Somewhere in the time between the innocence of childhood and the finality of the grave (or marriage) you find the phenomenon known as the tramper. They can be found in all manner of postures and positions but most often wandering about mountains, bush, swamps, caves and riverbeds.
They appreciate such things as scroggin, route-markers, dry sleeping bags and the roar of a cooker, but above all else they love tea. They don't like bush lawyer, leatherwood, sandflies, vertical hills, organisation, city dwellers, Monday mornings or nor'westerlies.
Trampers are a strange mixture — an unlikely combination of poet and peasant, philosopher and friend. They will argue at the drop of a hat about the merits of packs, types of footwear, other trampers, cameras and routes described in guide books. But while they have profound sources of wisdom, they can't tell you the answers. And if they appear to behave in an eccentric manner, it's because they feel the freedom to do so.
Though they like to get away from the crowd, trampers will always welcome you in their own manner. When you walk into a hut at the end of a long day on the track, footsore and weary, these dirty, smelly bundles of joy will brighten your day with two magical words … wanna brew? Come on a Wanganui Tramping Club trip and you'll see this is true.
The club's programme for July is:
■ Sat or Sun, June 30 or July 1, Paekakariki Escarpment, leaders Esther and Juliet
■ Sat or Sun 7 or 8, Palmerston North cafe tramp, leader Sandra
■ Sat or Sun 14 or 15, Tongariro National Park waterfall, leader Mike Cole
■ Sat 14, club annual dinner, leaders Esther and Dorothy
■ Sat or Sun 21 or 22, Mangaehuehu hut, leader Bruce
■ Sat or Sun 21 or 22, winter Tongariro Alpine Crossing, leader Esther
Make all enquiries about trips to Barbara, phone 348 9149 or Dorothy, phone 345 7039.
The midweekers have a full programme of interesting trips every Wednesday. Those who get out on Thursday are in two groups, with longer walks on July 5 and 19 and shorter ones for the TT2 group on July 12 and 26. The Wednesday contact is Margret, phone 344 3899, and the Thursday contact is Val, phone 345 0456.
To join weekend trips call the leader by the previous Tuesday at the latest. Call by the night before for day trips. As some trips have limited numbers, leaders have the final say about who to take as they are responsible for the safety and well-being of everyone on their trips. For further information contact Barbara at 348 9149 or visit www.wanganuitrampingclub.net
The next club meeting at the Deerstalkers' Hall, Peat St, at 7.30pm on July 4 features an illustrated talk by Robin and Claire Brown who completed an 82 day overland trip in a 4x4 vehicle from Vladivostok to London,via Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary and Germany.