The Season Opener overnight walk

MANGROVE CREEK – 6 & 7 June 2020
A few of us wanted an easy overnight walk, relatively close to home to avoid long weekend traffic, plus I wanted to see what damage the fires had done in this area, so Trish and I came up with a short walk to a camp cave … with gourmet food for dinner.

Cathy B joined us (with my promise that it would be easy), and we set off at 10.00am across private property (that we’d received permission to walk through). Weather was fabulous, and all went well except for an unintentional foray into uncharted territory.

Cathy and Trish making sure they were socially distanced.

Not far up the track we came across this huge rock, sitting in the middle of a clearing and on examination, found it had a bit of a cave in it and some old camp gear.  Hasn’t been used for a long time.

The area had been extensively burned during the 2019/20 bushfires, whilst you couldn’t tell from the ferns (they’ve had a good deal of rain lately), the trees had had all their leaves scorched.  The fire wasn’t hot enough to be in the crown of the trees, but was hot enough to kill the leaves..

We were particularly mindful of the possibility of falling trees.  And, there were a lot of trees that had fallen down in the last six months, this old logging trail that we were walking along was easy going until we came to the fallen timber.

This one was a doozy, we cleared a lot of the fallen tree, a lot easier on our return trip.

The logging track was like this most of the way, a few spots where there were small saplings, but mostly clear.  I was actually surprised when we came to our drop off point, at the junction of a side creek – I thought we would be walking a lot longer.

Getting down to the side creek was iffy, lots of loose rocks and vines to trip you up.

We were at our camp cave by 12 noon, so we set up camp, had lunch and then headed off to do a little exploring.

This log (which we’d already been over once) had these knobbly knobs on it that you could grip, sort of like a saddle, we each had fun going over this log.

Cathy riding the horse.

After the big log, we walked maybe 20m further and then spied another cave above us.

So, we popped up to check it out, a little bigger than our cave, but not good getting up to it.

This diversion cost us dearly.  I had been walking down the creek looking for the junction, where we’d retrace our steps and climb back to the logging trail (a mere 20 – 30m) and explore the logging trail to see how much further it went.  Unbeknownst to me, we had walked past the junction when we went up to this cave.  So, I thought we were still on our side creek.  We walked and walked and walked, me looking for the junction.  Apparently Trish had spotted it but I didn’t hear her when she said we’d passed one.  So, we’re walking up the wrong creek and when we decided to just go up to the logging trail (off to our right), we climbed and climbed and climbed, far too high for our logging track.  Eventually after climbing about 100m, we checked the map and GPS and saw our mistake, so, back down to the creek.  It was a detour of about 2 hours, but we’d had enough now so decided just to head back to camp.  A bit embarrassing for me, when we got back to the junction, there was our knobby log, a mere 50m further on, none of us could believe that we’d overestimated the distance to the camp cave so badly.  Ah well!

Now back at camp, the fire’s roaring and it’s happy hour.  Trish brought gourmet sausages, baked potatoes, cheese and crackers, Cathy brought pumpkin, cheese cake and fruit and some interesting brownies.  I brought along some arancini.  There was lots of wine and a lot of joking around the fire, plus heaps of paranoia and anxiety for me  about Cathy and Trish falling into the fire.  I’ve been tripping over my feet lately and figure everyone else is as clumsy as me.

Next morning we explored the logging trail (that we were supposed to be on yesterday afternoon) and discovered that it went in a direction totally unexpected.  So, there’s another trip we have to do to see where it goes, it would be useful to have an easy route to the creek we visited, without having to go through private land.

We also found this great campsite beside another creek, our camp cave could really only fit three, so this is an alternative site, could easy take 6 – 10 people & tents.

It was a quick walk back to the cars, the bloody cows were blocking our way to the gate  so we had to crawl through the fence!

Thankfully this area doesn’t seem to have suffered that much from the fires. Thanks so much Cathy and Trish for joining me on this walk, good to get the cobwebs out of our gear, hopefully the first of many overnight walks this year.

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4 Responses to The Season Opener overnight walk

  1. John L'Estrange says:

    Thank you.
    It was more the internal cobwebs that needed vaccuming rather than the gear, I think.

  2. Jenny Hughes says:

    LOL, looks like it was a lot of fun! Great to see Cathy B on a trip!

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