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Heels 1973

Wha' d'ya mean 'Rod's Trip?

page 7

Wha' d'ya mean 'Rod's Trip?

How d'ya think I actually got to write an article for Heels? Right! Horror of horrors - I'm pitbashing. Funny that - the last time I pitbashed was last trip, to Angle Knob when Tony left some gear at Mountain House allowing Rod and I the luxury of pits for an hour in Powell. - That was also Rod's trip, even if he didn't see two members of the trip until Saturday afternoon, and two other till Sunday afternoon. This time he seems destined to see barely any of us - four trip members managed Fields Friday night: another four managed Parawai Hut. Rod?

For explanation, we need look no further than a Gilman-owned Citroen. Certain members of the club may think they have car trouble! - but they've got nothing on Rod and his vehicle. That first trip I went on with him, the exhaust pipe burnt out just over the Rimutakas. First solution: tie rag round the exhaust to hold it together - that lasted 2 miles before we had trailed smouldering rag pieces that looked like little bonfires all along the road as far as we could see. Second solution: take one tin can, knock both ends out, Join two pieces of exhaust pipe with the tin and a bit of wire. Quite ingenious? Well you might think so from the comfort and warmth of your armchair or bed or wherever you read your 'Heels' but we all emerged at Holdsworth Lodge at 11.00pm, suffering from presbytaurosis (big words) and Rod claiming near asphixiation from fumes coming up the floor boards from under the bonnet.

So of course having suffered from such dreadful ailments we were in no state to continue to Mountain House and at such a late hour! - so I ask you, what could we do but stay in Holdsworth Lodge and leave the rest of the party as helpless as they were without us (being that they only consisted of John Black, Owen Springford, Penny Foreythe and Julia Clarkson - so what if two of them had been tramping for more than 6 years!) to their own desperate resources. After all it wasn't our fault. Blame it all on the French Citroen (we're planning to boycott the French).

Anyway that lot cost Rod about $6.50. Next lot of trouble a couple of weeks later cost him $3.50 when a wire burnt out. Then the day before this trip he got a puncture which cost him $2.50. Now me, in my wisdom, having been taught to see patterns and trends in events by my illustrious university education predicted that the inevitable car trouble for this particular trip shouldn't cost any more than $2.50., in which case, by logical inference, also a product of my university intellectual training, the trouble could not be very serious. Foolish girl: - forgot to touch wood: which just goes to show my university training didn't do me much good. 8.15pm and we were trundling along the Otaki Forks entry road nattering away in true tramping club page 8style ("rave this, fantastic that, absolutely shit hot") when suddenly the road had disappeared from under us and 2 wheels were over the bank. Much mucking around and John, Penny (to me), Dave and I finally arrived at Parawai spot on midnight, having lost the companionship of our leader to the prospect of a tow-truck next morning. So at last I have explained now come the party got separated, and without Rod.

Even though the four of us left Parawai at 7.00 a.m., we never managed to catch the other four up, and on the way to Vosseler from Fields, poor old Dave's thigh joint clicked out or something like that, I'm no medical practitioner. So we never made Maungahuka, got no further than Vosseler.

Wha' d'ya mean 'Rod's Trip?

Poscript - Coming round the bend, approaching Dave's car on Sunday afternoon and one female was suddenly heard to let out a cry of disbelief 'That's a Citroen!' I was flaberghasted - and out of it emerged Rod - both had survived to lead another trip. Note - Rod and his Citroen have since both redeemed themselves quite satisfactorily - witness the Hat Bash.

Leader: Rod

Those pitbashing with me in Vosseler - John Sullivan, Penny Jane Forsythe, Dave Owen.

Those four we never saw - Jim Gibbons, Geoff Todd and Brian and Trisha Davis.

Chronicle related by Mme Erica Law.

A lady on climbing Mount Shasta
Complained as the mountain grew vaster,
That it wasn't the climb
Nor the dirt nor the grime
But the ice on her ass that harassed her