Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rapaki and Cashmere (aka Solo NZ Running Camp Pt. 7)

The day after finishing my 100-mile week (what's a rest day?), I decide to explore some new territory with beta graciously provided by Bevan and Jo, my amazing hosts.  The Cashmere Hills rise somewhat anticlimactically above Christchurch, but the views they afford are pretty stunning.  There're miles and miles of roads, dirt roads, and singletrack trails to explore up there, and they're heavily trafficked by Christchurch's recreating citizens.

I head from Bevan and Jo's house down a stupid hill and along the river to Rapaki Road, which ascends rapidly into the Cashmeres.  I'm feeling frisky, so I smash it uphill without having a good understanding of how far up the climb goes or how far away from home I am, as they've sent me on a loop.

I'm rewarded with near-360-degree views of Christchurch and Lyttleton Harbor, and I'm surrounded by miles of grass swaying gently in the wind.  By "swaying gently," I mean "thrashing violently," motion courtesy of the same gusts that bring me to a few near-standstills and also move me sideways a couple feet at a time.

Eh, it's all worth it. The loop is fairly epic, including windswept grassy hills, deep forest, panoramic views, singletrack, and smooth dirt roads. Not too shabby for a neighborhood run!

View into Lyttleton Harbor

By the time it's all over, another 12 miles have ticked by. Not to sound too jaded, but this ain't a bad way to go through life.

Continued reminder that all these posts cover my trip to NZ in January. Back to present time, you may or may not be aware that Murphy and I got engaged a few days ago; good stuff! I've got a couple more weeks' worth of NZ stuff to share and then we'll work back towards real-time :)


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