DHARUG NATIONAL PARK – 3 September 2020
Back in June 2020, we found that a track shown on the topo map went further upstream than shown or expected. We decided that we should go back and check it out to see where it ended – a bit of unfinished business. So, for one of my Thursday off track walks (mainly to maintain my fitness), I slotted in a return to this area. It looked like being a hot day, fortunately there was plenty of water around.
I put this walk on the BWOC calendar and seven people signed up to do it. We rendezvoused on Oyster Shell Road and parked our cars at the start of the Eastern Commission track. The first part of the walk is painful, all up-hill.
The old trail went all the way up to the saddle, and then we lost it, there were rocks and small drops all around, logically we couldn’t figure out what route the dozer would have taken, so we gave up and headed down to our creek. Oliver stayed behind at the saddle, we expected we’d only be a couple of hours; Jim had started feeling the heat earlier in the morning so had headed back to his car.
It took about an hour to get to the creek, our first route took us to a cliff-line so we back tracked and got onto a spur that I’d been down in June 2019 – and I knew that it was a negotiable route all the way down.
After lunch in the shade at the creek, we headed up this track, hoping that it would go the way we wanted it to go, that is back up to our saddle at the top of the creek where Oliver was. We started following it, and it appeared not to go in the right direction, although a little later Trish found more of it, and it appeared that it did indeed have a hair-pin bend and had gone up our spur. We think we followed it for a way and then it disappeared again.
So, we gave up and headed to the saddle to meet up with Oliver again. By now it was starting to get hot and none of us were enjoying the slug up-hill.
So, what did we discover on this exploratory trip … (1) that track on the map is there, albeit very overgrown; (2) we now have a very easy route into this small side creek off Sugee Bag, and apart from 1k of off track walking, there is a bull-dozed track all the way to our camp cave (found in June 2019 and used in June 2020), so, very easy overnight destination; (3) it’s getting too damned hot to do bushwalking, will have to start doing creek walks in the spring and (4) the snakes are out, start wearing gaiters.
I’m planning on using this Eastern Commission track next Winter on a few walks, so I think I’ll do a bit of track maintenance on that bull-dozed trail to make it more obvious.
A big thank you Jim, Oliver, Ian, Greg, Tom, Trish and Di – you survived another Adventure with M and it was a pleasure to have you all on the trip, hopefully the next one will be a bit more scenic.
To be added to the “to do” list … we’ve got to go back to the Eastern Commission Track and find some of those aboriginal art sites, and Birds Eye Creek definitely needs to be investigated.
Banner & Thumbnail: Spotted sun orchid (Thelymitra ixioides)