Hiding in plain sight in the mountains

BLUE MOUNTAINS NP – 8 & 9 August 2020
This was supposed to be a full weekend in the mountains, a car rally (like a treasure hunt) on the first day and then a great little canyon on the second day.  The rally was great, sadly the canyon was cancelled because the weather was freezing.  It was a blog-worthy weekend though.

So, what made it blog-worthy?   David took me to a small cave with a history.  It’s amazing that you can drive past something so many times and not even know it’s there.

It’s called the Cave Hotel, but it’s really just an overhang (no dark section), and it’s on a well travelled Road between Richmond and Lithgow.

Looking into the cave, there are carvings on the back wall(s).

David looking in – he was so delighted that he could show me something that I didn’t know about.

The western wall was elaborately engraved with emu foot prints by the Aboriginal people who once lived in the area. There are other reminders nearby, including grinding grooves on the rocks above the cave and other areas nearby but we didn’t take the time to look at them.

Emu prints – I’ve never seen aboriginal art in a cave before that was engraved, only ever seen painted images.

Lots of emu prints.

White people didn’t use the Cave Hotel until about the early 1870s. Some accounts suggest that the Cave Hotel provided shelter for travellers avoiding the toll on Mitchell’s Victoria Pass. Others suggest the cave was used to sell alcohol to travellers.

A rock surface outside the cave bears the inscription above.

Prior to looking at the cave and instead of doing the canyon (Zorro which is wet), we opted for The Dry Canyon (aka Wolgan View), and checked out the devastation from the fires.

Every time I walk into this canyon, I’m blown away with how pretty it is, not now though, the fire swept up and down this canyon, burning everything, even the orchids on the rock walls.

What is usually green-as, looks totally dead.  Hopefully some of the trees will recover, will have to wait and see.

Garry at the end of the canyon with all the trees burned (no regrowth), photo: David Stuckey

A rare photo of me in the canyon, you can see how rugged up I was, it was freezing (Photo: Garry K Smith)

View of the burned trees, tree-ferns have come back well though (photo: David Stuckey)

Short blog post this time, great weekend away though – we camped in a reserve we only found out about on Saturday afternoon, great spot, had a shelter which we were able to use as the rain started just as we were about to start dinner! Good thing I was camping in my car.

This entry was posted in Bushwalking, Canyoning, MSS. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Hiding in plain sight in the mountains

  1. David says:

    Wonderful bit of indigenous and colonial history. I’m so pleased that I could show you something new in the Blue Mountains.

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