a.m.nthly Bulletin devoted to matters of interest to
The Sydney Bush Walkers, 5 Hamilton Street, Sydney.
|No. 44||August, 1938.|
|Editor:||Dorothy Lawry.||Business Manager:||J.W. Mullins.|
|Misses Clare Kinsella, Kathleen McKay, Dot. English [Dot Butler], Mary Stoddart;
Messrs. Brian Harvey and Stan Lumsden.
|A Trip of Accidents||by Jack Debert||2|
|At Our Own Meetings||3|
|Footwear and Footcare||by “Footslogger”||4|
|In Defence of the Pack||by “Tuggie”||5|
|Debert's Last Walk||by Alex. Colley||6|
|The Kowmung Revisited||by Jean Trimble||8|
|Club Gossip||by “Sunlight”||9|
|From Here, There, and Everywhere||9|
|Holiday Trip, October, 1937 (completed)||by C.N.Pryde||10|
|Pious Percy's Personality Pie||by “Pious Percy”||12|
Although this is issue No. 44 of this magazine, it is only our ninth number as a monthly rolled off on the Club's own duplicator. Naturally, during the first few months, the Production Department of the Publication Staff was learning the ins and outs of that duplicator, and experimenting with different papers, etc., but they have now got into their stride. The Editorial Department takes this opportunity of congratulating its colleagues sincerely on last month's issue, even though there were one or two slips in it.
For one thing, the new typist who was engaged to cut the stencils has not yet had time to learn to distinguish bushwalkers' ruling passions from their mere pleasures, so she did not notice when her fingers reversed an “S” and a “V”, but at least one reader exclaimed in surprise - “Why, there are no women on the Conversation Bureau!”. We humbly apologise to the gentlemen who were stated to have been appointed to that Bureau by the Federation. We also assure them on behalf of the members of the S.B.W. that we expect a lot more than conversation from the Conservation Bureau.
This is also a good time and place to thank our various contributors for the way their manuscripts are coming in. Without their support there would be no magazine; with it, we are getting enough circulation to pay for an enlarged issue. During the last week or so our attention was drawn to the fact that the number of our contributors would probably be increased if shy members realised that their names need not be published. To those shy ones we would say, - Please let us have your contributions. So long as the editor knows who wrote it, the article, poem, story, or paragraph, can appear unsigned, or under a nom-de-plume. If you are too shy to hand in your contribution personally, put it in the letter-rack at the Club Room addressed to the Editor – but be sure you say inside who it is from. If you omit that essential information, your work cannot be published.
Now, come along all of you, shy and otherwise; the Business Manager says we can now run to 13 pages per issue. If we have too many contributions for the next issue, of course, we shall have to hold some over till the one after; and if we are inundated with contributions, we will probably ask you to get us more annual subscriptions to “The Sydney Bushwalker” so that we can afford to enlarge it some more.
by Jack Debert.
One of the most remarkable trips on account of the series of incidents, all or any of which might easily have proved serious, was made at Anzac week end 1938.
Gordon was the first to create a sensation. He staged a private preview for Hilma and Tim by flying through the air with the greatest of ease. Catching hold of a large boulder as he wormed his way round a cliff edge, half the boulder gave way, and Gordon fell twenty-five feet and gave a perfect three-point landing demonstration on feet and backside. Tim rushed to assist whilst Hilma said “Oh Gordon” three times sotto voce. Gordon made light of his injuries and carried on.
Then within an hour of Gordon's exhibition little Jessie, not to be outdone, showed what she could do. There is nothing mean about Jessie. When she stages a show she believes in providing thrillers for all. So, in full view of the rest of the party, she slid face downwards on a steep shale slope for fifteen feet, came to a smooth sandstone outcrop, and turned a few somersaults over it, and, by grabbing a gee bung, stopped further falling. She was badly shaken, had ripped her shorts from the waistband to the hem at the bottom and knocked a hole as big as a sixpenny bit in her left thigh, but she was as game as ever, and, carrying on with the good old traditions, continued walking. And the first day came to an end without any further accidents.
Now enter the villain, George Dibley. Four of the boys had gone to swim near Billys Peak on the lovely Wollondilly River. Tim and Gordon had dived in, George followed them in; he was to swim to the other side, turn and swim back. Jack was on the bank and saw George swim across and push Gordon under the water. Tim swam over and was likewise ducked. George was having a wow of a time. He had ducked two and was apparently only waist deep in water. Jack, standing on the bank, was enjoying the horse play but thought George very game. Tim bobs up from under the water and strikes out for the bank, and as Jack questions him, Tim simultaneously manages to gasp out “You had better come in and get him, Jack”. The Royal Life would not approve of the manner of bringing George back to terra firma but Jack had no chance to secure George in the approved fashion. He dived in the water and before he caught hold of George, George had thrown his arms under Jack's armpits and hugged like a grizzly bear. Holding George out of the water, Jack gave a few kicks as Gordon, assisting in keeping George up, kept quietly repeating “Steady old chap”, in a most soothing manner. Tim came down to the water's edge to beach the good ship Dibley to the sighs of relief from the rest of the party watching from afar. It seems George, trying to turn, was in difficulties in deepish water when he pushed Gordon and Tim under in trying to save himself. Tim almost had another scare when he returned to lunch to see a snake coiled round his Camp Pie tin. Joker Bill Mullins had killed the snake and placed it in position, but the water excitement somewhat spiked the fun. So much for the second day.
Now for the final episode. The party had arrived at Couridjah and were preparing a meal when Gordon, who had previously complained of not feeling too clever and was evidently feeling some ill effect from his fall, literally staggered into their midst. As he walked into branches of wattle trees someone rushed to take the pack off his back. Gordon then collapsed and fell forward flat out on his face. In two shakes the boys had rubbed him down, dressed him in dry clothes, put him in a sleeping bag by the fire and were pouring coffee and hot tomato soup into him. Gordon revived rapidly and was sitting up taking notice long before the train arrived.
Bill all but staged another incident by dropping a billy full of boiling water onto the ground. Boiling water splashed everywhere, but fortunately no further damage was done.
The walk, in case you would like to know, was from the Wanganderry Road turn off to Bonnum Pic, down Bonnum Pic Creek to the Wollondilly; Down the Wollondilly River and over Travis Pass to the Nattai River; Down to Little River and along Blue Gum Creek and into Couridjah. Really it was a marvellous trip and, in spite of all the accidents, nobody died. George managed to secure some wonderfully good photographs of Bonnum Pic and so he will consider it all worth while.
June General Meeting was attended by 55 members, many of whose faces we had not seen for months and months. No, there was no fight in the offing; quite the reverse. All members had been advised by circular that at this meeting a presentation would be made to Miss Rene Browne in recognition of her many years' sterling work as Honorary Social Secretary, so lots of the old members rolled up specially to do honour to Rene.
Of course, that was the main business of the meeting, but first the following New Members were welcomed:- Ruth McLaren, Arthur Salmon, Ralph Holroyd and the usual routine business was put through.
Arising from the Federation Report, a resolution was passed that the Federation be asked to press for the acquisition of the lands at Era in accordance with the application made to the Government some time ago.
The President took the opportunity of the presence of so many members to draw attention to the constant need to set an example as well as preaching to others against leaving rubbish about, or doing any kind of injury to the bush. He mentioned that recently initials have been carved on trees in The Blue Gum Forest!
From this sad subject everyone turned gladly to the pleasant business of paying tribute to the work done for the Club by that consistently energetic member, Rene Browne, who is now taking a well-earned rest from official work.
The last Sports Carnival has been held at Emu Plains. When our new Hon. Social Secretary (Flo. Allsworth) and fifteen other “early birds” arrived there on the Saturday, they were surprised to find that the old spot is now part of the Prison Farm. Fortunately the river was very low, because they had to paddle across and camp on the other side. However, next day permission was obtained to hold the sports as planned; the threatening clouds blew away, the chilly wind died down, over sixty more people came along, and the events were all keenly contested in good weather before a large audience, so the last Sports Carnival at Emu Plains was a real success, in spite of the tent-pitching-billy-boiling contest being cut out owing to lack of wood.
Green in light are the hills, and a calm wind flowing
Filleth the void with a flood of the fragrance of spring;
Wings in this mansion of life are coming and going,
Voices of unseen loveliness carol and sing
– Walter de la Mere.
When we consider that most of us use our feet, in our daily avocations as well as in our recreations, more than any other portion of our bodies, it behoves us to study what is best in the way of what we wear and how we care for their well being.
Firstly we must consider the type of boot or shoe best suited to the requirements, especially in the domain of sport and recreation. In choosing footgear we will deal here with the subject almost entirely from the standpoint of walkers, that is the recreative walkers as distinct from the racing fraternity. Now there are two types of boots or shoes, one for long trips, and one for the shorter, fast day trips and week-end walks.
After many years' experience, and after studying the various individuals engaged in this recreation, the writer definitely comes to the conclusion that boots are immeasurably superior to shoes in every instance. The reasons for this contention are many. Boots offer a greater support to the ankles, without weakening them, as well as distributing the stress and strain on the longer muscles as opposed to the distribution on the smaller balance muscles and sinews when shoes are worn. Another reason is that boots keep out foreign matter - pebbles, cinders, etc. in the bush, and sand and debris when crossing creeks and rivers - thereby minimising the possibility of bruises and chafing.
Now, as to the type of boot to be worn, the writer would suggest a strong, well-made, leather boot, not too high in the upper - just a little above the ankle - laced outside flap if possible; strong and heavy sole, wide at waist, and conforming as nearly as possible to the shape of the natural foot. The heel should be slightly bigger than the natural heel to prevent the flesh of heel spreading or weeping over, causing what are known as horseshoe blisters.
Always avoid mineral tanned leather, styled “mineral kip”, as it tends to make the feet very tender.
For day walks and week-ends a lighter boot may be worn. Although many walkers seem to get along in rubber shoes, the practice has so many drawbacks that it's general adoption is inadvisable.
Now, as regards socks, the writer in all cases advises heavy woollen, handknitted golf stockings, always at least a full size larger than the usual socks, as they act as a packing for the feet, and are not so apt to make holes as if they are tightly stretched over the feet.
If the boots are on the large side, a pair of socks can be worn outside the stockings, with the tops rolled over the boots. This is a great precaution against pebbles, etc., as the rounded surface throws off the offending pieces of stone, gravel, or grit.
Now the walker must have his feet seasoned or toughened to withstand the many strains to which he will be exposed. If the feet are tender, one of the best methods of tempering them is to steep them in a strong solution of rocksalt three or four times a week. To those whose feet blister easily, the writer suggests that the feet be given two or three coats of surgical collodion before starting on each day's walk. Wash the feet well first.
Should blisters occur, never cut them with knife or razor. Pass a darning needle with undyed wool attached right through the blister, absorbing all the fluid, then apply a piece of sticking-plaster over the whole surface to prevent further chafing. This is better than a bandage.
In conclusion it must be said that attention to the little details of the footwear, and a little extra care bestowed on looking after the feet more than repay the trouble taken.
Hats have come down in the world. From articles of necessity they have descended to mere ornaments and doubtful ornaments at that.
Originally designed to protect eyes from glare and heads from heat of noonday sun; of such a shape and texture as to protect the wearer from the downpourings of Jupiter Pluvius. Alas for mere utility! The mad hatter has truly come to stay with us.
Hats like soup plates upturned to catch the rain. Hats with front and no back, with back and no front, with crown and no brim, with brim and no crown.
Of course we refer to ladies hats, but the men are going gay with glamorous greens and gallant greys. But when we go camping hats become strictly utilitarian and so with camp gear.
Paddy-made gear is designed primarily for use and because its design expresses function, it has a sturdy beauty of its own.
Talking about gear, Paddy has added two more Rucksacks to his range. In honour of the new club for Juniors, they are called Bunyip and Bunyip Junior. Sturdy well designed jobs that will take all a youngster wants for the day (or a grown up too for that matter). They weigh but ounces. They cost 9/- or 5.6d.
|F. A. Pallin
327 George St. Sydney
My monthly “Bushwalker” I buy,
And what's this verse that meets my ete 2)?
A “Hymn of Hate” about a pack –
Shame! 'tis a most unkind attack.
Now, Walkers, I appeal to you,
Without our packs what would we do?
How would we carry all we need?
Food, clothing and a book to read.
I know that sometimes in the heat,
When toiling on with blistered feet,
The pack may seem a heavy curse, –
To be without one would be worse !
For when we reach the journey's end,
The pack is proved a thorough friend.
And when its hidden store is tried,
We find our needs are satisfied.
Warm bed, soft shoes, and ere we stop
Perhaps some raisins or a chop –
I hope for many years to tramp,
To climb a mountain, make a camp,
And wander miles of bushland track,
With my good friend still on my back !
(“Tuggie was one of the seven who, last Easter, were caught by mist when out for )
( a short jaunt without packs. They had groundsheets, and they did find shelter )
( but She Knows. – Ed. )
by Alex Colley.
Willing hands assisted the old gentleman out of the carriage on to the platform at Katoomba. Others, anxious to make things easier for him, tried to help him on with his pack. But as they were unable to lift it, the old man had to bend down himself, and slowly raise it on to his feeble shoulders.
Soon the party was on its way down Katoomba St. As this is mostly down hill he found little difficulty in getting along. In fact, as he gathered pace, the local residents were nonplussed by the sight of one so advanced in years, yet so fleet of foot. Of course they did not realise, as we did, that he was unable to pull up on the down-grade, but nevertheless we all had to admit that it was a fine sight to see the old buffer (no, its not a sprint), speeding down the street, his beard streaming behind him in the wind. We eventually lost sight of him for a time but came upon him again clinging to a telegraph pole at the bottom of the street.
Though a little shaky he managed to make his way to Narrow Neck, and as we started on the rough stony track he began to reminisce. “Dear me - yes, yes - I can remember when Centennial Park was just like this - when I was a boy. Yes, I remember, it all comes back - it was the best walk I ever did - 100 miles round and round in 24 hours.” We were used to him wandering a little, but one of the party said that he had really done 100 miles in 24 hours in the early days. We were surprised to learn that he had lost his reason so early.
When we came to the end of Clear Hill he insisted on going down the ladders, though but few of the rungs remained - he said he had always gone down that way before and was not going to change now. We, however, decided to go round by the wallaby trail [the wallaby track]. As we were about half way round we were surprised to hear a considerable uproar emanating from the direction of the ladders, and on investigating found that he had, unfortunately, got his beard tangled in the wires. Had it not been for the strength of his vocal powers, which was still unimpaired, he might have remained suspended there for some little time.
On Debert Knob [Mt Debert] he acted in rather a peculiar manner. He started wandering about, intently examining the ground and rocks. “I think,” he said, “that it should be here - no, perhaps it would be more conspicuous up here” - and so on. Eventually we asked him what it was that should be here, or there. “Why,” he replied, “my bust, of course!”
During the afternoon he managed to totter up Mount Merri Merrigal [Mt Merrimerrigal], down to the Cox, and thence four miles up Kanangra River to our camp spot. That night it was very cold, so we all got into his tent with him to keep him warm. This was very unselfish of the rest of the party who had been looking forward to sleeping in the open, so as to enjoy the fresh air and moonlight.
Next day we climbed up 3000 feet to the top of Krunglebungle Pass. The old fellow collapsed when he got to the top, and by the time the rest of us had got up to him he was in a bad state. One of the party had brought a small bottle of rum for such an event, but we found that it had been entrusted to Dave Stead, who had left us on the previous day. Hearing this Debert lost consciousness altogether, and we were afraid that he might pass out there and then. However we managed to pull him round eventually, and went a little further along the ridge for our midday meal. It looked as if we were in for a dry lunch, but the old man's knowledge of bushcraft proved very useful. He went down the other side of the mountain, interviewed a wombat concerning the local water supply, and returned with a full bucket.
The rest of the day was fairly uneventful, and we pitched camp that night on the Cox. Just as we were settling into his tent for the night a few spots of rain came down, and things looked rather black for a time. With the tent Abdulled 4) we were all able to fit in, but if we had to put the side down this would no longer be possible, and we hated to think of the poor old fellow being out in the rain on such a cold night! However he assured us that it wouldn't rain much, and, as we had seen him prowling round a large hole nearby, we knew that this information must have come straight from the wombat's mouth. He was right, it didn't rain. So impressed were we by his strange intimacy with these furry creatures that thereafter we dubbed him “King of the Wombats”.
We arrived at Carlons for lunch the next day and all agreed that, when planning a walk to Carlons for lunch, it is best to approach the place by a circuitous route - ones appetite is greatly improved by the added exercise. Not, of course, that we over ate - not much anyway. It was a most enjoyable repast - even the old man was able to sit up and take a little nourishment. After lunch he fell into a reflective mood, at the end of which he announced that he had decided to have his ashes scattered by plane over the Carlon homestead. But the Carlons, though pleasant enough about the matter, did not seem really to appreciate his kind thought.
After lunch we set off up the Creek towards Katoomba. Debert was leading. In a little while he started to increase his pace. Gradually he drew away. Faster and faster he went till eventually he disappeared over the top of the hill at a trot. That was the last we saw of him. We heard however, that an old gentleman, clad only in a pair of shorts, had arrived at Katoomba and enquired the way to Morella Karong. Probably it was Debert - his grand-children have poultry farms down there. But where was his gear? No doubt the souvenir hunters got that.
And rumour has it that a well-preserved old gentleman was seen making his way down the Cox in a bath chair, with a special Paddy-made trailer attached for his pack; and a wombat by his side.
The best news received by the Federation at its meeting on June 24th last was that it's 5) letter to the Boy Scouts' Association, protesting against the destruction of trees, etc. had been fully considered by the Scouters' Pow-Wow, and that, after about an hour's discussion, that conference was practically unanimous that the methods of Scout training should be altered.
Not nearly so good was the report received from the convenor of the Recreational Co-operative Society Sub-Committee. Although 400 circulars were sent out, only 90 definite promises of support were received in reply. Such a general lack of interest was shown that the sub-committee could not recommend any further steps being taken at the present time.
The Conservation Bureau advised against purchasing land at Era, but recommended application to the Minister for Lands for the resumption of the whole area there. It was resolved to approach all interested bodies, requesting them also to apply for its resumption.
Oh! It is a fearful sin
To leave behind one empty tin.
And may he have three kinds of gout
Who scatters paper bags about.
Who throws his rubbish 'neath the trees
Shall suffer water on the knees,
And he who sets the bush afire
Shall tear his trousers on barbed wire?
(From “Outdoors”, the Official Organ of the Otago Tramping Club, Dunedin, N.Z.)
Easter saw Joyce and Jean Trimble, Tom and Ron Moppett, and Doreen Helmrich off Kowmung-wards.
There were many hold-ups before they eventually climbed aboard the huge lorry at Camden, and even then the start of the trip was not auspicious as the lorry took all night and until 7 a.m. to get to Yerranderie.
After breakfast with the Fitz-Savage party, with whom the lorry was shared, the Kowmung party left for Byrne's Gap and Church Creek. The Kowmung River was reached for a late lunch, and an early camp made at Christie's Creek. The sleepless night on the lorry sent the party to bed early this night.
Saturday brought the Bulga Denis Canyon in view, and the low level of the river made it very easy to negotiate. Two people ahead of the S.B.W. party had had a feast on a couple of huge eels. Evidence remained in the shape of two heads, about sixteen inches in circumference, tied to a casuarina.
Nothing of the moment occurred along the river,which is but a shadow of its former loveliness. The water was very low, and bushfires had made a ruin of the hills, although a slight greenness of new growth was beginning to show. The stones were gathered in huge beds at each bend of the river, and that ugly, fluffy-topped weed abounded on them. The grassy flats were still there, but it was not till nearly at the Cedar Road that old happy memories of a favourite river were recalled. From there down the river had not changed. The water was held in pools by big rock-bars, and fire had not played havoc as it had done in the upper reaches. Jean, who has known the river for many years, was glad to find some of the old glory of the river to show her party. Until the Cedar Road, promises of the loveliness of the river had proved rather empty.
The Cox loomed in sight at lunchtime on Sunday, and Bonny Douglas and Harold Rolfe were added to the party. Thel. and Rastus Hellyer arrived just as the party was about to move off, and it is undersood that Dorothy Lawry's large family arrived soon afterwards. The Cox's River had proved popular.
The White Dog Ridge was climbed to Medlow Gap, and camp made on the Roots' old campsite. The White Dog is one of the best exits from the Cox; the climb is steady, with good footing, no side spurs to trap the unwary, and once the top is reached there is very little rise, and good walking to the foot of Mouin, and Medlow Gap. If one is not familiar with the district, it is as well to get Mt. Mouin ahead of one while on the White Dog Ridge, and keep it ahead until well on the lower slopes of Mouin, with Debert's Knob on one's right, before turning onto the Medlow Gap saddle.
Monday morning Clear Hill was climbed and some time spent in viewing the “Dog” country. Then followed lunch at Glen Raphael swamp, and a cold, cold walk along the Narrow Neck Peninsular into Katoomba.
Those interested in the new S.B.W. Eastern Suburbs Choir are reminded that another practice will be held at Merle Hamilton's Flat, 57 Ocean Avenue, Edgecliffe, on Monday 22nd August.
Paddy Pallin also advises he will be glad to welcome anyone to his home at Bent Street Lindfield on Tuesday 30th August, when more choir practice will be indulged in.
On Thursday, 5th July, a large party of club members tried the fashionable sport of ice-skating at the Ice Palais. We hear that a good time was had by all - except poor, little “Frosty”. She was kicked in the shin, visited St.Vincent's Hospital, and was decorated with three stitches. Hard luck, “Frosty”!
On the same evening various officials of this and other clubs were entertained at the first Annual Dinner of the Rucksack Club of Sydney – and did they enjoy themselves? Well, it was a good dinner, followed by community singing, etc., and it was noticeable that in extending their congratulations and thanks to their hosts most of the speakers expressed the hope thet they might be invited to the next Annual Dinner of the Rucksack Club!
Dinners seem to be fashionable at present. The Coast & Mountain Walkers held their Annual Dinner on Thursday, 14th July. Unfortunately, our reporter was prevented by a bad cold from attending, but we are sure everyone enjoyed the evening. We know the hosts; and it was a dinner!
Among those present at the S.B.W.'s General Meeting on July 8th were the Thorsens – Vic., Fannie, and Frances Allyn. We also noticed amongst the crowd Gwen Lawrie, down from Katoomba, Ethel Hansard, back from Hobart, and Sid.Robinson. Where has he been for the last twelve months?
At the end of June Wiff and Mrs.Knight departed for Cairns. As Willi' said, “We are going north again for three or four months, chasing old Sol.”
Congratulations to “Norm.” Colton! On Saturday, 9th July, Miss Mabel Strom became Mrs.Colton, and, although, so far as we know, she is not one of the bushwalking fraternity yet, we hope she will become one of us. Best wishes to “Norm.” and his wife!
From June issue of “Outdoors”, the official organ of The Otago Tramping Club Inc. of Dunedin, New Zealand:-
“It must have been cold at Easter too for everyone away seems to have developed cramp in the hand muscles.”
The same epidemic afflicted members of the S.B.W. The Editor of this magazine extends sympathy to the Editor of “Outdoors”.
“The Ramblers' Handbook, 1938” comes to us from the Southern Federarion of Ramblers of England, and the first article to catch our eyes is - “Hike v.Ramble”!
Among the Reviews we find “The Bushwalker, No.1”, and are glad to see an outline of the objects, and some of the achievements and activities of the N.S.W. Federation of Bushwalking Clubs. The final paragraph of this review reads:-
“This magazine makes exciting reading, for most of it consists of accounts not of rambling as we understand it, but of rock climbing and pioneering by both men and women carrying camp equipment and experiencing strenuous toil. The photographs are particularly beautiful and the sketches depict the liveliness of the members in no uncertain way. The magazine is priceless in more than one sense.”
– and “The Bushwalker” No.2 will be out by the end of next month!
From the “Bulletin of The Mountain Club Of Maryland”, Baltimore, U.S.A., we learn that their Sunday trips usually start at 7 a.m. ! Jack Debert should certainly look them up if ever he visits Baltimore!
This energetic Club has a Photographic Group, and a Club Album, and “are contacting other hiking clubs for the purpose of exchangeing prints. These prints will be exhibited publicly and in this fashion the Mountain Club of Maryland will also have a chance to see what other hiking clubs in the country are doing in the way of hiking, rock-climbing, and other activities.”
Are we sending them a “Bushwalker” Annual this year?
- C. Pryde.
Monday 11th. After breakfast we started out to climb Mount Wareng by an easy slope on N.N.E. side. The going was easy except for a very steep pinch near the top, and took slightly over two hours. It was a glorious day for the trip as the visibility was good and we were able to make out places up to 60 or 70 miles away and the range of views was a complete circle. This was by far the most comprehensive view I have ever seen.
Maurie did some sketching while I located points by map and compass. Unfortunately our map did not cover the whole view particularly to the north and west, but we could pick out Barrington Tops easily. West was the Main Divide with Mellong Range in the middle distance – Capertee, and Glen Alice then Mt.Hay, Katoomba, King George, the Grose Valley, Kurrajong, and south the hills about Broken Bay.
Wareng should be of interest to geologists. The top is basalt and in shape it is roughly semi-circular as if it had been a volcano which had got one side blown out. We were greatly impressed with the huge bulk of “Big Yango” about six miles due South and would liked to have visited it, but time did not permit. There seems to be some error in the making of maps as Mt Murwin which is shown is only a tiny thing compared with either Wareng or Yango [Mt Yengo]. Mts. Yango, Wareng, and Popran are in a direct line about N.N.W.x.N.
We built a little cairn and put our names in a small bottle which we had brought up with us. These were the first names on the top except those of locals and none of them had been up for years. We came down on the N.W. side and the return trip took just an hour.
Back to camp and had a cup of tea and wrote some notes for home and took them to the post office. No one was there but as we were going back to camp we met the Postmaster driving cattle. One of his dogs, a cross-bred Alsatian apparently did not like intruders. We had a long yarn and the postmaster pointed out a rock which was covered with grooves where the blacks had ground their tools. On a hillside was a little graveyard where some of the locals had been buried. While dinner was being cooked one of the local lads came along to have a talk and the result was that the sago got into a gluey mass. A horse which had apparently got loose came charging down the hill followed by a couple of dogs snapping at its heels. The horse reared on its hind legs and tried to squash the dogs with its fore feet. Fortunately a man came along on horseback and was able to get hold of it before any harm was done.
To-night the smoke from the fire was very annoying as it blew out everywhere and seemed to follow us every place we moved to.
Tuesday, 12th. It was a great morning with a cold wind blowing. I made a damper with the last of the flour. Maurie was greatly upset about the sugar running out but he had a wonderful time cleaning the sago billy. Had a very early lunch and then followed the creek down a long distance and were amazed at the signs of wild life we saw along it. Wombats, wallabies, and dingoes or foxes seemed to be very plentiful. We then cut across country to the Putty Road and went as far as the MacDonald River Bridge. The river here is absolutely dry. When returning we passed a burnt out homestead and soon after two graves which seemed very new, and found out afterwards that the homestead had been burnt out a couple of years ago, when a big bush fire had swept the country and the graves were those of two old people who had lived in the homestead and had died shortly afterwards. There was a very cold wind during the evening and rain was threatening. To get over the sugar difficulty we boiled prunes in the sugar bag. Our main meal consisted of potatoes, onions, macaroni, bacon and cheese, mixed and stewed, but it went down well.
Wednesday 13th. Turned out at 5.30 a.m. and packed up after breakfast. Arrived up at the Post Office at 8 a.m. and in a few minutes the mail car driven by Mr.Spinks turned up. The Post Office here is the only one I have ever soon marked “Post and Telephone” Office. Spinks is a character. He has done a lot of walking and canoeing in the Colo district and near by, and gave us quite a lot of information about the country we passed through and was really very interesting. Numerous calls were made at wayside letter boxes and at Bulgo Post Office. The immense flats round about Singleton struck us very forcibly. It was a great sight to see the mobs of cattle with green paddocks of lucerne here and there.
Spinks gave us some tips as to what to do in Newcastle, and dropped us at the Railway Station Crossing at Singleton. We left our packs in the Station and went for a walk up town, had some lunch, bought some groceries and then went back to the Station where we killed time until 1.40 when we took a train for Newcastle.
A few moments before the train left a chap who said his name was Handley came up and asked to see our sleeping bags and other gear. We had only minute or two to spare but gave him as much information as possible in the time. He had heard of our arrival in the town from Spinks, and is also keen on getting about in the bush.
A thing that struck us particularly in Singleton was the way the shopkeepers had time to speak to a customer and show stock. Quite different to the usual Sydney manner.
We were comfortably seated and had a fine run into Waratah where we had to change for Newcastle. It was quite cold here and everyone was going about in overcoats. Took a tram to Merewether beach and went over the hill and along the beaches to Glen Rock beach where we found a fairly sheltered spot to camp. There was a great sea running and a strong wind. After a good meal, turned in about 8 p.m.
Thursday 14th. Saw us awake about 5.30 to find the sky clear and the wind dropped but this soon altered and we broke camp in a cold wet drizzle which lasted all the way back to Merewether. We managed to keep fairly dry until about 50 yards from Merewether when I slipped into a rock pool and got well wet. Leaving our packs in Newcastle Station we crossed over to Stockton and then made a tour of the city – visited the Cathedral, City Hall, etc. Newcastle has very fine swimming baths besides the surfing. A great thing for children is a map of the world done in raised concrete with the principal countries coloured and the channels between filled with water. At either end is a pillar representing the North and South poles. 6) A lot of work appears to be on hand clearing up the beaches and building shelter sheds and paths.
After lunch we caught the train at 2.58. for Sydney arriving at Milson's Point at 6.20 after a really very pleasant holiday.
I am sitting in my dingy little office, where a stingy
Ray of sunlight struggles feebly down between the houses tall,
And the foetid air and gritty of the dusty dirty city,
Through the open window floating, spreads its foulness over all.
|Tim Coffey is only a very recent addition to the “Tigers”, but truly he should be known as Tiger Tim. He has youth on his side, has developed a stout pair of props, and I predict big things for Tim in the bush walking world. Records set up by the “Tigers” on some of the long holiday week-end trips will be shattered by Tim and his confreres as time rolls on. He will take minutes off the records, and will enjoy doing it. Added to youth, he has excellent stamina, is ever alert, and is as keen as the mustard of the same name.|
Did you meet the chap who went to the Sports Carnival all prepared with a spirit stove? Evidently he has been to Emu Plains before? Stout man,Brian!
And did you meet the girl who went to Emu Plains on the Sunday morning complete with sleeping-bag? She said that she had been to Sports Carnivals before! Oh, Betty!
|Has anyone else over noticed Kangaroo Colley's tricky habit of hopping along like a rock wallaby? He favours light sneaker shoes, a light pack, and on rough, rocky ground seems to cover the distance like our rock-hopping fauna. He also lives up to his Collie dog name by woofing his food out of a billy.
Have you heard of:
The Bean bi-furcated bun-loaf (or bunfurcated bifloaf)?
The Bean beacon?
And the proud motto inscribed on the family plate?
Have you heard what the Queensland climate has done to our Lost Legion? Wal. and Doug. have been and gone and made themselves a pair of fishing-rods, and have now become ardent fishermen!! The fish are not worrying, at least not much - but — Poor Phil!
|– Pious Percy.|
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