By Douglas Wright, 22 March 2019
The clouds that lay across the Tararua range looked like a thick potato topped pie. Doug was filled with excitement while the ever-pragmatic Lucy groaned. She was still dreaming of sleep and was slightly annoyed at Doug for dragging her out of bed so early for a Sunday morning adventure that looked less than promising for a half decent view. A cheeky morning pie and coffee from Doug’s ‘best pie in the lower North Island’ bakery soon cheered Lucy up and after demolishing the pie and stepping out at the Waiohine gorge road end they were ready to go.
A quick pace ensued up to Cone (peak?) with a hearty conversation fuelled by the hearty, tender bits of steak from the pie. About 1/3 of the way up, their heads punctured into the potato top goodness and Doug finely realised that summit views at Mt Hector weren’t going to happen. Upon realisation of this, the 2 young trampers started plotting an alternative route from the top of cone. They didn’t need a track to follow! Bush bashing down a ridge into the Tauherenikau filled them with just enough excitement and provided a bit of a challenge to help hone their navigation skills. They flowed down the ridge like the gravy from a good pie. Not too fast and runny but thick enough to keep rolling on down.
The Tauherenikau river valley was the second place highlight of the day (second to eating a sensational pie) especially after a stag came bounding out of the bush and the idea of a venison and beetroot pie met Doug’s mind for the drive home. A quick snack at Cone hut and then up and out to the car with a feeling of contentment as the last of the mornings' pie's lingering taste left the mouth.