GPS will track cross trek

Cross to bear . . . Ryan Craig, pictured at Lake Pukaki with Mt Cook in the background, tries out the cross on its sound system trolley which he will carry on his third length of New Zealand trek. Photo supplied.
Cross to bear . . . Ryan Craig, pictured at Lake Pukaki with Mt Cook in the background, tries out the cross on its sound system trolley which he will carry on his third length of New Zealand trek. Photo supplied.
Twizel beekeeper Ryan Craig is buzzing about his third trek the length of New Zealand carrying a heavy, solid totara wooden cross.

This time, Mr Craig (25) has additional technology, a trolley on which the cross, heavier than his previous models, will rest.

The two-wheel trolley with lights on the back has a sound system to play "music of the cross" as he walks the length of New Zealand - an estimated 2200km at the rate of about 40km a day, depending on weather.

It also has a GPS tracking system that will transmit his position to the internet every 10 minutes, along with chargers for his cellphone and iPod.

Initially, solar panels were to be used to recharge a 24kg deep cell battery, but the panels made it too top heavy. Instead, he hoped people would let him recharge the battery during his trek.

His first trek was in 2008, after he returned to New Zealand from serving with Youth With a Mission.

The second was in 2009.

That, he thought at the time, was his last.

But, he said, he was sitting on his couch in "prayer time" last year and God told him to "walk with the cross next year" (2012).

He has raised money for the trek working for a beekeeper in Twizel, although on the past two treks has also found support through donations and offers of food and accommodation.

Oamaru-raised, Mr Craig returned to the town on Friday to travel down to Bluff, planning to start his trek yesterday.

How long it will take will depend on the weather, the number of towns he passes through and how long he stays in each town.

Last time the trip took 89 days, but it would take longer this time because of the extra weight of the trolley and fewer daylight hours..

The aim of his trek is to encourage all churches in New Zealand to come together and pray for the nation. He does not have a set date for that, but hoped they would get together on a regular basis for prayer, and also to deal with issues which have kept churches divided.

david.bruce@odt.co.nz