THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers.
The N.S.W. Nurses' Association Rooms, “Northcote Building”, Reiby Place, Sydney. Box No.4476 G.P.O., Sydney. 'Phone JW1462
305 MAY 1960 Price 1/-
|Editor||Don Matthews, 33 Pomona Street, Pennant Hills. WJ3514.|
|Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Sales & Subs.||Eileen Taylor|
|Typed by||Jean Harvey|
|Social Notes||Pam Baker||3|
|At Our April Meeting||Alex Colley||4|
|It Was Nearly Snow 's Fault||“Puffing Billy”||5|
|“Choose Your Companions Carefully, You May Have to Eat Them - Advice to Young Explorers”||Grace Noble||8|
|Those Sunday Walks Again||E.K.H.||12|
|Ninety Miles On Creek and River (Concluded)||Molly Rodgers||15|
|The Horse's Tail||Kath Brown||18|
|They Went to the Dogs!!|
“There is an increasing feeling that wild land and wildlife may be strangely important far the preservation of Man, himself. With the unbridled growth of technological civilisation, with its regimentation, specialisation, and tension, the pressures on the human spirit grow more intense. Man needs a refuge, a place for escape from artificiality and confinement, where he can cone to grips with his own still primitive self.
“Perhaps the major limitation to the expansion of the State's system of Wildlife Refuges and Faunal Reserves rests in the attitude of the community. Some of the community are oblivious of the needs; some know, but are apathetic or fatalistic, feeling that the efforts to conserve is doomed to failure anyhow. A still more dangerous diversion comes from those who would short-circuit the drive for the retention of habitat by accenting the values of aviaries, zoological gardens and botanical gardens as the only means of saving animal and plants from extinction.
“From many sources of information have come the stories that numerous species of animals thou& to be very rare even extinct are again appearing in appreciable numbers. This has occurred in New South Wales where close protection and adequate cover in the form of natural environment have created a happy combination. The maintenance cf such conditions is the purpose of the wildlife refuge and Faunal Reserve system
From “Fauna Conservation and the Wildlife Refuge Idea”. (Publication of the Fauna Protection Panel.)
Somewhere beyond the circle of the lamplight there comes a stir and rustle of the branches. I do not pause, but know that eyes are watching, and a small furred thing waiting patiently till I have finished with my stupid scribbling and can attend to more important matters. At last I stop. 'What are you waiting far?” I ash the possum somewhat querulously. “You know I always put some food for you beneath the gum tree: go out there.” But still she waits, in silence. With a sigh I screw my pen together, put away my papers, take off my glasses, put them in their case, heave myself up and go in search of biscuits. When I emerge again upon the verandah I see the little figure of the possum drawn to its full height, and her bright peeping over a Chair between me and the railing. Her thick grey fur fluffs healthily around her and down her chest merges to creamy fawn with a long reddish streak beneath the throat. Her bushy tail is black, and black her hands; her eager nose, pale pink. She sniffs the biscuit, and as I try to hold her little paw she nips me, very properly, on the -wrist, Bidding me keep my place. She takes my food, yes, but she still is mild, she still is free as she has always been. I am the interloper. She is part of the real, the old Australia, living before the shabby civilisation we whites brought with us. As I watch her nibbling, quickly and daintily, a hundred years seem as a day, and all our sorry laws are an irrelevance. Poor helpless man, surviving but by labour of his fellows: Why, not a month, scarcely a week maybe, could we eke our precarious existence as all these mild things do… Humbly I watch as, biscuit done, She melts into the night.
Members have enjoyed Keith Renwick's articles in recent months and can look forward to seeing “Europe” in colour on May 18th. (England and Iceland will be shown later in the year.)
On May 25th, slides of the Butler-Putt expedition will be shown. (Six weeks in the N.Z. Alps)
All parties enjoyed fine weather after a wet Thursday night. David Ingram's Warrumbungle party of six report a successful trip. Camp Pincham was a popular spot - 15 cars, numerous rock climbers and a multitude of Scouts.
Snow Brown's Bendethra trip - 8. Frank Leyden's Shoalhaven Gorge - Tolwong -13.
Newnes base camp 18 adults and 20 children … Day-trips included one by a party of 6 across the range to Glen Davis. The peace of the camp was shattered at frequent intervals (all hours, day and night) by the echoing bangs of rifles, as youthful shooters ('Huntsmen', as one of the children described them) pursued imaginary rabbits up and down the Wolgan Valley.
Page's (Jamberoo) - 8.
Colin Putt's exploratory trip of Danjera and Bunbundah Creeks was hampered by rain and mist, but was otherwise successful for the all male party of 7. We hear of Little Kowmung-like gorges, luxurious camp sites and a 100' waterfall. All this vas rounded off with a quick trio to Point Possibility.
Read about it in the June Magazine!!
All parties? Not quite. Frank Rigby's party found freezing cold, windy and wet weather at Kosciusko.
CONGRATULATIONS TO Joan Walker and Frank Rigby, who have just announced their engagement.
There were no new members to welcome, so business opened with the reading of the minutes of the last meeting. Members who listened then understood, after interval of a month, what they had decided to do at that meeting. Correspondence contained a request for a volunteer - an adult lady - to educate some 600 girls in the art of bushwalking. As nobody of that description volunteered, the President instructed other volunteers to queue up on the left.
Motions for the annual August Conservation Conference were requested by next month.
The Walks Secretary, Eric Adcock, reported that 8 of the 9 walks listed went generally as planned and one had no starters. Because of the reunion there were 251 starters on official walks. Jim Brown's trip was an unusual one and most of the starters “nearly got there”. Three members and three prospectives attended the instructional walk. It was decided to hold future instructionals on the same lines - i e. make it a walk and give the instruction informally en route.
A vote of thanks to the organisers of the reunion was moved by Edna Garrad, and members showed their appreciation of a wonderful weekend's re-uning and camp fire entertainment by hearty applause.
Ron Knightlay told us that 16 members of the S.B.W. attended the Federation Reunion, and that they had all been good.
Frank Young, Brian Harvey, Jack Gentle and Alex Colley were elected room stewards for the month.
When it came to general business, Jack Gentle moved that we subscribe to the magazine “Walkabout”. The meeting debated the question of whether, if we did subscribe, the magazine could or should, be taken out of the club room. Frank Ashdown was concerned as to whether people could be induced to return it in good time. Joan walker thought that late comers to the Club room would have a poor chance of getting it to take home if we did let it go out, and, if they must read it somewhere else, they could go to a doctor's waiting room. Colin Putt was unable to make up his mind until the Chairman ruled on the question of whether it could be read during meetings. It was decided that the magazine should be circularised but kept in the clubroom.
Votes of thanks being the order of the day, Jim Brown moved a vote of thanks to the 1959 committee for the good job done last year. The motion was passed before you could say “boo”.
Frank Ashdown then told us of a haven for bushwalkers provided by Mr. George Prince, of Redbank Swansea, Tasmania, at Coles Bay, Freycinet National Park. Mr, Prince was, in Frank's words “one who thought human beings O.K.” and welcomed bushwalkers to camp in his extensive grounds beside the bay.
At the conclusion of the meeting it was decided that it was better at our June dance to pay 7/- a head for a caterer than to try providing our own supper.
“Where's the super?” I asked as I came to the bottom of the Long Angle Gully track.
“Supper?” echoed a dozen voices. “Bit early aren't you? Supper at three in the afternoon?”
“I'm looking for Snow Brown, and he's bringing the supper; so if I find supper I'll find Snow” I explained.
However, it appeared that no supper had yet arrived at the 1960 Federation Reunion, so Jack Wren and I as the vanguard of S.B.W. went in search of suitable pastures to camp on.
“Somewhere discreet”, suggested Jack. “Somewhere we can have a quiet singsong with congenial accompaniment after the campfire, without disturbing others”.
“And vice versa”, I endorsed.
We turned right, and found ourselves surrounded by Kamerukas; turned left and found Rucksack Clubbers all around; forged ahead, straight into the C.M.W. forces; dammit - all the ground was taken, except the fringe of one clearing on which obviously would go the main campfire. The choice lay between this and a hundred yard walk to the clearing further on. We chose this.
Two tents went up, two fires were lit, and one man busily gathered wood. No doubt about our Jack; in ten minutes we had a wood heap like the woodchop at the Royal Show and some pieces were conveniently Paddy-sized for warning off the poachers who later appeared.
The S.B.W. contingent came trickling in. “Is this where we're camping?” enquired Bill Ketas, complete with fiddle, 250 frankfurts, Lyndsey Grey and Gwendolyn Seach.
“Sure is” I answered. “Like a cuppa?”
“Well now, that's mighty nice”, agreed the three.
“No trouble at all”, said I. “It's over on Jack's fire, actually”. “Yes,” Jack chipped in, “but don't you remember draining off the dregs about ten minutes ago?” “Like I said, no trouble at all”, I concluded.
Snow came smartly across the clearing.
“Where's the supper?” I queried.
“Bit early isn't it?” asked Snow. “As a matter of fact, I haven't got it.”
Slowly, my eyes went from him to Bill Ketas and his 250 frankfurts. “So the reputation of S.B.W as providers of supper at the Federation Reunion is to hang on a fiddle and a string of snags” I mused.
“No, really”, Snow assured me “the Dalai Lama's got it in his car. We'll go up and get it when he comes down”. The new arrivals set about tenting, fire lighting, water, bucketing and all that stuff. Kath and Jim Brown came by, spurned our campsite and moved on to more remote pastures. Wise people. They escaped the raucous noise of the razzle-dazzle, the transistor radio and the bungers that soon became a constant irritant in the vicinity of the main camp.
Bert Whillier arrived with daughter Lynette straight from the pages of Harper's “Bazaar”. Bert after all these years was attending his first Federation reunion. By virtue of the razzle-dazzle, the wireless and the bungers it was probably his last
The Wagg's tramped in, swinging baby-basket between them. Finding a convenient black stump they set up camp nearby, with baby in basket on stump beneath mosquito netting.
Keith Renwick and Frank Young flitted to and fro across the scene, but I never did find where they were camped as they seemed to have different meals at different fires; and I distinctly remember seeing Max Gentle for a few moments at the campfire later on. When I enquired about him next morning I was told that he had gone on to Katoomba. A man of eloquent actions!
Most of the S.B.W. disappeared to our own campfire where gallons of cocoa were coaxed along. They never explained whether the water that heated the frankfurts subsequently went into the cocoa and we discreetly refrained from asking. Those of us who didn't cook the cocoa remained to watch the concert, but we didn't seem to see much of it as we were busily buttering 250 bread rolls, placing therein 250 hotted up frankfurts and then dabbing thereon 250 splashes of tomato sauce.
We do remember Jim Brown and Geoff Wagg giving a racy version of “Stored Water”, Bill Ketas' sweet notes on the violin, and one or two other items that nearly brought our production line to a halt.
Finally, the call rang out: “Supper:” in Snow's triumphant accents and in a furious 15 minutes we transformed 8 gallons of cocoa and 250 hotdogs into two empty buckets, four empty boxes and over a hundred full bushwalkers.
Thinking that the time had come, I passed a quiet word around and retired to the cocoa fire where I was soon joined by the remainder of the S.B.W. So we passed the bottles around - sherry, muscatel and the like - until Snow arrived loudly proclaiming the virtues of a small phial he carried.
“Here - have a try of my cactus juice”.
I tried, but I regretted it. It was cactus juice, with the cactus still in it.
Geoff Wagg grabbed a song book and of course we started singing. This continued until we were interrupted by Der Feuhrer, correctly titled President of the S.S.S. He presented himself, along with a one-gallon plastic demijohn of claret-coloured fluid.
“Good stuff” he confided. “Personally, I don't go for all that expensive liquor. Here, have a try.” After the warning of the cactus juice I declined; later he admitted that it had cost him eight and six for the contents and ten bob for the container!
At a lull in the singing, I facetiously remarked to Keith Renwick “Tell us about the Carlsbad Caverns, Keith”.
“Ah yes” said Keith with meditative mien. “The Carlsbad Caverns. You drive up in a car and then it's about a hundred yards walk to the entrance. Most of the Yanks can manage that. Then there's a guide who devotes two minutes to the wonders of nature within and three minutes to a harrowing description of the difficulties and length of the route. Seven tenths of a mile and pavement all the way. Well, you go in and after a while he points down a side corridor and says that anyone who's feeling the strain can take a short cut to the underground cafeteria and we'll pick them up on the way back; but about half of them heroically decide to do the full distance”.
Bed time came and I went; dawn came and I got up. Some bods were still recumbent by the fire and apart from a hand or two stretched out to accept a cuppa, they hadn't moved when a few of us left at 10.30 for some rock scrambling above Fitzgerald's Creek.
A half dozen of us spent a pleasant two hours wandering up and down the crags, but I did find it a trifle bewildering to scramble up a chimney, claw my way to the top, and find a set of silver-lacquered finger nails straight out of Harper's “Bazaar” following close behind!
Down again to the camp to find a motley collection from a number of clubs clustered round my fire. I didn't mind them cluttering up the dining room, as they had made a bucket of tea which was just the right medicine.
Then off up the hill we all went; three Browns, three Waggs and the rest of us. But not before we had carefully distributed all bods over the available cars, to save them the trouble of the walk to Warrimoo; and from the impression on Keith Renwick's face, I knew what he was thinking - he was thinking of the Yanks and the Carlsbad Caverns.
Among all the chit-chat which was going on in the Magazine a While ago about FOOD, no one seems to have mentioned that it is occasionally necessary to regard one's fellow walkers as emergency rations. For instance, confronted with a choice between say, Jim Brown and the Editor on one hand, and Gil Webb plus Brian Harvey on the other, there is no doubt as to how the intelligent dietician would decide (or is there?)
This all leads up to a tale of far off times and long ago - I was one of the rabbits who was always getting mixed up in tiger trips. My technique was to hang round hopefully with mouth open until someone invited me whereupon I always said “Yes” in case I missed something, and then enquired “Where to?” This method gets you on a lot of trips but also into a lot of trouble.
On this particular occasion I really did consider my companions - at the beginning there were two nice, juicy, rosy-cheeked, well-padded blokes (Irving Cainan and Bill Whitney) - the third was much stringier, hairier, and generally bonier and more indigestible - Ray Kirkby. As things turned out, the first two faded out at the last minute (Bill suddenly discovered he was 21 and had to attend his own 21st birthday party) so that left me with the aforesaid Ray - then a very new member - plus the plans for a fortnight's August trip from Moruya, over the ranges to Bendethra, down the Deua River to Araluen - thence by cars to Nerriga then down the Bulee, the Shoalhaven, up Kangaroo River to Kangaroo Valley township, Brogher's Creek, Woodhill, Drawing Room Rocks, Saddleback, Kiama - all new to both of us except from Kangaroo Valley on.
Camped first night just out of Moruya by some revoltingly brackish water where the true wackiness of the trip started to emerge. Peter Page had drawn us a beautifully detailed map of the route over the ranges to Bendethra. In an excess of lightweight zeal, we had posted this on to Araluen instead of the South-east Tourist map - which must now suffice (it did). Ray's pack was peculiarly bulky; this was due to his having been told “X pounds of bread or substitute” and some well-meaning lass in a shop had sold him dietetic bread, “very light weight”, but of course it occupied an incredible amount of space. This stuff was henceforth known as (and tasted like), fish bread.
Likewise for “meat, long-lasting variety, to be posted to Araluen”, he had inserted frankfurts - of which more anon.
Our first stage was up and over the range to the west of us, rising like a giant staircase to 3,000', with breathtaking views backward to the sea. Then down, down we plunged to the Deua - I remember a three o'clock lunch at a fairytale wattle-glade; a perfect circle of lush green grass, surrounded by tall dark-foliaged wattle trees in full golden bloom; then on again along the lovely, winding Deua.
It was about this time that the Leader gained (and kept) a lead of about half a mile on the trail. He kept just within sight (but not earshot) nor, unfortunately, within stone's throw. As one who is always starving for lunch at 11 a m., by 3 p.m. each day I was savagely considering stopping him in his tracks with a well-placed boulder. (You know, one day I shall really go back and explore that delicious river, and sit down on every bend.) We did twenty miles of it in a day, finally arriving a few miles from Araluen just at dusk. Here I caught up with the Leader and it was as we were crossing an open grassy slope that a figure shot past us in the opposite direction. It didn't stop, but panted “Football practice” and continued on into outer darkness. Why? Why there? This mystery will haunt me to my dying day.
Next morning Ray, whose beard by now suggested Blackheart the Spanish Pirate, remarked “I'd better shave. There may be some girls in Araluen”. (Born to be Disregarded - that's me. Nowadays, after a week's holiday at Jamberoo “Think I'll Shave”, says John, contemplatively fingering his inch-length ruffianly red stubble. “I hear Ed Garrad's likely to come this weekend, and she's fussy.”) The road into Araluen was reached early that day; it was hot, dusty, and my feet rebelled. For the first (and last) time I'd followed orthodox advice and worn “stout walking shoes” instead of my beloved sneakers - with the resulting blisters - so finished the last few miles into Araluen in my socks. There I promptly posted the shoes home and did the rest of the trip in sneakers whose uppers were almost adrift from their soles at the outset. Here also we collected the food sent on, including the frankfurts, now feathery and smelly and promptly discarded, and were unable to get any replacements. No matter!
Car to Braidwood, camp the night by the river under the willows in an icy wind, but just outside at evening saw the alluring jagged outline of Budawang-Currockbilly range and swore to climb it; and ever afterwards think of it when I read Chris Brennan's :
“O desolate eves along the way, how oft despite your bitterness, was I warm at heart! Not with the glow of remember'd hearths, but warm with the solitary unquenchable fire that burns a flameless heat deep in his heart who has come where the formless winds plunge and exult for aye among the naked spaces of the world, far past the circle of the ruddy hearths and all their memories. Desperate eves, when the wind-bitten hills turn'd violet along their rims, and the earth huddled her heat within her niggard bosom, and the dead stones lay battle-strewn before the iron wind that, blowing from the chill west, made all its way a loneliness to yield its triumph room”.
Next day, off by car to Nerriga (still no more food available), and straight into the gorge to follow the (to us) unexplored Bulee. This was a delight - purple black walls, deep sapphire pools, and once, a solitary peach-tree in full bloom, dark gleaming branches leaning downstream across pale, pale gold sand. So to the Shoalhaven, and on to the Horseshoe Bends - the weather becoming so warm that I remember Ray sitting in the river to drink his tea. It was here we met a couple of horsemen who assured us that the Block-up was quite impassable - “a mile of straight river clean through rock walls”. As far as we knew we were the first bushwalkers to attempt it; up till then the only record Ray could find was of “Dr. Dark going through in a canoe in 1910.” So we agreed with the locals that we were insane, and continued on our way.
We reached the Block-up at evening, camping on the left bank on a little square of rock cut like a nick out of the gorge just at the entrance. A few feet below was the grey-green, clean, wonderfully-shining water, unfathomable and silently flowing. Above soared those tremendous lilac-grey walls, with a single cleft where the late sunlight fell in misty radiance, no tree, no sign of life but for a solitary bird flying through, whose call echoed from side to side. To float down these waters tomorrow - would we even get through, or would we too sink into silence? The Swan of Tuonela must surely move through here at nightfall.
Morning, as always, brought a change of mood. Everything sparkled and danced, packs were tied in groundsheets and launched gently while we followed swimming after - not such a very long swim after all, but a series of short ones, with ledges and clefts every so often to give one a breathing space. Still, it was with quite a sense of accomplishment that we reached the downstream side - a “first” for the S.B.W.
On again, camping at the junction of Bungonia Creek, where we actually had a half-day's rest. At least I did - Ray went off to explore Bungonia Caves. (There are times when I am convinced that some bushwalkers are direct descendants of the medieval monks who wore hair-shirts). As we shot on below Badgery's, the going (eight miles a day), and the diet-chart (sorry, food-list), both started to get slightly tough. Having found some under-nourished fresh water shellfish, we proceeded to boil them for hours to try and soften them. It didn't. By this time I was even eyeing my companion hungrily. After all, compared with the unappetising fishy-smelling mark in the billy, even he, skin and bones as he was, might provide some pickings. As he insisted on drinking the juice (the bodies were now like rubber), I thought “Better wait till he drinks it and absorbs the extra nourishment'. Alas, I dallied too long - I was always one for thought rather than action - and we were up and off again.
Inevitably, and rather sadly, the river and its banks become gentler, prettier, milder as one goes further downstream. Noon one day found us at a wide lake-like expanse of the river, grassy banks crowned with trees - and contact with “civilisation”. A flash of exquisite blue-green iridescence - the report of a rifle - and the limp little body of a duck lay a few feet away on the water. “Yer can have it if yer like” said a voice from the far side. We shuddered in unison. No we were not yet that hungry.
Our last camp B.F. (before food) was at the junction of the Kangaroo River. Here we had the fun of watching a wombat swim the river towards us from the far side. He lumbered through the water like an old tug-boat, and beached himself practically at our feet, so puffed and out of breath that he didn't lift an eyebrow when I patted him. Last meal next morning consisted of half a vitaweet biscuit, one dried apricot, and half a boiled egg each - at least our packs were light. All through that last lighthearted swing along the Kangaroo River I was haunted by a Beethoven concerto - both banks of the river were lined by tall flowering wattles, and as the track swung round bends to the rhythm of the music, the golden trees on the far bank, those on the nearest, and the mysterious green-gold ones reflected in the depths of the river wove a counterpoint which was one with the music in my head.
Hustling into Kangaroo Valley village to refuel before the shops should close at noon, we made it only just in time, and then went to the local shop-cum-cafe for immediate replenishment. The dame behind the counter looked us over and said “Oh I remember you, you were here last year on your honeymoon”.
Me: (Always a bit vague, and merely trying to remember whether I might, have come through on a walking trip) “Perhaps, I'm afraid I can't remember”.
Ray: (virtuously drawing back his skirts) “Well, it wasn't me”.
Whereupon the dame gives me a look, and we shake the dust of the town off very rapidly and cut across-country to Brogher's Creek, on to Woodhill and the Devitt's, and up to camp at Drawing Room Rocks. Ray thinks it will be a wonderful idea to get up early and see the sun rise over the ocean. For this I have a deep feeling of no enthusiasm, but am too polite to say so. (I have outgrown this.) Being brought tea in sleeping-bag in the morning was enough to get me out, however. A bright spring dawn everything to order, but where was the sun rising? Certainly not over the ocean (I suppose any truly scientific types would have worked this out), but far to the north across the hillside. A few muttered remarks from me about false pretences, but the rocks themselves, curious surrealist shapes, more grotesque than ever with that pale unearthly light casting strange long shadows, were more than enough compensation.
And so down and on to Saddleback and into Kiama. Here, I say to myself, I shall become once again truly feminine. I have a clean skirt (it may hang in festoons due to the loss of inches round the waist, and my sneakers are tied on with string) and at last I emerge for the Leader's approval.
“My God, you look like a refugee”, said Ray.
For some time I had considered making a return to Bushwalking but thought better of it. Then, at the Reunion, after hearing the sad lament of Sunday walks being diverted to spine bashes I thought “After all, why shouldn't I?” There is a new generation in the Club now - they obviously respect age and infirmity. I shall find a collection of eager young walkers keen to give me a nice easy day. More robust spirits may complain, but this is just what I have been waiting for!
Admittedly 7 miles M on the programme brought back unhappy memories of walks that had turned out to be anything but that, but of course, things have changed now. When the leader thoughtfully asked one of the prospectives at Waterfall if he had done much walking I should have woken up, but by the time the bus had dropped us at Bola Creek it was too late.
A few yards after we started I nearly fainted with horror. After years of inactivity was I expected to go down there? To cut a harrowing story short, I was, and I did! Hurriedly forgetting all I had been told as a prospective (don't use your hands - You'll wear the seat of your shorts out - etc..) I dropped back and came down on hands, seat, and anything else that seemed appropriate at the time. The rest of the party kept dry but I soon decided that the water was the only place for me if I was to finish in one piece.
Strangely enough, after lunch and a swim I was almost beginning to enjoy myself, and by the time we had climbed to Uloola Heights I began to think Bushwalking wasn't so bad after all. On the tops, even the bush played tricks, with a beautiful display of Christmas Bells, heath and ti-tree. With the worst of the walk over I began to remember the staghorns, orchids and mosses of Bola Creek.
When we reached the Waterfall track our valiant leader said Oh: did they mark it as Medium? I should have said Rough. They disallowed it as a test walk because we took the bus!”
Courage, you energetic ones, you can stretch your legs on Some Sunday walks!
Is Your Wife Active?
Our Treasurer offers these words of economic logic :- One active husband plus one non-active wife L2.7.6 One active husband plus one active wife 2.10.0. Married men - make your wives active for 2/6d
Walks for May 21-22 meet at Euroka - See Notice board for further details of the Barbecue. Map: Liverpool Military.
|MAY 21-22||Glenbrook - Euroka - The Oaks - Erskine Creek - Euroka (Barbeque, see below) - Glenbrook|
Mostly track walking, joins the Instructional for Saturday night camp, Good camping at Euroka Clearing|Leader: Frank Young.
|MAY 21-22||Instructional - Glenbrook - Euroka - Glenbrook.||Barbecue on Saturday night in aid of Federation Funds: Prospectives please bring Liverpool Map, and Compass.||Leader: Helen Barrett.|
|MAY 22||Glenbrook - Glenbrook Gorge - Nepean Lookout - Euroka - Glenbrook.||Leader: Ern French.|
|MAY 27-28-29||Yalwal Bunbundah Creek - Wilf's Way - Ettrema Creek.- Dog-Leg Pass -Yalwal.|
Car to Yalwal see the remains of the old Gold workings. Some rock hopping and scrambling up Danjara Creek; over the pas 6 into Bunbundah Creek and North along the ridges to the Ettrema pass. found recently by Wilf Julius. Rock: hop and scramble up the Creek (a miniature Kawmung) and climb to Point Possibility via intrepid Dog Leg Pass - good nerves needed around here - and back to Yalwal. Map: Yalwal Military.|Leader: David Brown.|
|MAY 29||Waterfall - Uloola Falls -Audley - Boat to Cronulla.||Pleasant track walking past the Blue Pools, Uloola Falls and along Gurrumboola Heights to Audley. Scenic ferny trip through Port Hacking.||Map: Port Hacking Tourist.||Leader: Joan Cordell.|
|JUNE 3-4-5||Leura - Lockley's Pylon - Blue Gum Forest - Grand CanyOn - Blackheath.|
Steep descent to Blue Gum - good camping in a forest of stately gums. Then mostly track walking up through the Canyon.|Map: Katooma Military.|Leader: Roy Craggs|
|JUNK 4-5||Colo Vale - Mt Flora-. Nattai River - Starlight's Track - Hill top. Views of Mt Jellore. Pleasant walking (some scrambling) along the upper Nattai. Track walk out.||Map:Mittagong Military||Leader: Pam Baker|
|JUNE 10-11,12-13 Queen's Birthday weekend.||Blackheath - Car to Kanangra Walls Cloudmaker - Tiwilla Buttress - Kowmung - Cox's - White Dog - Narrow Neck - Katoomba.|
Yerranderie, Wild Dogs, etc. See the Hundred Man Cave at the head of Tiwilla Creek. Pleasant walking on the lower Kowmung, some scrambling towards the Cax's Junction. Steep climb out via White Dog and track walking along Narrow Neck.|Maps: Jenolan Military, Map of the Gangerangs - Myles Dunphy, Blue Mountains and Burragorang Tourist.|Leader: Roy Craggs|
|JUNE 11-12-13||Blackheath - Car to Cox's Turnoff - Cox's River - Billy Healy's - Galong Creek - Nellie's Glen - Katoomba.||Pleasant river walking, scrambling and rock hopping. Granite races and cascades near Megalng Creek Junction. Pink Granite Canyons in Galong Creek. Tack walk out from Carlon's farm via Megalong Valley and the Glen.||Maps: Katoomba Military, Myles'Dunphy's Map of the Gangerang.||Leader: Jack Gentle|
The ridge up from the Kanangra was very steep and each member took his own time. I was considerably hindered because my feet, clad in two pairs of Paddy's socks, kept sliding out over the back of my sneakers. However, on arrival at the saddle we were rewarded with magnificent views of Kanangra Walls and we could look into the velvet folds of Thurat Rift, Danae Brook and the Thurat Spires.
The march flies hurried us on and soon we were sidling around towards the hump on the end of Craft's Walls, then down to Gabes Gap. Don and Tine were already there and had retrieved their hidden food and after a short rest we proceeded down the ridge to Gingra Creek. Once more through that lovely patch of flannel flowers where Irene and I had posed far photographs over two weeks ago and soon we saw Gingra Creek sparkling through the trees. Frank turned off to the left in search of our food cache and the rest of us went on taking a wide berth around what resembled a diamond snake but which could have been, we discovered later, the dangerous hoplocephalus bungaroides!
Frank arrived soon after with one of the tins of food and our mouths (and those of the Matthews) watered as he produced, among other things, the tin of peaches, the Christmas pudding, fresh potatoes and onions, rum and the piece de resistance, a flask of wine.
When we had had our swim, lunched and resorted our food, we left our pleasant lunch site and ambled on. The air was suddenly rent by the noise of four kerosene tins being bashed by two strong men prior to being buried (the tins I mean).
The afternoon was very warm, our packs heavy, but we were in no hurry. We had time to spare and had decided to make camp at the first suitable site. The going was much easier than anticipated. In fact there was a good track all the way. Suddenly we saw a bull charging in ungainly manner towards us but as soon as he saw us he turned abruptly off up the ridge. Close on his heels came civilisation in the form of three horsemen with dogs. We chatted awhile and they asked us if we had passed any cattle. We hadn't nor had we seen any fresh signs.
After leaving them, we continued on and on. There were no special camp sites offering and the water was somewhat cow-y but before long we found ourselves at the Kowmung. How good it was to see it again! After a rest, during which we eyed off two civilians with rifle, downstream, we decided to go upstream and camp at the first suitable place. This turned out to be an elevated, level, grassy area on the left bank. There was little argument about the pitching of tents that night.
The next day, New Year's Eve, was declared a rest day. We rose late and after breakfast we washed our clothes and hung them to dry on lines strung between the tents. The day was hot and everything dried quickly. We swam and lazed about. In the afternoon, Alex, Frank and Bill summoned up enough energy to go for a walk and I decided to make pikelets for supper in buckled plates over an open fire in the hot sun. Never again!
As we lay back after dinner watching the stars and catting there came a sharp explosion from the direction of the fire. We all jumped. Conversation resumed, then Crack! again.
“Must be a river stone in the fire”, said Alex with wonder. Crack?
“You wouldn't think there'd be river stones up this high, would you?” said Alex, intrigued. Crack, Crack!
Willy started laughing and then handed out crackers to all as part of the New Year celebrations. We all exploded our crackers, some deservedly behind Will. Don made several abortive attempts to explode his inside an empty milk tin in the fire and Will let off a whole string at once. The Kowmung echoed the explosions and no doubt there were raised eyebrows in the civilian camp down yonder. Afterwards pikelets, glazed with oily butter, and wine were served but we couldn't wait to see the New Year in.
Our packs were the heavier by 2 dampers next day, Alex's plain one and my fruit one, which Frank entreated us to keep intact till he photographed them.
The day was very hot and humid and we were glad to dunk ourselves at every possible opportunity. At lunch, the dampermakers were duly photographed with their creations.
We were in no great hurry to move but we had to push on. The water was the only thing that made the day pleasant. Once we passed Frank and Bill submerged except for hat and boots and a few yards further on Don and Tine. Will put down his pack and assuming that he intended to join Bill and Frank, I went in search of a pool for myself. When Frank and Bill passed me, I hastened to join them. After awhile we discovered that Will wasn't with us. I thought he was behind, they thought he was ahead. We waited awhile and then Don discovered footprints ahead. So we went on till we came to a beautiful big, deep pool. We all stopped with one accord and wished that Willy wasn't ahead of us. We downed packs and Frank hurried ahead emitting fearful bellows guaranteed to be heard down on the Cox. The rest of us couldn't resist that gorgeous pool. A little later Frank returned alone but ten minutes later Willy returned too with a sheepish look on his face. Somehow he had passed us when we were in the water and thought we were ahead and hastened to catch us up and then he heard Frank's calls from behind.
We spent so much time in this lovely green water that we decided to camp by the side of it but next morning we hurried to get breakfast over before the sun came over the ridge. Then down to the Junction and along the Cox.
What a terrible day it was! The sun became oppressive early, shining out of a hazy sky. Everything was still and lifeless. The sun beat down on us and the heat rose in suffocating waves from beneath our feet. In spite of my big hat, I could feel my skin tightening and the perspiration trickled down my body. When would we come to shade! We passed the malodorous body of a dead walleroo mid stream and hurried on. Shade at last, and deeper water. I couldn't wait to change but went in fully clad.
We lunched leisurely then moved on. The heat was as stifling as ever and we took every opportunity to immerse ourselves. The afternoon passed slowly and Kanangaroo was always around the next bend and our shoes filled with sand at every crossing. But at last we were there. The boys had collected the hidden food already and disposed of the tin.
We lingered awhile and had a swim and Tine and I half-hoped that we might camp here. There was a debate in which Alex pointed out that the further we could go that afternoon in the cool the easier it would be for us the next day. Seeing the sense of this argument we went on.
The next creek we came to was the last water till Merrigal Creek and Frank and Bill were all far staying, but Alex urged us all to continue, saying we were sure to find water in Yellow Dog Creek. We went on. However, when we came to a rather pleasant looking campsite beneath casuarinas there was a general strike. Don continued while we stayed and argued. We finally decided to stay and went about pitching camp. But, Don had not returned nor was he in sight, so Tine went looking for him. Sometime later they returned. Said Don, “We were wrong, Alex. There's no water in Yellow Dog Creek!”
Before we left the next morning we disposed of everything we could, rather than carry it. Then, with heavy hearts, we poured the contents of a flask of rum into the Cox and gave the flask a decent burial.
The rest of the trip was made in dull, humid weather. We made use of every inviting pool and the very last fragments of food were disposed of at our lunchsite.
That afternoon it rained heavily and we perspired profusely under our groundsheets. Sheltering from the rain on Mrs. Carlon's front verandah, we spent time removing leaches, then, after collecting our odds and ends in the stringbag and regretfully refusing a cup of tea, we left.
It was just possible that Mitchell's Creek would be up and Hatswell unable to cross the ford. Will and Frank raced ahead in the hope of catching him at the ford to tell him we were coming. However, when the rest of us reached the top of the hill we sat down for a rest. I didn't think for a moment the cars wouldn't come and sure enough in a very few minutes they arrived bringing back Frank and Will. At the ford, they stopped and gave us time to wash and change into clean clothes (except for three conscientious objectors.. Ed) and then sped us back to civilisation.
On the train home Frank went methodically over his food list with me, adding to some quantities and reducing others. Sorting my pack out next day I found I had accumulated two dozen various sized aluminium containers, one dozen approximately cloth bags and a similar number of plastic bags, which was inevitable after all our caches, but infinitely better than carrying nine days' food.
There was yet another meeting two weeks later to conclude finances and then our Organised Trip was officially over.
Having been charmed by Bill Ketas' music-making first at our own Re-union Campfire and then at the one held by the Federation, I thought I would ask him to show my little daughter Chris what a violin looked like close up. Like so many children of this age she had never seen one. Bill did not mind showing his treasure - so on that golden Sunday morning at Low, Angle Gully he took it out of its case, unwrapped the silk wrapping cloth, and demonstrated how to make the strings sing. He also told me that his violin was 200 years old. “Although”, said Bill, “that doesn't necessarily mean it is any better than one made now”. But 200 years! Before Mozart was writing his first violin concerto, this violin was being played. It must have been cherished and played as generations of music lovers came and went, and now it graced our bushwalker campfires!
But I must admit that what impressed Chris most was the fact that a violin bow is made from a HORSE'S TAIL!
Eight members, three prospective members and two visitors made up the party of the alternate Anzac Weekend Official Walk to Splendour Rock, when the opportunity was taken to lay a wreath on the Bushwalkers' War Memorial, in memory of our four late Club members. Publicity of this act was given in Column 8 of the “Sydney Morning Herald” of 23rd April. The party felt “as safe as houses” with a doctor, ex-A.I.F. nursing sister, Ex-Leading Sick Berth Attendant, R.A.N.R., first-year nurse, and a Captain of Commandos in their numbers! In spite of this imposing array, one semi-crock did come out in Harry Lorang's car from Carlon's! The weather on Sunday and Monday was gloriously sunny, much to the delight of those who were visiting the “dogs” for the first time. And home in a first-class carriage in the Silver Train. 'Tis a pity there won't be Anzac Weekends until 1965 and 1966.
Second-Hand Pack (Child's) WANTED Can anyone sell us a pack for a four-year-old girl? Cash buyers. Alternatively, will sell four-year-old to match a pack you won't want to se11. If interested, contact the Knightleys.