Audrey’s first overnight walk

WATAGANS NP – 22-23 May 2021
Before James (Jimmy) had children, he would often come away with me for an overnight walk – usually on Mother’s Day or my Birthday.  This year, for my birthday, he offered to come away for an overnight walk with Audrey who’s 5 years old (and is my granddaughter).  It would be her first overnight walk (very exciting).

We decided to go to a spot I’d found last year which was a mere 200m off-track walk from the car park, and was nice and flat.  My other son, David, was sick so he couldn’t come with us but nevertheless, we decided to go ahead with just the three of us.  With such a short walk in, we didn’t have to start until mid-afternoon.  So, armed with 2 tents, 4 sleeping bags and lots of warm clothes we set off.

The 200m with a five year old was slower than anticipated so we stopped earlier than I’d wanted to at the first flat area.

Tents up, mattresses pumped up, sleeping bags fluffed up and it was time for firewood collection. Audrey got right into it, whilst Jimmy had to go further afield looking for bigger bits of wood.

I’d not taken into account that we were camping in rainforest and that all the wood would be wet. Took a while but eventually (after setting fire to a goon box) Jimmy coaxed the wet wood into a decent fire.

We needed more wood!

I set up a drop sheet so that I could see any leeches heading our way, but thankfully no leeches at all for the whole weekend (too cold?). Audrey was given instructions that she could exit the drop sheet from either side, but couldn’t go anywhere near the fire!

Roasting marshmallows as an entree seemed like a good idea.

Then it was on to Sausage on a Stick for dinner. And this was followed by some Persian Fairy Floss (amazing!).  Jimmy and I managed to go through a goon of red wine before we ran out of wood and decided it was time for bed!

After we’d finished cooking on the fire I put one of those chemical packs on it which makes blue, purple and green flames (banner image above).

Next morning we did a quick walk over to the place we were supposed to camp and found an even better flat area, still not a lot of wood though.

The walk out – you forget about trip hazards for small people! Audrey carried all her clothes in for the night’s adventure.

Back at the car park – a 15 minute walk in and out!

This is the picnic area near the car park.

The creek at the car park. Would be very pretty in the summer months (although then you’d have to contend with leeches).

James (Jimmy) and Audrey – everyone made to the end of this adventure without any problems – sort of doesn’t sound like one of my walks does it

Thank you James and Audrey – the BEST birthday gift ever!

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18 Responses to Audrey’s first overnight walk

  1. John L'Estrange says:

    I’m glad that you picked a suitable activity (suitable for 5 yo’s that is) for your resumption into bushwalking.
    Ribs good?
    You going to wait for warmer weather before immersion?

  2. Kathy Leslie says:

    LOVE this!!!! What a great experience and memory for darling Audrey and You!
    Nice tradition! Yes, much calmer and less risky than your usual craziness!!!
    My sister and I just returned from a mini- trip to Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Newport RI. Was on my Bucket List. Covid restrictions are finally easing here, so I need to make up for lost time!!! headed to the North Shore in a few days and Colorado in August and Maine in October. Hoping to do some international travel by next year.
    I look forward to the next installment of your adventures!!! 😍

  3. Adrienne says:

    Just beautiful Marilyn, what a great memory ( and introduction to overnight walks) for Audrey.

  4. Jeff says:

    Nice one well done.

  5. Dianne Kolstad says:

    What a lovely idea Marilyn, Im sure there would be lots of little girls n boys who’d love and benefit grately from this experience.
    Do hope Audrey continues to love the outdoors as you do.
    Was sorry to hear about your fall and broken ribs do hope all healing well. Hang in there and dont give up your adventures.
    Are you thinking of any outdoor adventures with Bwoc (or without) in the future? Love to join you. Perhaps even an overnighter Cathy (bean) would enjoy that.
    Best Regs Dianne

    • marilyn says:

      Thanks Di, am hoping she’ll get the bug! Would love to do an overnighter with you and Cathy, in fact have an easy one in mind, just have to find a free weekend!

  6. Lindsay Barrett says:

    From little things – big things grow! Encouragement brings its rewards.
    Nice to see you haven’t given up; the cracked ribs must be on the mend.
    BTW, when are you going to take the kids (big=Jimmy; little;=Audrey) skiing (i.e. snow canyons)?
    p.s Grandma can watch from the sidelines.

    • marilyn says:

      Hopefully yes she’ll get the bug! Am on the mend back canyoning on the long weekend. Not planning to take them skiing, will leave that to the other side of the family!

  7. Mary Kay K Hokanson says:

    How fun and what a great tradition for all.
    Love seeing the pictures.

  8. Betty McCleary says:

    What a lovely memory for your granddaughter and you a very special time. Sorry I
    didn’t know that you had a fall, broken ribs are so painful, hope you are mending well.

  9. Jenny Hughes says:

    Too cute! She looks just like you in a lot of those photos! What a great kid to be out camping at 5 and carrying her own clothes! You know I am not a kid fan, but I like this one already !

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