Friday, 28 December 2012

Karen writes: Defeated the Lion range again

I headed off for my Christmas hike over the Lion range (from Bream Head to Busby Head) then a run back to Mt Manaia with a degree of trepidation.  I’m carrying several injuries, the knee was worrying me most, I was planning around 5 hours with some very serious climbing, I kept asking myself was that a silly thing to do, or was I just getting on with what needed to be done?

Anyway, headed along Ocean beach with the sun just bathing the ocean, the surfers were up early and out sitting on their boards waiting to catch a wave.  Up the hill towards the WW2 radar station is a slow slog, before I got there though I found myself climbing into the low cloud, what clammy enervating stuff that was, I stayed wet for another 2 hours of up and down and couldn’t see more than a few meters ahead.  I must have been the first person along the track, my face and arms collected the spider webs strung across the track and I kept expecting to catch the spiders too but fortunately didn't, perhaps they were still asleep.  I could feel my worries dropping away as I hiked, there were stunningly beautiful sights, like the lush ferns, soft mosses on the rocks, and streaks of sunlight catching...yes...those spider webs.

At Peach cove the sun at last came out, but almost as quickly went away as I climbed up the next hill, here came the cloud again.  Standing on the ridges, not being able to see what I knew were massive drops to the sea, with the streaky white stuff blowing past made me feel like I was alone in a very strange world.

The last hill heading for Smugglers cove turned out to be hot, it was also dry underfoot which was a nice change.  It was also a bit of an obstacle course with work being done on the track, the path was blocked by building supplies for constructing steps which must have been dropped by helicopter, and I got myself into trouble trying to go around a big bag of bits. I went between two small trees down a steep slope, and planning on using them to swing around the obstacle, instead my feet slid out from under me and I ended up with the trees catching me under the arms.  I lay on the ground getting my breath back, hung up on these two dratted trees and cried.  It hurt and with my existing shoulder problem, I had a few moments of terror that I might have done more damage.
But I got up, stretched and went on, no more accidents, no more spider webs, no more clouds, but lots of heat, the temperature got up to 27 degrees in Whangarei today and I related to that as I plodded out one step after another on the hot tarseal back to my parents place.

I’ve been putting ice on my shoulder and protesting knee, they feel a little stressed but they did have to work hard today.  I feel like I’m probably as fit as I was this time last year, that bit of reassurance gives me more confidence, but unlike last year I do to be more careful with these injuries.