MOGO CREEK AREA – 21 & 22 July 2018
Mogo Creek Trail > unnamed ridge > Boree Trail > Frying Pan Rock > unnamed ridge > Mogo Creek Trail
I know, three walks to Mogo in the space of a month is verging on the ridiculous, BUT, it’s virtually in my back yard! Trish M was keen to get back out in the bush after a few weeks off, so we decided to cross another trip off my wish list. I complicated it slightly by asking Trish to drive up to Boree Trail on Friday to do a water cache, what I thought would be 1.5 hours each way turned out to be a 5 hour round trip (probably should have looked at the route on whereis.com!).
Jeff B and Christine H joined us for the weekend. If we’d been smart, we would have taken our full overnight packs with all the food and wine and dropped them off along with the water on the Boree Trail – neither Trish nor I thought of this until we were slogging up the first hill (doh!).
On the way back from dropping the water off, we called in to look at Devil’s Rock, Trish hadn’t been there before. From Devil’s Rock you can see Mt Yengo, of great spiritual significance to the aboriginal people.
An axe or spear sharpening place on Devils Rock. One of the best sharpening sites I’ve seen.
The Boree Trail is considered 4WD, but really, this was probably the only spot on the trail which was remotely 4WD, it was steep and there were steps in the road but Trish and her car handled it admirably.
So, we cached about 15l of water (in goon bags) in the bush, more than we needed but allowing for leakage or an animal coming in the next 24 hours and biting a hole in one of the goon bags!
Next morning the four of us drove out to Mogo Creek Trail. On paper it sounded like a short first day, getting to a campsite mid afternoon – but with a lot of exploring the time got away from us and it was close on sunset when we finally set up camp.
Jeff checking the map to make sure we were going up the easiest part of the spur.
For Trish (who’d just done 18 days walking on the Larapinta Trail) the walk up hill was a piece of cake but for the rest of us it was a slog.
Almost at the top, there were a few cliff-lines to negotiate, basically just zig zagging to find a route up through the rock ledges.
Trish thought she’d go up this ramp but it was tight and she had to retreat as the slot was too narrow for her pack (and no-where to put it).
By now we’re up the top of the spur and walking along the ridge, we came to this huge rock … where did it come from? It was right on the top so couldn’t have fallen down from anywhere, must have been there a million years ago, surrounded by earth/sand which has eroded away (maybe).
Lovely patterning in the big-arse rock exposed by erosion.
The vegetation on top of the ridge was pretty good, a little scrubby in places but for the most part, open country.
Setting off after lunch, as you can see, beautiful weather, no wind, full sunshine. The thorn between two roses (l – h Christine, Jeff & Trish).
We spent quite a bit of time after lunch looking for a cave with hand stencils in it (directions given to me by someone). It was like the proverbial needle in the haystack, wandered all over the place, couldn’t find it. So we eventually gave up. We kept on looking for the cave but didn’t come across anything remotely like what we were looking for.
Climbing another knoll, as you can see there wasn’t much up and down!
Up on top we came across this pool of water on the rock slab, with small axe-sharpening grooves, not as well defined as others we’ve seen, but definitely sharpening grooves.
Once at the Boree Trail, Trish and Christine set off down the fire trail to Frying Pan Rock, a little over 1.5k away. Jeff headed into the bush, and I waited, and waited and waited. As usual, he didn’t answer any of my “JEFF!” or “cooee” calls – he annoyingly does that to me all the time. Turns out he was a bit too far away to hear me, after about 20 minutes he returned to tell me that he’d found a cave with art in it. Turns out that the directions I’d been given were a bit ambiguous and in fact the cave (at least I assume it was the right one) was not just off the knoll but 90 degrees from where I thought it was. Now that Jeff was back, we headed off to Frying Pan Rock.
Frying Pan Rock is about the size of a football field (well, almost), and has a drop to the right of the photo. You could just imagine aborigines sitting there in the sun doing the engravings, it’s a magic place.
This looks like a dog, and there’s an emu footprint at the top. Emu prints were all over the place.
Trish thinks this is a woman.
This looks like a man with his feet to the right and hands (or headdress) to the left.
Pool for water and axe-sharpening groves.
Interesting engraving of two human figures.
Possibly a dingo.
Man with a killing stick – or if you wanted to be creative, man with a snake holding onto his foot (lol).
Looking along the slab in the other direction.
When we’d had our fill of Frying Pan Rock, we headed back to our water cache and the excitement of visiting the cave that Jeff found.
We had to walk down a short way from the road to a large slab of rock (which had heaps of stones on it, not sure how they got there, or were formed). the slab of rock dropped off and this is where when he was exploring that Jeff thought the cave might be.
Not as high as some of the caves that we’ve found art in, you did have to lay flat on your back to see the art.
Mostly hand stencils, interestingly, some left hand hands on this section (often all you see is right hands).
Some of the stencils were on the back wall, a lot were on the roof and here you can see a child’s hand on the right of center.
Not sure why in some of the art, they’ve depicted some of the arm, although clearly not a real arm (too thin). Some of the hands were exceptionally big too, and some of the stenciling was much better than others (which looked as though the white ochre was spat at the wall).
Looking out of the cave towards where we had dropped down.
After we’d had enough of the cave we headed back to our water cache and reassessed the situation. We’d spent too much time exploring to go down into the (dry) creek that I wanted to check out so we decided to head out on a ridge, that I’d wanted to check out anyway (lol). We found an old graded road that was still evident but had lots of bush and trees growing over it. Our goal was a saddle between two knolls, we didn’t have to worry about water and there was no wind so a high camp would be a change from camping beside creeks. We eventually came to a spot that had enough flat room for the four tents and a good spot for a fire, so called it a day.
Christine enjoying happy hour by the fire (cheese, beetroot dip, olives, crackers and popcorn).
The next morning we set off at 9am and after about 15 minutes picked up the old graded road again which led us to this exceptional campsite enough room for a cast of thousands.
The ridge was actually a lot scrubbier than the previous day’s ridge, we had plenty of time to negotiate our way to the end where we would drop down into a creek.
An early display of boronia.
All weekend we’d been finding new growth in Grass Trees, the new growth comes up in a spear and if you twist it, the leaves fan out and they are a bright yellow, Christine videoed Jeff twisting this one (the unfurled leaves are shown in the thumbnail pic at the start of the post).
At the end of the spur heading down to find our cave (and more aboriginal art).
Terrain getting steeper and you had to make sure you didn’t drop over the edge of the cliff.
Nailed the cave, we walked right to the top of it, more hand stencils plus some other drawings (pics from this cave are in the post from 2 weeks ago). Mostly left handed ones with the occasional right hand thrown in.
I didn’t get a photo of this drawing 2 weeks ago because the sun was on it. When I photographed it this time and adjusted the contrast, more detail was exposed.
Back down in the creek for the easy walk out!
We found this huge tree where the base was hollowed out (tree was amazingly still alive), the hollow was big enough for Trish, Christine and Jeff to sit in it!
From here it was an easy walk down the creek to the Mogo Creek Trail. Christine and Jeff were back at the car by about 2pm (that might be wrong), then very kindly drove down the road to pick me up, although I was probably only 200m from the car!
Whilst not the most adventurous trip we’ve done (I’m still in recovery mode from the bloody MCL injury), it was still a nice walk. Thank you so much to Jeff, Christine and Trish for coming on the walk with me (and crossing another trip off the wish list) and thanks Trish for doing the water drop (lol).
So, where to next?