As a can­cer sur­vivor this year’s Can­teen Manawatu and Manawatu 4WD club fundraiser was an event close to NZ4WD magazine con­trib­u­tor Mur­ray Tay­lor’s heart. “In mem­ory of Molly Pa­tri­cia Ross 09/08/2001 – 05/05/2015”

NZ4WD - - CONTENTS - Story and pho­tos by Mur­ray Tay­lor

Upon read­ing the Face­book page, then Molly’s story with the reg­is­tra­tion form, it was a case of mak­ing the week­end work.

Hav­ing been down the Can­cer path, my week­end in fact started with a check- up CT scan on the Thurs­day and ap­point­ment with the sur­geon, all fol­low­ing up on my op­er­a­tion 18 months ago

Cur­rently I’m one of the lucky ones as all is look­ing good. Sadly Molly was not, and her life ended far too soon.

Meet ‘n greet

To the fund raiser though. I ar­rived on site Fri­day night, set up camp, met a few peo­ple and ended up at the lo­cal for din­ner and more talk

Satur­day mean­while started with the sound of a rat­tle gun from across the school pad­dock, not long af­ter 7.30 am. Over­cast sky with some wind. I was able to check in with time for a cof­fee be­fore the in­tro­duc­tion, safety brief­ing, and idea of what was go­ing to hap­pen dur­ing the day.

To whit: There were go­ing to be three dif­fer­ent groups, Shiny, Club and Rough. First away were the Rough trucks, then Shiny with the Club be­ing split into t wo groups leav­ing last...

It was then a brief run up the val­ley on tarseal, be­fore a left turn into a farm en­trance. Our leader signed the in­ten­tions book for all, and it was off along a dairy race, to cross a pad­dock to a gate over­look­ing a val­ley with the Man­goira Stream in the bot­tom. There was then a brief stop to al­low us to lower t yre pres­sures and ad­vise all that it was a steep down­hill to the wa­ter.

The creek was run­ning clean un­til such time as the first truck hit the wa­ter and headed down stream. It was not long be­fore one was bounc­ing along the creek bed, avoid­ing the deeper sec­tions, cross­ing again and again, the odd short cut through the Manuka and other scrub, mak­ing tracks when the leader missed a turn or pulled out of the creek. We then dropped down through a nar­row gorge sec­tion with steep sides head­ing sky­ward and over­hang­ing trees.

Go the Land Rover...

A short stop was held for morn­ing tea along­side the creek, at which time the other group of Club trucks caught up. Amongst them was a Se­ries 2a Land Rover driven up from Welling­ton and which up un­til a few weeks back had been sit­ting in a pad­dock for 17 odd years and was now run­ning around on its orig­i­nal black and white reg­is­tra­tion plate! Go the Land Rover, they never die... Not long af­ter our stop we ar­rived at the Oroua River which had a lot more wa­ter in it. Head­ing up­stream, the cross­ings got deeper and longer, which added to the va­ri­ety and chal­lenge of the day.

We even crossed un­der the Oroua Val­ley road bridge, be­fore con­tin­u­ing up­stream, then stop­ping for our Brown Paper Bag lunch pro­vided by Ran­gi­tikei Col­lege. We all ate our lunches un­der a clear sky, the sun and wind still with us, as we watched the other Club trucks pass us at this time head­ing fur­ther up­stream.

Lunch over we headed fur­ther up­stream till it nar­rowed and got too rough to con­tinue on­wards, at which time we met and joined the rest of the Club trucks for the run back to the road bridge and the pull out.

Dry run

A brief stop to dis­en­gage 4WD and a brief run on the tarseal to another dairy farm, then it was along another farm race which ( to us, any­way!) im­proved as we trav­elled along it, ( i.e. go­ing from smooth to rough to just grass,) be­fore a hard left down hill for a few sharp turns on a very well grassed track to get all fac­ing the cor­rect direc­tion.

Slowly cir­cling the prop­erty, we even­tu­ally met up with the Shiny group at the end of the race­way, so there was another brief stop be­fore we all head­ing back along the race­way to turn left through another gate onto a bush­cov­ered track head­ing down hill.

This was damp enough to need care, and con­cen­tra­tion, com­ing out into the open just be­fore a very muddy cross­ing. First through was a Jeep which drove it, then a Suzuki which needed a small pull, then the rest fol­lowed along some need­ing speed and revs, while oth­ers just drove it giv­ing all some en­ter­tain­ment along the way.

Not long af­ter we ex­ited the farm, for a short run in the river be­fore head­ing back to Apiti School and camp, where – af­ter spot prizes were pre­sented to all who had par­tic­i­pated – it was time to wind down be­fore din­ner.

Din­ner brought back mem­o­ries for some as it was held in an old-style school class­room, al­beit one with some very mod­ern teach­ing equipment.

Sun­day sur­prise

Sun­day morn­ing, cool air tem­per­a­tures, not a frost yet, but close, the call for break­fast came and we headed back to school. Ba­con and eggs etc, along with toast, tea and cof­fee was had by all...

Time to get ready for the day’s ad­ven­ture, and – as it turned out – there was a sur­prise in store. It in­volved a gravel road for some dis­tance, and then it was on with the gum­boots and rain­coats for a short walk at the Table Flat/ Lime­stone Creek Re­serve to the Glow- worm Caves.

I never did see a Glow- worm, but the walk through the caves made up for it all, with holes and wa­ter com­ing in from above; some­thing dif­fer­ent and en­joyed by all.

Once back in the trucks some of the Rough trucks headed for a play pad­dock, while the re­main­ing drove the race­way again, be­fore head­ing to a Ruahine For­est en­trance through pine trees, ar­riv­ing at a grass clear­ing with the track head­ing a bit fur­ther in to a sin­gle ve­hi­cle turn­ing point.

Time for a cup of tea, a chat and more pho­tos in the sun, and all to soon it was time to head back to camp, pack it all up again and head for home on the back­roads.

Cheers all!

To the Manawatu 4WD club, Greg and his team for putting it all to­gether, thanks for a great week­end, I look for­ward to see­ing what you and your team of­fer next year.

Thanks also to Apiti Pri­mary School for the great evening meal and break­fast, along with all the spot prizes from the spon­sors; Wil­low­park Tav­ern, Au­tokraft ( ARB), H & A Print, Farm Source, Pirtek Fluid So­lu­tions, Power Tool Cen­tre, Carter Build­ing Sup­plies, PGG Wright­son, Hunt­ing and Fish­ing, White­lock Suzuki, Wanganui Ex­haust Cen­tre, Mitre 10 Mega, Cervus Equipment NZ Ltd (John Deere dealer), and Nay­lor Lawrence & As­so­ciates.

Along with a spe­cial thanks to the landown­ers for ac­cess to your prop­er­ties. Thanks till next time...

Dip­ping a toe (or two) in the Oroua River.

Race started smooth then… got bet­ter!

Cross­ing the Oroua River.

…and here…

Farm prop­er­ties of­fer­ing plenty of proper off road tracks, like here…

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