Monday, 13 December 2010

Missed View

It's our youngest grandson's 1st birthday today. I look at him (as we did on Skype last night) and part of the question; where did the year go? was answered - into him. Wonderfully so.

One step at a time is what they say isn't it? Whoever 'they' are. It's amazing where one step at a time gets you. To the top of things, for example.

Yesterday we one-foot-after-another -ed it to the top of Mt Cargill, where it was misty and very cold and windy.

Eerie, misty fibres wafting among the rock and flax flowers.

If it wasn't for the gigantic, satellite dish, we could've been on a set of Wuthering Heights. Because of the fog, we were robbed of the view laid at our feet of Dunedin, the peninsula, harbour and ridges surrounding the city.

However, on the way down we detoured and were rewarded with great views from Butters Peak. 

We also went farther around to have a look at the Organ Pipes. (The tenth - or is it the eleventh? - wonder of the world … ). Kidding.

But it is an amazing sight in its own quiet way, especially if you ponder on what it demonstrates. The sight is of a scree of fallen rock under a higher row of pillars (much like the pipes of an organ, I guess). It is a result of volcanic activity here, millions of years ago.

This particular type of rock, when molten, has cooled down at exactly the same rate all around, cracking and splitting into uniform shafts. Most of the rectangular, granite blocks have tumbled down into a heap like a spilt box of giant crayons. (Thanks to my husband for the scientific info.)


Some young people arrived as we were standing at the bottom taking photos, and proceeded to take off their jandals (yes, they'd climbed Mt Cargill in jandals) and clamber barefoot over the whatever-million-year old muddle of morass, right to the top - or so I presume; we left before they'd finished climbing.

On our walk up Cargill, we passed a family, he pushing a stroller with their two-year old aboard, she with a baby in the front pack. By the time they got to the top, the stroller was missing a wheel and they were heading off into the mist for another route down that was more stroller-friendly. I admit to having qualms – especially upon seeing the baby's bare foot poking out from under the blanket draped over it. (It was chilly up there with the strong wind and mist). But as there have been no reports this morning of a family found dead from hypothermia on the slopes of Mt Cargill, I guess they made it. Other people were running up the hill (okay, here I confess, Mt Cargill is not actually a mountain, it's more of a hill).

Next walk we go on, we are going to take our bird and plant identifying booklets and the binoculars. When we got back home I checked my phone to find a text from a friend saying – 'Was it today we were meeting for a coffee or did I get that wrong?' Oops.

Why this urge to climb hills? Well for one thing, it's good for the heart. Another thing, I guess, is for that feeling of achievement. A rare and wondrous thing, a sense of achievement. I would walk 500 miles for it and then walk 500 more. (Maybe).


Paul Halpern said...

Happy birthday to your grandson! Looks like your mountain walk was very rewarding.

dinzie said...

Wish we were doing that :O) No time these days to get out into the wilds....Soon though :O)

Penelope said...

What an atmospheric place we live in. Thanks for these views. And that baby. No wonder you have those moments of pure happiness.

Avus said...

Lovely post, Kay and a reminder of those views over Otago from Kapuka-taumahaka.(The post inspired me to Google "Mount Cargill" and relive a part of our time in NZ)

Claire Beynon said...

You look exhilarated by your walk, Kay. (I love that mist is a frequent visitor around here, don't you?).
Gorgeous wee one-year old, too (he brings rainbows to mind).
L, C

Unknown said...

I know, the years are flying past! Interesting the rock formations you mention, a little like the Giant's causeway, here in Antrim - a formation of hexagonal columns. They too were formed by volcanic rock cooling - this time in the sea.

Dona Bogart said...

Your grandson is beautiful and so is your mountain/hill. There is something fulfilling about pushing upwards.

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