Zen On Dirt

Decisions in the rain


It was raining again this morning.

Actually, it rained all night. I’ve come to dread the sound of pitter patter of rain on the tent. ‘Again?’ I ask myself in the middle of the night when it wakes me up. And then I promptly roll back over and fall asleep. It’s been warm out and sleep has been easy.

Except during the earthquake. That made sleep hard.

We’ve gotten a whole bunch of bikepacking options shut down because of the quake and flooding, which is entirely unrelated to the earthquake, but adds a certain element of direness to the whole situation. And then Scott has to work this weekend…which is tragic in and of itself, mostly because it limited the amount of time that we could spend ‘out there’ without internet.


The Heaphy track was closed for summer peak season, the Rainbow road was closed for flooding, the Molesworth Preserve is closed until further notice, hell, the main highway connecting the middle and south of the island to the north of it is shut indefinitely. The headline in the paper today was something along the lines of ‘The highway looks stuffed’, a direct quote from the Prime Minister.


So, combine closed routes with shitty weather with no definite plan with four different opinions on where we should go next, well, we’ll just say that there’s been some level of indecisiveness going on in the past few days. Added to the general indecisiveness is the fact that all four of us are very capable bikepackers and know what we *could* do if we really wanted to, but none of us are particularly interested in a high level of suffering.


It took us until noon today to finally figure out a plan that accommodated riding desires, work needs, and fickle weather patterns. Some of that time was spent at the local cafe, some of it spent at the Visitors Center for Nelson Lakes National Park, where, mid contemplation, I learned about the fresh water eels in the lake that can live to be 90 years old and spawn by going back to the ocean. Then the baby eels swim back up. Eels are totally bizarro.


Our plan ended up with bunks at the local hostel and a day ride on the local trails. The green/easy/beginner trail had hike-a-bike on it. We are in New Zealand after all.


The four of us struggled up an ‘advanced’ trail for a few minutes before Kait and I came to our senses and turned around.


It was definitely the correct choice and we had a lovely ride back through large puddles of water discussing the intricacies of group communication. The sun was shining, we were warm, for a few minutes there, New Zealand trails actually felt friendly.


It started to rain shortly after we made it back.


We’ve opted to take this time to catch up on emails, get a little bit of work done, and to wait for this storm system to pass. There are big mountains to hike, and even a day where the forecast is a bright and yellow sun icon. I’ll believe it when I see it!


2 thoughts on “Decisions in the rain

  1. It is blue skies all over, here in Australia. I will send it over in a day or so……. 😉

  2. Hi, I have your link, from my friend KB at Romping and Rolling in The Rockies.I am hoping the big quake didn’t upset your plans too much, If you are coming up to the North Island, and need a place to stay ,pitch your tent, or just rest up till the next leg of your journey, Please email me, or leave a message on my blog, Happy cycling meantime. Greetings from Jean.
    I am at
    All Points of the Compass or

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