Chapter 5

Pitcairn's Road System

 

We decided one day to ride about the island to see the scenery. We drove our 3-wheeled ATC up the hill from our house and turned west on the main road. Bending left in front of Toms house, we climbed steeply past Warren's and Millie's', past Albert's', and then Royal's and Michael's. Just a bit further, on the trail we traveled, our road joined at an angle into the upper road.

This intersection is one of the worst spots of road on the island-fortunately only a few yards long. It requires a sharp, 120 degree turn to the rightup a 6 or 7% gradein order to get onto the upper road. To compound the difficulty, the ground at this point invariably had wet spots which made for a slippery surface.

We continued up the hill toward Flat Land, past the cinder pit, and Split Rocksplit by dynamite during the last repairs on the landing. Motoring on past the road that goes up to Steve's house, and around a curve, we soon came to the intersection of a short road that connects the track to Tedside* with the road past Charles' Ground and on up to the highest point.

We bore to the left. This road had been cut down through the years so that the high banks, covered with trees, rise on both sides, overhanging the road. Trees actually grew on top of the land that jutted out over uswith their roots sticking out precariously all along the edge. It could have been dangerous in a heavy wind. But the bluffs had a beauty that belied any potential hazard.

We took a left again at the end of the short roadabout 100 feet from the Tedside roadand rode up towards the radio station. The road now was not as steep as before, and we made the assent of about 3/8s of a mile with little trouble, soon passing the outer generator shed of the station.

Crossing the flat top of the mountain and under the radio antenna, we took McCoy's Valley Road down the other side. This road is sometimes steep and rough and required us to go slowly so our three-wheel ATC wouldn't capsize on the turns. The road wound down through banana groves, and passed several garden plots. The trail ran under the shadow of Jacob's summer cottage, through more banana groves and down into Aute Valley where many gardens are located.

Aute Valley was an expanse of slowly rolling meadow, covered with tall grassesup to 7 feet high in placesand a few stands of trees. The valley measures about 700 yards long and about 150 wideperhaps the best place for an airstrip if anyone should ever decide to build one.

We turned left on the valley road, rounded a curve and came to our garden plot. We stopped at the trail that I had cut the day before, and inspected the pineapples that had been planted by the previous pastor, Ollie and Von Stimpson, to see when the fruit would be ready.

When we left the garden, we continued up the valley road, passing the road to our right that descended toward St. Paul's, and the road on our left that went back up to the radio station. We continued down the hill through Jim's Ground (one of the worst hills in wet weather for the old two-wheeled bikes), past the generator sheds, and on into the village.

On a subsequent day I traveled all the roads, measuring their distances. I came to a total of nine milesa lot of road for an Island that covers only two square miles.

Chapter 6