A really big turnout yesterday including two families all keen to check out the new tracks or check out tracks that they didn't know were there!
Working the day out, so that any tracks exposed to the sun's punishing rays we covered in the morning, keeping the shaded options as the temperature increaded. We headed along the Lucas Creek Tracks, with a quick pit stop to check on a track, that we thought was partially open, but no, fully closed, stopped at the fence and back tracked, taking in the history of the area along the way. Back in the early 1840's Albany was a hub for logging, flax trading and gum harvesting and a bit later in the 1800's many orchards. Some of the old fruit trees still present in the parks along our way. No noshing as we did last year, as the fruit needs a month or so to grow to full yumminess!
We hit the shady Massey tracks and the start of the towering canopy of Kahikatea, Rimu, Totara, Tanekaha with much relief and the reduced temperature by probably 2-3 degrees! Phew! Summer has arrived!
Motoring our way along the track, and we pass through some extremely impressively tall stands of very large Totara and particularly tall Kahikatea, probably over 40 metres. Although we're still in the middle of suburbia, this awesome forest escarpment and the sound of the trickling streams over the small waterfalls, is so relaxing. That expression of forest bathing..... is so right.
Breaking out at the end of true right of the Massey stream, tracks, we head over to Tornado Alley.
For those that aren't aware of the history, Albany was last hit by a Tornado in May 2011, and many very heavy, large sheets of metal had flown through the air hundreds of metres and landed in this escarpment where they still lay. Deriving the track name "Tornado Alley" & adding a bit of character to the tracks, there is a Dr Suess theme and colourful NZRocks that people have left around.
Moving through "TA", we stop at the cute playground for lunch and a quick Rockwords game before heading taking on the brand new track, which the community group are still in the process of clearing creating a formed track. Quite fun, with a fallen tree to scramble over and weaving through trees.
We reach the turning point and make our way back along a different track, checking out a couple of picnic spots along the way.
So much chatter along the way amongst everyone, that coming back along true left of the Massey stream tracks, we only have about 40 minutes til we're back at the cars. The last part of the tramp we savour the canopy above us on the other side of the track.
About 19kms covered, an awesome bunch of people, including lots of newbies, what a day out!