Lotkow Road to Littles Clearing, Kaweka FP,
Wednesday August 29, 2018 Map: BK37
In spite of a severe weather warning, 11 brave souls set off in search of adventure early on a mild Wednesday morning. Our destination was Lotkow Road, Kaweka Forest Park, which didn’t feel so mild. On our way in, we had to traverse a couple of fords and a small slip, all of which we managed without any dramas but they did have us wondering how it would go on the return trip.
We drew straws to see who should stay behind to keep an eye on our trusty steed. Vic and John got the short ones and were very good-natured about missing out on an adventure in the cold wind and rain…We began our epic tramp by heading uphill, followed by a bit more uphill, closely followed by even more uphill. Reaching the top, we were treated to some flat, moss-covered meadows surrounded by a lot of the ever-present, unpopular pine trees. It was so lovely that we stopped for a morning tea break and to put on coats. The rain had arrived.
We had an easy stroll along the ridge amongst the pines (which weren’t there when Keith was last in the area) and were grateful for the shelter they provided from that persistent friend of ours, Gail (Forcewinds).About two hours into our walk, we reached a cute little doll’s house (otherwise known as Black Birch Bivvy) and as the bad weather was really starting to set in, we decided to do an impression of a can of sardines and see how many we could squeeze inside while eating an early lunch.
We discussed whether to carry on towards Littles Clearing but, given the potential decline in the weather, the shorter winter day and the fact that we didn’t know how long we could leave Vic and John unsupervised with our only means of transport, we opted for the shorter option of heading straight back.
It’s just as well that we did. The slip that we managed to drive over on the way in was not so obliging on our way out, due to the slight incline that we had to drive up. The van was marooned on the wrong side.But it contained a team of undercover road workers and we all pulled together to create a pathway through the slip by doing some digging and relocating stones to give some traction. Before long, we were on our way again – only to need to perform a similar operation on one of the fords. To help the van across, we all walked through the river; after having dry feet during our tramp, we got them wet anyway. Fun times!
Our First XI team consisted of: John, Vic, John, Bruce, Gordon, Dorothy, Marie, Keith, Geoff, Lynette and Mandy. Story and photos by Mandy
[Some facts may have been slightly embellished for the sake of the story.]