proved
difficult, even though Alasdair had placed blue tape near them. We appreciated the well-defined tramway
track, with a few muddy patches, during a mostly fine walk. We had a photo stop at the Bogie (Historic
log wagon). We trialled the two-way radios, between leader and tail enders.
Christine took the
lead position from the Daley’s Hut junction, and after the fourth bridge we met Alasdair on the track,
shovel in hand, clearing the drains. After lunch in a sheltered bush spot, and in some light rain, we
then came to the river crossing. The river level was up a fraction, after recent rain. Alasdair discussed
types of river crossings and the importance of correctly deciding on the safe choice: crossing versus
the choice to wait for the river to go down/ stay on the safe side until is safe. He pointed out the
less swirling area of the river where it is best to cross, and we paired up and supported our partner
in crossing with water up to our knees. Then it was a short walk past the camp site and up to the hut.
Arriving around 2.30pm we had time to settle in, before stove demonstrations of Coleman and MSR stoves
to heat water for afternoon tea. The sun shone warmly most of the afternoon. Later we erected the Trios
tent, noting the right order for inserting the coloured poles, then securely attaching the top layer.
We managed to place it on the helicopter pad, so were instructed to move it by the friendly ranger, before
it was put into use! The Emergency Fly was also pulled out and its usefulness demonstrated.
was prepared by Trainee Leaders, using the stoves and club equipment. During the evening we reviewed
planning by training participants. Phil outlined the variety of sources one can access for gaining up-to-date
information about the track, and the importance of going to more than one source. Ali discussed food
planning considerations for deciding on quantities and types of food. Barbara reviewed and discussed
the Track and Participant Information, Risk-management, Equipment orders and Costing preparations that
were contributed for this tramp.
Breakfast and packing up was all done by 8.30am.
We set off on a cloudy and drizzly morning. A number wanted to try the high water track approx. 750m,
(quite a well formed easy track) while a few hardy characters chose to repeat the river crossing. Murray
led us along the track and Alasdair pointed out the tiny native orchid leaves, and a very small almost
finished flower. The Spider Orchids were easier to see, once shown! We stopped after one of the last
bridge crossings on our return, to find Katrina Tulip approaching, just in time for Ali’s Devotions about
Bridges. Using Joy Cowley’s poem we reflected on being a bridge for others and allowing others to be
our bridge. Phil prayed thanking Jesus for being our Bridge to eternity and relationship with the Jesus.
It was a steady walk to the end, with all of us out at 12 noon. We stopped for lunch and exhausted
the resources in the Paeroa café! We would choose differently another time! Both training and summer
tramp fitness were gained during this enjoyable tramping weekend.
Costs: Hut bed $15, Tent $5,
Food $7.50, Equipment Levy $2.50, Transport $25.