Day Trippin’ to Craigieburn

December 29, 2012
Yesterday was our first real trip out of Christchurch. It was also our 16th day in New Zealand, which officially puts us here longer than when we were here for our honeymoon. Not that it matters, but it’s interesting. To me.
Anyhow, we’d been given all kinds of good advice on where to mountain bike in and around Christchurch, and the Craigieburn Ski Fields kept coming up. We visited Craigieburn when we were here 2 years ago, and we even knew there were trails, but somehow we couldn’t find them. In any case, we were both super excited to enjoy the sunny weather and get out on the trails.

Cragieburn is in central New Zealand, yet only takes about 45 minutes to get to once out of Christchurch.

The drive to Craigieburn is pretty cool as well, feels a bit like “middle earth” for you Hobbit people.

Side note: a totally typical backpacker van… I think this would get you arrested in some states.

Anyways, we were excited to arrive and get on our bikes! Our first of many NZ bike trips!

And then this happened:

I forgot my bike shoes. And didn’t have even slightly adequate alternative shoes with me. Some bike wife.

So Scott and I made a plan, he would ride and I would hike. Some might say that splitting up is a bit reckless, being in a place we’ve never really¬†been before, that has no cell phone service, and with us going on totally different trails (and me in flip flops). But I’ll let you simmer with the suspense of that potential disaster while you enjoy the pictures from my hike.

Beautiful beech forest
Cool turn in the track
View from the top of “Helicopter Hill”
Ridiculously fuzzy lichen-ey trees
Why, oh why, oh why did I forget my bike shoes?!
Lush forest and Mordor in the background…

I did about 7km in my flip flops, and although I was missing my bike, it was actually quite peaceful. It wasn’t so bad working out my hiking legs a little bit too, as they tend to get neglected for all the cool bike tracks.

(note: to organize “7km” in your brain, check out my new handy-dandy conversions chart in the right hand column)

So did I get lost? Did I run out of food and water? Did Scott have to call the New Zealand Emergency Hotline? Did throngs of volunteers descend on the forest in search of a lost American idiot? Did a helicopter come out to get me? Did it start raining and I have no protection?

…nope. Not even the last one, but it could have.

My tramping trail ended up finishing right where his bike track did, and I got to the car about 15 minutes after Scott, giving him time to change and pack up the car. We drove to Castle Hill and tramped around a bit, and then had a lovely pie at the “Yello House” in Springfield on the way back to Christchurch.

A funny note about Springfield, they are so proud of their name that they’ve installed a massive 20 ft. donut akin to the one you’d see Homer Simpson mowing down on right on the main road.

Castle Hill, will definitely be revisited with hiking boots or rock climbing shoes

I have January 1-4th off (Happy New Year to me!) so I for-see a few more day trips in our future! Stay tuned…

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