Tuesday morning in Picton, while the trailer was being tied down those of us who were not involved with that process explored the rushing creek beside the campground. Our tents had been pitched just beyond the bushes on the left side of this picture, so we got to listen to the water all night.
A bridge went across the creek here, and a trail went along it on both banks. Grandma and several of us went exploring.
We found this beautiful waterfall downstream just a short ways.
Here comes the train! The track ran along the hillside maybe 200 feet from our campsite! Three trains roared through during the night! We were glad that most of the boys slept through the noise.
After we left the campground, we started up Queen Charlotte Drive again. This time, we made it past the lookout over the harbor without stopping (no ferries in dock or coming in, this time!), but just a short way past, there was another overlook! We pulled in, thinking maybe we’d just take a quick look from the van. No way–there was an enormous logyard down there, and we ended up spending half an hour or more watching the activity down below. There were log trucks coming in constantly to be unloaded, with huge clam loaders that took an entire load in one trip, and then sorted the logs by size. There was one clam loader being worked on, as well. There was a barge tied up to the dock, but nothing loaded on it. This is a deep-water harbor where ships come in from the ocean to load with logs which are taken to Japan, processed into lumber, and then the lumber is shipped back here!
On we went again! The scenery was so amazing that Gayle stopped at most of the tiny pull-offs on the way up the hill, so he could admire the view, too. We were glad he stopped, rather than trying to look as he drove; that would have been downright dangerous. The Marlbourough Sounds are spectacular!
Some of the geologic formations along the road were really something to see, too–look at these rock layers!
Almost to Havelock! We stopped at another overlook and Gayle and the children went down the trail to these mudflats that are exposed at low tide.
Made it to the bottom! Now they have to climb back up the hill.
We ate lunch at a small picnic area at the edge of Havelock, and watched the tide starting to come in to cover these mud flats as we ate.
On we went again, this time as far as the Pelorus Bridge, over the Pelorus River. This bridge is one lane, with a walkway along one side. We walked over the bridge, then down a trail to the rocks along the side of the river.
Simon has learned how to skip stones, and Esther somehow caught a picture of his best skip–seven jumps!
Gayle and the children walked down another trail while Grandma and I went back to the van. They got to cross this swinging bridge.We made it as far as Nelson that night, and found a campground there.