I drove, about an hour, from Beaumont, through Roxburgh, to Alexandra to finish riding the Roxburgh Gorge Trail to Doctors Point. It was about five in the evening by the time I set out on the bike.
It's about ten kilometres each way, slowed by extensive photography for reasons which will become apparent.
To get to the trail I had to cross the SH8 Alexandra Bridge.
Thought this view of the Clutha River Mata-Au was special, but it had much more to deliver this evening.
Roxburgh Gorge trail to Doctors Point
There won't be many words in this post, but lots of photos for a ten-kilometre return ride.
It was still sunny in the gorge as I headed in.
As the ride progressed shadows lengthened with the setting sun.
It's not a challenging ride but there are some nice features like these switchbacks.
Reflections on the river were captivating.
Spectacular geology, wonder how that rock ended up there...
The trail ends at Doctors Point. If riding the full trail you are shuttled by jet boat to Shingle Creek, where I rode earlier in the week.
Evidence of the gold mining history across the river.
Goodbye Sun, last sight as it disappears over the gorge rim.
The video below has a soundtrack, it's just that there was almost no sound to record. So calm, nobody else there, just me and perfection.
Near the river just a burble, a vast volume of water flowing fast but still so calm.
Shattered by four ducks
The silence was so perfect I heard a group of four ducks splash down. They were beyond the trees on the right bank in the far distance of the photo below. Later measured that they were ~2.4km away...
10x zoom on the phone finally picked up the culprits as they floated down river...
Walk the Pod, the podcast with silence
Rach cleverly combined a short contribution I recorded her to follow the previous episode (which I hadn't heard when recorded this) on noise, and celebrated the silence:
A meditation from Marcus on procrastination. Thank you for walking with me this series, and I look forward to bringing you Series 25 from Monday 7th March.
Heading back, more magic
The changing light, continuing calm, the perfect finish to my Roxburgh/Alexandra rides.
Love how this turn is tucked into the rock face.
Nil Desperandum Bluff
I couldn't find much info about Nil Desperandum Bluff, but seems it was named for an 1860s mining company syndicate.
Back to Alexandra with one last surprise, from the SH8 bridge. The SH8 Alexandra Bridge beside the historic (1882) single lane suspension bridge piers. The decking and cables were removed in 1958 when the new bridge opened.
Clutha River Mata-Au evening perfection
Straight from the phone, no filters...