A Galant is just a farm truck in city clothing - Tactical Ninja
Feb. 18th, 2013
09:26 am - A Galant is just a farm truck in city clothing
This weekend we went to the Civilisation Hoedown for khaybee and danjite's civil union. It was held about as far from civilisation as your average Wellingtonian is willing to go, in the foaling paddock at a farm that's become central to certain community ideas - organic, tech-powered, and probably the geekiest lifestyle block in the Wairarapa. Getting there was.. interesting.
Witness me, leaving the motel where we all stayed on Friday night, blithely going "Oh yes, you can follow us, Happy knows where he's going!" (him having got us to the farm once before in my recollection). It's probably a good thing nobody took me up on that.
About 20 minutes into our drive out there, just when we thought we ought to be arriving, we came across this:
If you're thinking that doesn't look much like a celebration venue, you're right. It's the old Mauriceville Dairy Company, now the Mauriceville Fert Works, and is about 25km by road in the wrong direction from where we were supposed to be. Consulting the map revealed we'd missed a turn 15km back and were on our way to Eketawherethefuckarewe. A quick U-turn and off we set, resigned to going back to the turn off.
But all was not lost! I spotted a shortcut on the map - sure, it looked like a backroad and was likely to be metal*, but we can handle that, right? Of course we can! So we took the turn onto Dorsets Road, which on the map connects to Kaka Amu Road, which is where we needed to be. Look:
[click to embiggen]
The map clearly shows the road going all the way through, right? And to be fair, it did. However, what it doesn't say on the map is that it's actually a paper road. Luckily for us it was a bit more formed than some of the paper roads in Northland where I come from. Anyway, the deal with these is that they were surveyed off as roads in Ye Olden Tymes, but never became actual roads. Technically, the public is allowed access to them, but in reality, sometimes that's only possible on a horse.
So anyway, we drove for about 5km on the metal, then passed a house, and after that there was grass growing up the middle, and then there was grass growing all over it, and then there were sheep running around on it, till eventually we ended up here:
Pretty, isn't it? Those mountains in the background are the Tararuas, and the track you can see running across the hill behind the car is the one we came up. At this point there was a gate across the track, and we were roughly where the green arrow points on the above picture. Where we needed to be is where the pink arrow is, and the yellow arrow shows where we'd have to go to get there by known roads.
In that picture, I think Dr Wheel is contemplating this spot as a place to weather the zombie apocalypse. Either that or he's considering never getting me to read the map again.
Luckily for us, GPS was working pretty well, and the GPS showed us as being on a road that actually existed. Thus, technically we could go through the gate and eventually we'd come out somewhere. So we did. Three gates, about 1.5km and some OMG-are-we-going-to-lose-the-muffler moments later, we came out somewhere. The somewhere being another farm driveway, which eventually turned into a road, sort of, which eventually led to the farm we were aiming for.
I for one am thankful that we didn't have to stop and talk to anyone. I mean, there's no shame in being off the beaten track, but we were four people dressed for a civil union, in a Galant with a set of giant speakers for the band in the back, and the chances of being taken seriously by the locals was, well.. zero.
As it turns out, we were informed when we got to our destination that we are the first folks who've taken that road on the way to the farm and have actually made it all the way through. Intrepid or stupid? You decide.
I consider it an adventure. ;-)
Anyway, the civilisation itself was one of the nicest I've been to, completely free of any of the traditional ritual stuff that I find so hard to swallow about weddings, and full of interesting people who were there as part of the community the couple have built since their move to NZ - and many also from the equivalent US community. There was a bluegrass band and a pig on a spit and a mob of goats making a bid for freedom (and trying to eat tieke's party dress), and horses and kids running round and .. yeah, it was cool. I'm glad to have been part of it.
Also, you would have been proud of me. I talked to at least four people I didn't know, off my own bat, without being given an easy conversation starter by someone else. And wrangled a goat. Cos I'm like that. Anyway, go me. Networking is hard, I did it. Nyah.
* Metal is the Northlander word for a gravel road. No, I have no idea why.