The Sledge Track is one that we in Palmie are fortunate to have, and we owe its presence to a retired farmer Ian Argyle, who was prime mover for getting it established. It was opened in 2003 by our PM Helen Clark, and was constructed by local volunteers. It undulates, up and down alongside the Kahuterawa Stream. Now that I have walked it, I can see how much work went into its construction - to find a suitable passage and make a viable track along the river bank.
All along the track, waterfalls, steps, and points of interest, are named with local people's names. These steps are named after our former mayor, a keen walker. In other names, I recognised tramping club stalwarts.
At almost the furthest point before you begin climbing the "Elevation" and get onto more serious 'tramping' track, there is a picnic table near the stream.
And here is a 'bridge' over the stream, overlooked by two signs.
I love the very local, 'volunteer'- look of these signs, simplicity in an age of standardisation and 'rules'.
The bush was rather beautiful to walk through, and I saw these two fern fronds unfurling. I prefer to use natural light rather than flash, even in the bush, but I can see here that I needed flash, as in the first shot, to bring out the detail.
Here is another shot of the lovely bush along this stream-side track. (It wasn't all as flat as this!)
Taken looking downstream from Argyle Rocks.
I walked as far as part-way up The Elevation - and could see why it was thus named. I decided I was better to heed the 'experienced trampers' only signs for this part of the route, and wait until another day to come back with some tramping buddies.
On my return walk, I met up with a young woman from my "Spanish for Travellers" class. Only a few people on the track, but I see someone I know..... amazing how often this happens!
I finished the morning with a quick 'squizzie' at the beginning of Back Track, which I will come back to another day.
Sledge Track was a wonderful walk. But I will probably walk the Gorge more often, as it is an easier drive there from my side of town, plus it is longer and gives me more practice on hills. I now have to start budgeting more for petrol-free excursions, and will need to bike to my walking starting points more often soon.
OK time for a siesta, so I can get through the rigours of Christmas Eve! I tend to get up early when I want to go walking, to escape the midday heat. A siesta seems like a really good habit to have, all holidays, walking or not!
Postscript: I am ready to go out, doing the unusual, and singing as part of the choir for Midnight Mass. I have enjoyed the practices very much, singing in harmonies. But there has been a troubling change in my neighbourhood in the last few weeks. My elderly neighbour moved on, and a young mother, into parties, has moved in. We have had gorgeous weather lately but the downside is, it is very pleasant outside in the evenings, and unfortunately my bedroom backs straight onto their back door area where they tend to party. If they are still going when I get home, I will try the 'mall' trick and play a very classical Carols CD to disrupt proceedings. Not really in the Christmas spirit.... but hey.... what's a girl gonna do to get some beauty sleep....