Karori - Kaukau Sunday (90th Anniversary)
5 July 2009
Scheduled as a re-creation of the club’s first official trip, the idea was broadly to follow the route of that trip. However, we had no intention of getting lost in the Ohariu Valley as the anecdotal story suggested. There’s no public transport there and regardless, exactly where they went seemed a bit of a mystery. So it was settled that a Skyline Walkway trot starting from Karori Park and exiting at Truscott Avenue would be suitable. Through the pines to the main ridge track leading from the Makara Saddle, pauses were taken to learn of Chris’ local trapping experiences and view the grave of Gavin Dash (1999 tragedy). Even before Johnson’s Hill, the sight of the wind turbines, now so prominent on the western skyline, sparked the inevitable energy discussions but these gave out to the enjoyment of passing over the top of every possible knob and hearing more fascinating facts from Chris concerning the early endeavours and passions of land owners. Development of the walkway and cycle sections since WCC purchased the top strip of land a few years ago can never alter the splendour of the scenes, and on this occasion the company, too, was most agreeable. Lunch was taken with a westerly aspect just north of Chartwell before a little wind buffeting was experienced on the section to Bells Track. Further north, Pete and Trish Smith, travelling south, intersected our progress for a few minutes near the pointed bump known as the fang and a message also spread that Peter Shanahan and Bill Edwards had missed us at the city bus stop and subsequently completed their own version of the trip. Then it was on to Mt Kaukau with a fading wind and a muddy Truscott Avenue track. To avoid a cool wait at Raroa, the party clambered onto the train on its outward journey, taking over one end of the comfy old GE unit where train yarns were swapped. Almost everyone strolled over to the Stadium Bar in town to meet Jenny Lewis’ group.