A monthly Bulletin of The Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown Street, Sydney.
|Editor||Alex Colley, 55 Kirribilli Av., Milsons Point|
|Assistant Editor||Dot Butler|
|Walks Reporter||Kevin Ardill|
|Business Manager||Maurie Berry|
|Production Assistant||Peter Price|
|Sales and Subs.||Christa Calnan|
|Assistant Sales and Subs.||Bill Horton|
|Editorial - No Conservation Bureau||1|
|At Our August Meeting||2|
|Are Bushwalkers Getting Sissy?||Marie B. Byles||5|
|Rover Ramblers' Barbecue||7|
|The Quiz||Dot Butler||8|
|It Was a Good Walk||“Mumbedah”||10|
|The Page Holiday Camp||10|
|Federation Notes||Brian Harvey||11|
|Budawang and Currockbilly||“Prolix”||12|
|Social Notes for September||16|
|Federation Reunion||illustrated by Dot Butler||17|
|Backyard Bushwalking - Paddy's Advt.||18|
The Federation Annual Report for 1946-7 commences as follows:
“It cannot be said that the year now chronicled has seen encouraging progress in the cause of Conservation. Although Federation has some place as a forum for the expression of club and bushwalking opinion, the preservation of privileges of bush walkers and similar purposes, the organization was formed to “promote the establishment and preservation of national parks and primitive areas and reserves for the protection of native flora and fauna, to prevent the spoliation of the bush, natural scenery and wild life and to educate public opinion to appreciate and preserve these things.”
Later on the report states:
“It is regretted that the (Conservation) Bureau has not yet commenced to function after its wartime quiescence. Conservation, the main reason for the existence of this organisation, requires skilled and tireless workers, prepared to devote a great part of their leisure to its cause. Suitable personnel, preferably volunteers, are badly needed. We are indebted, however, for services in this cause by members of the S.B W…”
Why is it that all the conservation work is left to the Federation Secretary and a few of the older members of the M.T.C. or S.B.W? In our Club there is quite a lot of interest in the subject - about half the time in our meetings is spent in discussing conservation, yet the net result is almost nil. One good reason for this is the terribly involved and long winded procedure we have thought up. A conservation matter is brought up in a Club meeting, referred to the Federation, referred to the Conservation Bureau, if in existence, or, if not, somewhere else; then back to the Federation and thence to the Club for further consideration. But this is not all. Take, for instance, the case of National Park. After about three months the Federation decided on a policy, but then, faced with the awful prospect of doing something, it decided instead that someone should make a report on it. Nobody would do so until the Secretary reluctantly took on this redundant task. That was in January. Federation is now considering the report. To the bushwalkers we award a special certificate in triplicate for performing the remarkable feat of weaving their own red tape and then tying themselves up in it.
Perhaps this is the reason why none of the old conservation workers will volunteer for the Conservation Bureau (the very name is dusty). Experience has taught them that they must fight their way through the mesh of red tape and overcome the inertia of eighteen clubs before they can even start to do conservation work.
In the absence of the President, who was on his way to the Alpine Hut, one of the Vice-Presidents, Alex Colley, was in the chair. There were about 70 members present, and in an argumentative mood. Some addressed the Chair, some turned their backs to it, some confined their observations to a close circle of friends, others addressed the floor; but all had something to say.
The first business of the evening was to welcome a new member, Kath Hardy.
Next the minutes were read - and voted wrong. The Walks Secretary was not, as stated in the draft minutes and the magazine, to be elected at the Half Yearly meeting, but at this meeting. Later in the evening the election was held and Bill Horton made the new Walks Secretary.
In the correspondence was a letter asking whether the Sydney Bush Walkers wanted any resolutions discussed at the Forestry Advisory Council conference. Laurie Rayner thought that fire watch-towers should be erected, and, if necessary, manned by club members during the week-end. Marie Byles pointed out that telephone communication and other equipment was also necessary. The meeting was in favour of the watch-towers, but judging by disgruntled murmurs, would not have been so keen on a week-ends pole sitting. Nicely judging the temper of his audience by its undertone, Laurie refrained from putting the watch-towers issue to the test.
We were very pleased to hear that the National Parks and Primitive Areas Council had added another success to its conservation efforts by having the Beecroft Peninsula (the Northern Headland of Jervis Bay), reserved. The plan proposed by the N.P.P.A.C. had been followed closely.
After the reading of the Federation Report the sale of Crown Lands on Narrow Neck was discussed at length. Marie Byles said that she and Dr. Dark (who had told her of the sale) would advance the purchase money - £600. - if the Federation would undertake to raise the funds later. However the Federation and the S.B.W. delegates seemed “luke warm” about the idea. After a little discussion Ruby Payne-Scott, following a suggestion by Paul Barnes, moved that the Federation should try to obtain an option over the land. There followed some discussion, initiated by Eric Rowen, as to our right to cross the land. It was, Marie explained, a “nice” point. Under the old system of land tenure a “right of user” could be established. Under Torrens Title the title was defined, but, if people were allowed to walk over a track for some time perhaps the owner had dedicated it for that purpose. It was decided to try to obtain the option. However, there was still no expression of opinion as to whether or not we minded houses, farms, roads etc. on the area. We could not help feeling that any farmer who could cultivate those rocks would deserve every encouragement, but a scenic road is a good bet for the next depression, and by that time it might be possible to build a house that would withstand the mountain gales that roar across the headland.
Ruby Payne-Scott again obliged with a motion to the effect that we “deplored the alienation of land on Narrow Neck” and the Club orators got down to business. Allan Hardie pointed out that we could not be prevented from crossing the land as there must be right of access to the parts beyond. Ron Knightley made the hair of the older members stand on end by saying that the walk out to Clear Hill was rocky and unpleasant and that a road would do away with it, allowing us to get out to the country beyond, where the real beauty of the mountains lay. Bushwalkers were against the alienation of every bit of land that was not cultivated or used for timber, or they wanted to buy it. Laurie Rayner said he felt sick when he went through a street (too bad). But he would like a scenic road to Clear Hill, so that people who couldn't walk could enjoy the scenery. It was houses and farms that meant ruined scenery and ringbarked trees. Gordon Ballard said the land was 1-2 miles from the railway - it was too far away from shopping centres and too windy - it would not be used for building. Kath Hardy, attending her first meeting as a member, spoke for the walkers of posterity. If we let scenic places go to the builder there would be no places at all for walking in 50 years time. Narrow Neck was one of the grandest places. A scenic road would spoil the views and the place was already easy of access. Phil Hall was also thinking of the next generation. If there were a road they would not have to stumble and curse and swear, or at any rate stumble their way down to the Cox on Friday nights. Then walkers could get into the really interesting country on Friday night instead of having to spend hours in the pansy stuff. Think too how delightful it would be to enjoy scones and cream when you had arrived at the top of Clear Hill? Dorothy Lawry said that this proved it - the present generation of Bushwalkers were morons. As soon as large numbers of people got out beyond the Cox there would be fires, just as there were in the nearer areas. John Noble, who had volunteered to take the notes for the meeting, took time off to point out that the road down to Narrow Neck was already being prepared with a bull-dozer. Ruby Payne-Scott, replying to critics, first dealt with the cream and jam heresy. If on Clear Hill, why not Solitary too or anywhere and everywhere? We didn't want to buy every bit of land not already built on - houses were often built in most impossible places and there was every likelihood of them being put out on Narrow Neck. It was not far for a bus run. The use of land should be wisely controlled in the interests of the people. The motion was then put to the vote and it was resolved that we did deplore the alienation of the land.
The next major issue was that of how to lock the Club room on Friday nights. On the previous Friday night it had been left open. Various proposals were put forward - Allan Hardie proposed a roster such as was adopted for the work to be done in Churches. Eric Rowen thought the caretaker should do it. Then a roster of the committee was proposed. All proposals were defeated and it was decided to leave it to the committee.
This was the last contentious matter and the meeting closed at 10.15 p.m.
By Marie B. Byles
As I listened to the discussion as to the desirability of a road along the Narrow Necks and houses on the way to Clear Hill, I began to wonder. Only a few years ago I remember expressions of horror at such a suggestion. It would ruin the beauty and the fun, they then said; fortunately it would be a difficult road to make, “Thank Goodness!” they sighed with relief.
But now quite a number of bushwalkers seriously urged that a road to Clear Hill would save their poor feet from the long stony path. It is true that there is no longer the adventure in the Narrow Necks as there was when Frank Duncan was making the First Descent of Clear Hill. But the beauty is still there. Are they blind to it? Perhaps so. A forester once took a party of bushwalkers out for a week end. He found that they were splendid companions; but he marvelled that they never looked at anything! Perhaps these bushwalkers who find the track to Clear Hill so long and stony have never seen the wonder of the mist across the valley on a moonlight night, or the splendour of a sunrise on the distant hill, or the loveliness of the tiny flowers beside that stony path.
But in any case where would be the adventure of the Gangerangs if you could reach them easily? Why the very charm of these hills and, of the Dog Ranges and the Cox is just that you cannot reach them easily and that the walk there is long and very beautiful. And where is this road extension gong to end? After all the walk along the Dog Ranges is far less spectacular than that along the Narrow Necks, and once the road is out to Clear Hill, oh! won't their poor feet get weary tramping out along those uninteresting Dogs, with hardly any views. Let's take the road right down to the Cox and be done with it. And then we shall be right on the doorstep of the Kowmung yes, and the adventure of the Kowmung gone, and the country nicely opened up between Katoomba and Ginkyn.
Perhaps a scenic road to Clear Hill will be inevitable one day. But I always thought it would be the N.R.M.A. that would want it, and that the bushwalkers would put up a strenuous opposition, perhaps ending in a compromise with a road to Diamond Falls and down the cliffs into the Megalong - such a road has in fact been planned, but not by bushwalkers - so far! It is time that motorists are entitled to their fair share of scenic roads, and in the past it has been I who have said that bushwalkers should not be selfish. But at the same time there is a happy medium, and it was generally agreed that it was a fair thing to expect a few ridges to remain free of tourist roads, and that these should be the Mount Hay Ridge beyond Table Hill and Rocky Tops, the Mount King George Ridge beyond Mount King George, and the whole of the Narrow Necks Ridge. Does the younger generation of bushwalkers want to see roads out along all the ridges? Do they want merely ease of access to the rivers where they can loaf and swim? It gave me a pang to see that it was the younger bushwalkers who mainly spoke for making ease of access to the Dogs and the Gangerangs. Is the rising generation of bushwalkers getting sissy?
I have had more than my fair share of exploring seldom or never-trodden country, not only in New Zealand and China, but in Australia, too, and I shall now probably never go into wild untrodden lands again. So the vandalism proposed by some of the younger bushwalkers will not affect me personally. But I am sad, none the less, for those expeditions into far-off country have been the high-lights of my life, and I should be sorry to think there was no far-off country for adventure any more - and to have had the adventure taken away by bushwalkers and not by motorists - well! well! well!
“The wonder of the world is o'er;
“The magic from the sea is gone:
“There is no unimagined shore,
“No islet yet to venture on.”
A.E. (George Russell)
McNicoll conducts a column. All the best papers do likewise. Why can't we? What has McNicoll got that I haven't? Leaving out a wife and friends I can't see a thing. So here goes.
Allan Hardie (Dormie to you) hits the headlines in his own inimitable style. Railway officials held up a train for seven hours on Sunday evening, but owing to a minor clerical error Dormie didn't appear until Monday afternoon. His equipment included two cameras, sundry axes, trenching tools etc. Maps were not considered necessary as Dormie refreshed his memory by glancing at them prior to leaving home. A peep at the Classified Columns shows an axe and trenching tool for sale.
Etiquette Section:- Would someone ask the bushwalker, attired in becoming green shorts and matching socks, if it is correct procedure to hold hands with a very personable prospective when pointing out pretty panoramas.
You wont believe this, but from an unimpeachable source we are advised, and surprised, that Ron Knightley arose at 5.30 a.m. and was on the track at 7.20 a.m. I need hardly mention that a woman's influence was responsible. As Mr. Knightley would say - astounding, what!
Just received word that a syndicate is bidding for Dormie's axe. When it is acquired it is to be presented to Ken Meadows. On future excursions to view abo. carvings Ken is being sent on a day early with the axe to carve a few. The unfortunates who accompanied him on his walk didn't see anything that resembled a carving.
It may have been retribution or just a new form of greeting, but Bernie requested Ken to put out his hand and then crushed a fresh, or practically fresh egg, in the outstretched palm. I don't know now eggsactly what happened afterwards but can you imagine Ken's face.
The bruises displayed by various males were not sustained in bashing through scrub or falling off mountains. On a recent Sunday walk a pretty Prospective mentioned she might have a blister. The charge of the Light Brigade paled into insignificance beside the rush of zealous sticking plaster appliers. One fortunate managed to grasp the foot before the others and went to work. The leader held the party up for half an hour to sooth the patient's nerves, which were in a bad state after the onslaught.
Some sage once remarked that “There is a time and place for everything”. Shirley King decided noon was the correct time to collect tadpole specimens for her naturalist sister, but few will agree with her choice of place. Would you collect tadpoles halfway through a Test Walk ? Latest bulletin is that the lady is sound in wind and limb, but the tadpoles couldn't keep up with the pace and arrived home in a state of rigor mortis or whatever tadpoles become when they cease tadpoling.
Dormie just makes the stop-press with the explanation of how his two-day walk developed into three days. It seems that someone moved a house from a turn-off in a gully, or moved the gully away from the house or the turn-off away from… Anyhow that's how it happened.
12th & 14th September.
Location : Junction Wood's Creek and Grose River.
Special Buses, 1/- each way, meet the following trains at Richmond:-
Saturday: Centra1 9.22 a.m. arrives Richmond 10.53 a.m. Centra1 1.00 p.m. arrives Richmond 2.32 p.m. Centra1 1.40 p.m. arrives Richmond 3.16 p.m.
Sunday: Trains leave Richmond at 5.19, 5.50 & 6.59 p.m.
The charge of 2/- per head will benefit the Boy Scout & Girl Guide memorial Appeal.
By Dot Butler.
Frankly I was disappointed in the Quiz, (possibly because I was one of the contestants and couldn't answer the questions). Having debated the subject last month and agreed that Bushwalkers are morons I was expecting to be asked questions compatible with our mental development, but it seemed as if the Quiz-master went out of his way to ask questions demanding at least a Q.C. standard of education. To be asked in grim earnest what was the date of the founding of South Australia, and what was the date of the founding of Western Australia, and what was the date of the discovery of gold in Australia, I felt was putting too much of a strain on our limited mental capacities.
The men's team of three was the chosen cream of half a roomful of males: whereas the unlucky women's team had to be selected from the mere 6 or 8 girls present, so naturally they started at a disadvantage. At 1/4 time the score was 3 for the men and 1/2 for the women. (“Strong in the legs but weak in the mind” murmured a spectator.) Brian Harvey, who seemed to be most familiar with the blah put out by the daily papers, disappointed the audience by not being able to supply the name of the vessel which brought home the three girl deportees from the U.S. Neither could he give their names, nor their 'phone numbers! And I thought he said the fire in “River Clarence” was caused by the explosion of a drum of Sodium Chloride. The judge gaVe him full marks so he may have said Sodium Chlorate. Anyhow, Chloride or Chlorate, what's the difference?
Throughout the Quiz Mavis Jeans sought mental refuge in her knitting, much to the annoyance of the cross-examiner who said testily that he didn't see how she could knit and think at the same time. But Mavis had the complete answer to that one; she had asked sweetly before being selected as a contestant “Do you mind if I knit while you ask me questions, then I won't feel that my time is being completely wasted!” Somehow this seemed vaguely disparaging to the cross-examiner; it rankled but gave him nothing to get his teeth into. However when Kevin Ardill, finding the questions too overwhelming, adopted the usual small-boy method of escape by raising his hand and asking permission to leave the room, his examiner snapped out an emphatic “No!”
The questions on astronomy had everyone tricked. The women's team didn't know that Mira is in the constellation of Cetus. As a matter of fact the lass who was given that question answered it by posing another: “What”, she asked the Quiz-master, “is a constellation?” I could have answered that one: a constellation is the prize you get for having tried to answer the questions but failed.
The men's tear didn't know that Acheron is in the constellation of Osram, coiled-coil and all. The examiner didn't know either, and neither apparently did the audience, and neither, for that matter, did I, (and neither, at the time of writing, does the Oxford and Cambridge Dictionary.)
When a representative of the men's team was asked, “What are leonids?” (the dictionary says “leonides”), prompted by the opposition he answered “lion cubs” and was counted out. The Quiz-master said they were a shower of meteorites from the constellation Leo. This answer has worried us considerably. We don't know much about astronomy but somehow with Leo such a helluvanumber of light years away we wonder how its meteorites are visible from the Earth. Perhaps someone who is more versed in astronomy might elucidate. (There's nothing hanging on the answer as far as the Quiz results are concerned.)
A representative of the girl's team showed her native intelligence when asked what date the Sydney Bushwalkers was founded - (You heard me! No, I didn't say what date it foundered!) As she was a prospective member and hadn't any idea she filled in the fifteen seconds allowed for the answer by saying “1920, 1921, 1922, 1923 and so on till she was told time was up, but she had just managed to get in 1927 before the gong went so was awarded full marks. I had tried the same lurk with the discovery of gold in N.S.W., but, 15 seconds didn't give me time to get from 1770 to 1851.
“What are the Christian names of Mr. Attlee?” The contestant hesitated. “Go on”, said the Q.M. encouragingly, “Try all the A's first, then the B's, and so on”.
Time was up. The gents scored by various guesses a total of 7 whereas the ladies, who only answered when they really knew what they were talking about, totalled 5 1/2. Prizes were awarded to the gents, but it was a back-handed blow because, as the prizes were chocolates they were politely handed round to the ladies first, and as there weren't very many the winning team had to go without. Virtue is its own Reward.
We are pleased to welcome back John and Dora Harvey after their long sojourn in Tasmania, where, we hear, they “did” quite a bit of the country. They hope again to appear on the active list, and we look forward to seeing them renew their acquaintance with the N.S.W. bushlands again. How about giving us your impressions of walking in Tasmania, John, and what the Hobart Walking Club is doing about conservation over there?
“Did you have a good walk?” was the query the “Friday night after”. “Yes”, says I, “We had to stand all the way as far as Leura, and then the train was ha1f an hour late at Blackheath. Camped down in Green Gully and was the frost a beaut - ice round the heads of our sleeping bags the next morning. Out at the Dogs we had to carry the water over a quarter of a mile to the standing camp. Snowed during lunch time at Splendour Rock on the Sunday - noses and ears dropped off in the bitter wind. That night a largish piece of glowing charcoal hopped into the cuff of my second-best grey pants and promptly put an airhole therein. Then I trod on my spectacles with my heaviest pair of hobnails on the Monday morning - cost me 25/- for the experiment. Arrived back in Katoomba to see the red tail light of the 6.13 p.m. disappear behind the “California” and learnt, (with some regret) that the next was 2.17 a.m. - eight hours to wait. Saw a rotten picture at local show where we passed away three hours, then back to the hard seats of the waiting room till 2.17. Home - and an hour in bed and so to work, to find I had to work back that night. Yes, it was a good walk.” Should be more of them.
After six month's holiday, during which they have entertained many of their bushwalker and other friends, Peter and Rae Page are now prepared to offer camping facilities to paying guests. Their place, in case you haven't heard about it, is on the Jamberoo Pass. They now have two army tents for hire complete with stretchers, mattresses and linen. They will also hire out walkers tents and have them ready pitched, and provided with firewood, if required. These facilities are available for one night or for a long stay, so that anyone wanting to do a light weight walk could spend the night there and return to Jamberoo, Kiama or Berry by any one of a number of routes. Saturday evening meals will be provided for small parties if arranged in advance. They will procure food, including milk, bread, meat and fresh fruit and vegetables for campers. They will also meet parties in the “jeep” at Jamberoo or Kiama. These are the main services available at present, but cabins are on the way for those who do not want to camp. Paddy knows all about it if any one wants to know more. Intending visitors should write to Peter (address Mountain Road, Jamberoo) a fortnight in advance.
Have you heard about the Federation Party to be held at North Sydney Town Hall on Friday 21st November? - Details later - reserve the date.
by Brian Harvey
The last meeting of the Council of the Federation of Bushwalking Clubs was happy to admit the University Bush Walking Club to its long list of affiliated clubs. The objects in their constitution leave nothing to be desired in their attitude towards conservation of our flora and fauna, and we hope they will lend the full strength of their specialised University learning in support of our ideals.
The Adelaide Bush Walking Club also has been affiliated with the Federation, making an interstate link in the movement. It may not be long before we see the formation of a Federal body representing the walking conservationists - this will be particularly necessary in the event of the abolition of State Governments.
The Annual Health Exhibition will be staged shortly at the Sydney Town Hall, the Federation conducting a section as in past years. Two special requests have been made, one for the loan of 16mm films depicting bushwalking and relevant scenery, etc. A theatrette is being provided with a trained operator so that walkers loaning films need have no qualms for the safety of their records. Secondly, helpers are wanted to man the Federation Exhibit during the day time. Will anyone able to assist please let Ron Knightley have their films or their name as a prospective assistant at the Stand. The show is on from 28th October until 6th November.
It was with much regret that the resignation of Marie Byles was accepted and a motion was recorded expressing the Council's deep appreciation of the long association, steadfast interest and hard work on behalf of the bushwalking movement. Our delegate, Paul Barnes, was elected Vice-President, in her stead.
'Phone 102. Est, 1891.
Govett's Leap Road, Blackheath
Bushwalkers! We cater for large or small parties requiring transport from Blackheath. For a quote ring or write to the above address.
Eventually we came to a point directly opposite Currockbilly and struck in its direction, to camp at the first good creek between us and our destination. Our turn-off point is easily recognised as there are two farm houses fairly close together, one (nearer Currockbilly) almost surrounded by English trees and hedges.
That evening the customary cloud bank slowly welling up from the seaward side settled down over Currockbilly and the ranges, shrouding them in a vaporous mantle. Now this cloud makes its appearance nearly every day and at any time between 2.30 p.m. and 4 p.m. when any hope of a view from the tops has to be abandoned. Note this fact well - for this tine of the year anyhow to save disappointment, and make an early start or camp on top.
Our glorious weather still held and bright and early next morning we moved off up the nearby slope. Strangely enough we noted evidence, most of the way up, of the previous party's headlong descent - hobnail marks, trampled bracken and small bushes, disturbed undergrowth and soil cover. Strange, too, how we walkers seem to follow very similar paths in new country - we had had no idea where the previous party had descended.
At the end of the tree line, from which the bare head of Currockbilly rises sheer and gaunt, we dumped packs about 12.30 and scrambled up to get a view before the mist came over. 'Twas well. To seaward and to the North low clouds were fast approaching, some heavy with rain. Pigeon House itself was making contact with these, as were the higher points to the North. The trig offered a cyclorama, the eastern and northern half of which was in cloud shadow and rain, while behind us to the West was warm sun and broken sky a wonderful contrast in weathers, either of which could be enjoyed by merely turning round.
We had proposed to camp somewhere on top, probably two or three miles to the north had seemed likely. Little did we know. Our previous party had spoken of water running everywhere on top, but this idea must have taken root from their observations along the base of the ranges. True, plenty of water flows out of the mountains in deep gorges well below the top, but, apart from one (Wog Wog Creek) which begins just north-east of Currockbilly, and which we subsequently used, there is little in the way of water within easy reach of the tops between Currockbilly and the Twins. Our advisers also suggested good camping should be available. Little did they know. There is no more inhospitable place, to my knowledge, to rest a weary rump, let alone a body (two in this case). Round, square, oblong and every conceivable variation of quartzite boulders large and small are strewn for the whole length of the range, on top and sides, making walking very tiring. But the views are worth it.
[Map titled “Approaches To Mount Budawang.]
This is the map promised in last month's issue. The original map and stencil arrived at Pitt St. from Coogee six days after posting. (The trans-Pacific Air Mail also takes six days). It then went to Neutral Bay and was directed to Armidale. Failing to intercept it at any of these points we asked “Prolix” for another map and Dennis Gittoes reproduced it on the stencil.
Lunched and harnessed we upped to the top with weary tread. The cloudbank now began to roll over from the East to the plateau side and disperse in the warmer air. Later it had its way and settled in. A very interesting observation on Currockbilly is the sudden line of demarkation between rain forest jungle and stark bare rocks and tussocks. The eastern, or rainy side, of the mountain is thick with typical rain forest jungle right up to the top, and yet on our side, as already described, it was relatively bare. Later we noticed a similar example this time in trees.
Some miles north of this point, and about the top line of the range, to the West, were trees black and rough of bark and to the East, only a few feet away, smooth tall blue trunked gums - and neither species had mingled with the other, as though nature had said “this far and no farther”.
Now, surrounded by vaporous swirling cool mist, breaking at intervals to allow us a glimpse of the sunny valley below in late afternoon, we headed north, feeling on top of the world, the ground falling away sharply on both sides - to the East little being visible except cloud. Evening began to close in and still we were nowhere near our proposed camp and water. Luckily, through a break in the cloud, I looked down on the eastern side and noticed what seemed like the shine of water in a couple of pools on the floor of an upland valley which separated the nearby parallel ridge from us. “This do?”. “Yes!” - and down we went. It was a delightful spot, about 150 ft. below the top - no trees, sheltered, and falling away to the North into a tree lined, V-shaped frame of clouded distance. It was somehow like Kosciusko country in minature. The mist passed over our heads and thinly around us.
A camp spot? Well, not really. Luckily again, after much searching, a clump of hard tussocky grass gave sufficient space. It was the only spot available and was close to a tiny clear running stream and pools. The stream was so well established and free from erosion that it was invisible in most places but it could be heard gurgling deep in its channel beneath a closely woven mat of grassy vegetation. This proved to be the headwaters of Wog Wog Creek.
Wood, both for tent poles and fire had to be got from the tree area about a quarter of a mile below us. The firewood on hand consisted of a few meagre dried-out roots and trunks (if one may call them such) of old scrub protruding from around the nearby pool and showing black signs of a byegone bushfire.
(As originally drawn, with particular reference to the Twins area. In this map it would appear that there is direct access from the Twins to Wog Wog Mt.
As noted, the Twins are not quite so far apart. The creek and gorge around Northern Twin are as shown above. Descent and follow down where shown as fence so as to avoid the gorge. The Twins are actually part of the range and not as isolated as previously shown.)
Next morning we followed the range towards the Twins and enjoyed a continuous series of grand views over the eastern side, with Pigeon House a prominent landmark - moving ever southward as we progressed.
This trip was noteworthy for the variety of fungi observed. We saw at least 30 different kinds, varying in size, type and colour: many had not seen before. They were soft, delicate, pink rather shapeless ones; orthodox types were there too - of every hue. Yet others were very individual - such as one with a crimson coloured top and a fine yellow cellular construction beneath. One particular specimen was almost transparent amethyst shade, shimmering at the slightest touch. Everywhere were masses of tiny sulphur-yellow button sized fungi, the biggest barely half an inch in diameter, with just a few of the characteristic radiating membranes. On the road back big grey-white ones poked their domes up out of the hard road - yet they themselves were soft and delicate.
When we reached the second knob of the Twins doubt as to the correctness of the map became a certainty. We used the Clyde River valley map issued by H.S. Freeman - Bushlanders' Club. It is O.K. as far as the Twins, but on to Wog Wog Mtn? No Sir! Wog Wog Mountain is on the other side of a very steep gorge, with a creek at the bottom, towards which the sides descend very steeply. This gorge starts right round at the western side of the Twins, in a rapid descent, and this is not shown on the map. (See sketch map). It is necessary to take the spur shown going to the left towards Corang Creek by descending near the first Twin to a saddle from which descend the headwaters of the gorge referred to above. A wire fence at present gives a lead down the side of the Twins and is worth following.
Another night on one of the numerous creeks and an early brisk walk took us to the mail car. There was a canopy of heavy mist which lifted later giving us glimpses of the range and the urge to return for further exploration.
First of all a reminder for those lucky people who are on the Social Committee - don't forget the meeting on the Monthly meeting night at 7 p.m. And don't forget it on succeeding months either!
We have proved that most Bushwalkers are morons, but at least they are strong morons. This will be proved beyond a shadow of doubt at the Exhibition of Weight Lifting on Friday 19th September. Watch Ray Dargan remove the shadow of doubt - with the assistance of his lusty confreres. There will be a display of masculine strength which will rock the building, shatter the stories about the decadence of the race, knock splinters off the female heart. (If you have any atoms, bring them along and the boys will split them.)
Do you know the crotchetty, cranky inconsiderate Public Servant who tells you at times in the Summer that you must not light fires in the open? If not, it is Mr. Kingsmill (at least he has something to do with it, anyway) and he has kindly consented to give us a lecture on some aspects of this same problem on the 26th. of the month. The title of his lecture is “Bush Fire Prevention”.
There are one or two things in October which deserve special mention so that you can book up your boy or girl friend, or someone else's. On the 8th and 9th., at History House, No. 8 Young St. - down near the Quay - the S.B.W. Dramatic Group are presenting several one act plays for the Federation funds. Joan Savage is producing, so there is no need to elaborate.
On the 24th. Oct. there is a lecture by Mr. McNeill from the Museum on “The Barrier Reef”. This lecture, which will be illustrated with slides, is guaranteed to be super extra.
Federation 8th Annual Camp. Macquarie Fields. 27-28 September.
Be in the billy boiling comp and the tent pitching.
Music provided. Supper. Exhibitions. 1 1/2 miles easy walk from Macquarie Fields station. Bring the kids! See location map in club or Paddy's.
We all tend to value our possessions at the price we pay for them. When one has hewn several tons of stone from the Mother rock and split it into slabs to act as retaining walls for beds on the steep slope of a bush garden or watched for months over seedbeds till at last microscopic seedlings appear and then potted and repotted these precious morsels until they could be planted out. When one has had these same plants eaten by snails or rabbits, crushed by kids or dogs or scorched up by some sudden summer westerly and then had to start all over again. When one has done all these things over the years somewhat meagre results are magnified into major achievements and every seedling successfully established into a young tree or shrub tells its own story.
Paddy was delighted to have an acquaintance ask if he might see the bush garden and proudly did the honours showing off this and that. Alas! the acquaintance was not impressed and politely remarked that it would be nice when it was properly established. Heigho! To the uninitiated it does look very like any other bit of bush! Maybe it is!
Rucksacks all patterns in stock.
Sleeping bags still in short supply - generally available on first Saturday in the month (the early bird gets the worm).
Tents still a bit short, orders taken at beginning of each month.
Plastic proofed cape groundsheets are gaining many friends. 6' X 4' type 21/3 and 23/-. Special pattern small type at 17/3.
Aluminium billies 4 nesting sizes available.
Paddy Pallin. Camp gear for walkers.
'Phone B3101. 327 George Street, Sydney.