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Monday, December 20, 2010

Dig When the Digging is Good

A week passed and Colin and I had the bug from last week, so we got the Digger out again. Thanks again to the lads at Hirepool Hornby for sorting us out.

I was a bit worried about the weather with the rain on Friday being a bit harder and longer than anticipated, but Saturday dawned early and bright. By close of play we had reached 41 degrees C. Damn hot work.

Although not an official Dig Day, we had plenty of visitors. Our friend Wally from Timaru came up for a pedal, explore and offered a helping hand as did our neighbour Andrew and his son John.

We start the day with the corner we were preparing at the end of last weekend.
Cornering Fun.
We were starting to make progress to the easier (flat) part of the land when there was a loud crack and the track on the Digger exploded. Luckily Hirepool was still open and they rushed out with a new track and we were back on track in 90 minutes. Very impressed. This was also good as we managed to plough through the scrub and build corner after corner and flowy track that wouldn't have happened if we were marooned for the weekend.

 
Oops.
Lisa and Wally had been brave and were out in the beating sun to work on Lisa's corner whilst we sweltered in Jungle like conditions in the canopy.

It was a long hot day by the time we finished, the beer was delicious as was the hot shower, topped off by a delicious roast lamb, spuds and veggies. Yum Yum.

End of play Day One.
Day Two dawned quickly and whilst we were weary and sleep deprived, Colin and I were both excited to be getting back into the action. Luckily nowhere near as hot as yesterday, rain was forecast and indeed it happened, but not enough to deter us. The afternoon burned off the cloud and the sun beat down again.

Mahoe Corner
We ducked and dived and flowed along beside the creek, never really knowing what to expect as we could only really explore by digger. Colin does a great job of pleasing me (with wiggles, ups and downs) whilst staying safe. We managed to find a near perfect place to cross the creek right by the cliff we started at last weekend. An impressive old Mahoe clings to the side of a rock and valiantly fights off the browsers.
Great spot to cross the creek.
Crossing the creek we are close to the quad bike access road to the Skills Area. This is a flattish area that slopes gently uphill, completely overgrown with Old Man's Beard, BlackBerry and other horrible scrub. Colin does a great job of mauling and murdering all the bad stuff, keeping the good stuff alive and creating a bunch of sweet corners crossing the area up to the the next traverse section. What's really cool is that we are really maximising the use of the land, you will be able to catch glimpses of a heap of tracks but be quite some distance from it. Great stuff.

What lives beneath the scrub, sweet cornering fun and small children!
Andrew and John came and helped out which was appreciated. We then plan to traverse and find another suitable spot for crossing back across the river, as we can't progress much further on this bank before it becomes a gorge and cliff-like. After a bit of reconnoitring and discovering so many more reasons why it was such a good move to buy the place, we settle on a plan of action, and built a lookout for a seat when Lisa and I become old and want to just watch the world go by as well as a climbing and chicane track through the pines. Colin just as the sun goes down, builds the last corner before we plan to move back and then down to the river.

The last corner at the close of play for the weekend.
Another long but extremely satisfying day in the office. Thanks Col, we appreciate all the work you put in for us and the people who will enjoy these trails and trees when we are gone. Things are progressing extremely well and we built just over 440 metres of track. Fantastic work considering the amount of scrub and terrain, as well as features we have made.

Until next time....

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