And so it has happened. After more than a year of sorting through building consents and engineering requirements, no more wet toes, ankles … thighs …
The bridge over the Rameka Creek to Great Expectations has been built!
The actual building only took nine days. But those were nine totally full-on days.
Many more people were involved than are shown in this selection of photos. And to everyone who helped out – many, many thanks and big thumbs up to all of you.
So, here’s a taste of the action that took place over the week:
First up was measuring out exactly where the bridge needed to go …
Then it was a case of digging ….
And pumping …
And digging – did we mention digging?
Measuring, sorting and sawing timber …
But there was still a bit of time to stand back and assess exactly what it was we were doing.
And then it was time for the concrete to be poured for the foundations.
Then first the piles and later the beams were lifted into place …
And after that, it was a case of all hands on deck as volunteers came flocking to help hammer, saw, measure, grease, measure, saw, and measure again, bolt, hammer, dig … all the usual things one does to put a bridge in place.
Just wrapped up a brilliant week at Project Rameka. Great people, and lots done.
After heavy rain we cut back all vegetation hanging over Great Expectations and The Odyssey, as well as digging out a lot of the ruts. The other change that people will notice is that we painted 10 new signs and installed them.
We then refurbished 12 stoat traps that DOC kindly donated, and built boxes for 10 new traps to go along the Rameka valley. The final job was to monitor and release the trees planted last August. The weeds and trees are growing like crazy this spring!
And finally, thanks to the magic of photosynthesis, the trees at Rameka sequestered 26 tonnes of carbon dioxide during the week we were there.
Charlotte test riding Great Expectations. From this we wrote a Track Prescription outlining 20 difficult spots to work on.
Ignacio installed one of the new hand painted signs at the top of Project Rameka Inc. We painted and installed signs at every track entrance and fork at Rameka.
Ignacio dug out 8 wheelbarrow loads of soil from under the ‘limbo trunk’ to provide enough room for tall riders.
Andy, Simon, Charlotte, Martin, Bronnie, Ignacio and Marie, having a lunch break on Great Expectations. Awesome progress made to this point in only 2 hours!
Perrine and Jonathan attempt to cross the Rameka Creek, but had to back out. The strong flow was just about to take them down. This is where the new bridge will be built.
Charlotte, Bronnie, Perrine, Ignacio and Jim refurbishing DOC200 stoat traps to place on the historic Rameka Track.
Albie and Ignacio modifying old trap boxes to fit new trap mechanisms. Ten of these were then installed along the Rameka Creek Valley by Paul Kilgour who has since caught stoats and rats.
Next month will be a busy time at Project Rameka. Come and join us if you can spare the time!
Test and Tickle
On Sunday 13 November we will be holding a ‘Test and Tickle Up’ work party on Great Expectations. The goal is to identify the spots that are currently unrideable for Grade 2 riders and fix them.
So if you are a Grade 2 rider, please come along and test the track for us, then help us make it work for you!
Meet at the top of Great Expectations, at 10am on Sunday.
We will have some tools, and some food for a picnic lunch.
Where the Hell are We?
During the week of the 14-18th November, Marie and Bronnie will be working with US interns Jane and Charlotte to paint new signs – one for every track intersection in the project. These will be popping up to help visitors know where they are heading.
To the Scrub Face
On Wednesday afternoon, 16th November, Jonathan and Martin will be leading a work party to uncover more of the historic Rameka Track. We will meet at the Totara Carpark at 1pm, and head up the escarpment to the Scrub Face. It’s a fair walk in now, and the views are impressive.
We are also on the lookout for a couple of Trail Pixies to give some TLC to The Odyssey. It shouldn’t take much – just a bit of vege trimming, and perhaps removing the odd rut here and there. If you are able to spare the time, please contact Jonathan (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Martin at the Quiet Revolution Cycle Shop.
Suck it Up
A heartfelt salute to all those that planted trees last August (and previous years). They are growing incredibly well, and sucking up carbon dioxide in the process. Just a reminder that Good S@#T Happens when good people make it happen.
P.S. Thanks to all the people who have been beavering away on the tracks over the last few months!
One of the key goals of the Rameka Carbon Forest is to combat climate change by sequestering carbon dioxide. The best tool we have available to us for long-term carbon sequestration is a tree. They self replicate and live for a long time; some of the ones we planted live up to 700 years! So, on the 20-21 August 2016 and the following weeks we planted over 800 trees.
Thank you to everyone that came out to help! We had planters from Golden Bay, Wellington and Nelson. Then, after we left DOC donated 70 more red beech trees and 50 more rata that were planted by Cath Kelly, Peggy Leyland, and Matt.
The trees planted this year were fundraised by Ginny Wood as part of her epic cycle ride, The Tour Aotearoa! These were no ordinary trees; many were high quality trees with several years of growth to give them a head start to beat out the harsh grass, wind, and possible animal browsing. Of the 800+ trees there were pioneers species such as kohuhu, wineberry, akeake, tarata, mahoe, and five finger that will shade out grass and weeds and provide shelter for the climax species. No planting is complete without getting some climax species like rimu, miro, totara, and rata in the ground. We also planted beech, kaka beak, flax, hinau, and grisilinia to increase the biodiversity and provide food and shelter for native wildlife.
The next big project is the bridge over Rameka Creek. We are still fundraising on Give-a-Little, which closes 1 November.