SBW Walks Programs
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers, 14 Atchison Street, St. Leonards.
Postal Address: Box 4476 G.P.O., Sydney, N.S.W. 2001.
Meetings at the Club Room on Wednesday evenings after 7.30 p.m.
Enquiries regarding the Club - Mrs. Marcia Shappert, Te1. 30-2028.
|Editor||Spiro Ketas, 104/10 Wylde Street, Pott's Point, 2011. Te1.357-1381 (Home)|
|Business Manager||Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford, 2118.|
|At the Annual General Meeting||Jim Brown||2|
|No Man's Land by C.P. - reprinted from “S.M.H.” 20/6/14||4|
|200 Miles Rough||Wade Butler||9|
|Walk's Secretary's Notes for May||Wilf Hilder||14|
|Social Notes for May||Elaine Brown||16|
|Black Mountain (A.C.T.) Protest||16|
by Jim Brown.
On the night of March 14th there were about 60 S.B.W. in occupation when the Annual Meeting swung into action, only 10 or 12 minutes after the advertised time of 7.45 p.m. The early phases of the meeting moved swiftly as there were no new members to welcome and the February minutes were quickly read and endorsed. In Correspondence we heard that Honorary Membership had been offered to two long-time stalwarts in Laurie Berry and Marie Byles. A member of several years ago, Barbara Evans, was back in Sydney and had sought re-instatement to the Active List.
The Annual Report was taken as read and accepted, and a little later, when the retiring Treasurer appeared, the Annual Financial Statement was similarly adopted. Jack Gentle asked whether the Constitutional Amendment of last year requiring leaders of test walks to do some instructing of prospectives may have been responsible for the shortage of test walks mentioned in the Annual Report (unfortunately, it goes back long before that alteration): and on the Financial side Jim Valitiotis thought it was regrettable that the Auditor had felt obliged to voice uncertainty about the value of Coolana and the investment in Natural Areas. The President explained it was simply that the Auditor considered he could not verify the amounts assessed.
Elections commenced at an early hour, and the results have been published in the March issue of the magazine. At first it appeared we would have difficulty in filling some of the offices, notably those of Treasurer and Federation Delegates, but after Marcia Shappert accepted control of the fiscal arrangements despite some problems about attendance at meetings, other people rallied around and all posts were occupied by the end of the meeting. There was no competition for any of the vacancies.
The retiring Treasurer recommended that the 1972-3 subscriptions apply to the 1973-4 year, and this too was carried, so that we are up for:- $6 individual membership; $8 married couples; $3 full-time students and $1 entrance fee. The monthly financial statement showed $755 in operating funds at the end of February.
In Walks Reporting, Wilf recorded that Max Crisp went to the Shoalhaven near Nerriga on 23-24-25 Feb, there were 5 present, and although the river was rather high, they were able to complete the whole of the planned walk. That weekend Jim Vatiliotis had a large team - 23 - in the Upper Cox, where deep water made crossing difficult, even in Breakfast Creek. Sheila Binns' day walk in Kangaroo Creek was officially cancelled owing to her injured foot, but about 8 people went out and did it anyway. It was presumed David Cotton's “bees and cactus” trip went, but details were unknown.
The first weekend on the new programme Jim Vatiliotis featured again with 7 folk on his Newnes-Constance Gorge walk. The trip via the Gorge proved quite interesting, but involved a camp on the sandy stream-bed - the only flat ground - with prayers that it should not rain hard. Because of floods in the Colo, Wilf's day walk was diverted to the Mittagong area, and included an attempt to enter the Wingecarribee Valley near Medway Colliery, a visit to Joadja, and a detour to the Natural tunnel near Hill Top, where Joe Marton swam through the cave. That same day Barry Zieren took 16 people on the West Head jaunt, taking numerous swims between stretches on foot.
For the weekend 9-10-11 March, Roy Higginbottom's trip was adopted by Don Finch and diverted to a li-lo trip along the Cox. The aquatic team moved well on the strong current. No information was to hand about Tony Denham's Blue Gum trip, while the Sunday tour of old road passes at Mount Victoria led by Marion Lloyd brought out 14 starters, the day being very warm, but the walk enjoyable. Sam Hinde had a party of 16 that day for a leisurely trip out from Berowra.
Federation affairs, as reported by Phil Butt, have been published in the last magazine, and we came to the Constitutional crisis, with Spiro Ketas formally moving that a simple majority be sufficient for a Constitutional amendment, in place of the three-quarters majority stipulated. Argument hinged on the fact that a small group, opposed to change, could frustrate the wishes of a large proportion of members. Opposition came from some who felt that any alteration in the Club 's basic charter should have a very high degree of support. About this stage your reporter, seeking to have a bit each way, moved an amendment to the amendment - that a three-fifths majority be required to change the Constitution. This achieved sufficient support to be carried, and the amended motion was then adopted - by the requisite 3/4 majority for the last time (unless we ever go back to it). Attention was drawn to the fact that a 3/4 majority is also required in two other Constitutional clauses (5e and 7) and it was suggested consideration might be given to bringing the rates into line at a later date.
Kath Brown drew attention to a weak spot in the Club's equipment. There was only one typewriter with the small type suitable for both magazine and walks programme stencils. If and when both these items turned up simultaneously, the volume of work was considerable, but could be spread if a second machine with “elite” type-face was available. We were saving up to $300 a year by producing our own Walks Programme instead of having it printed. Support came from Wilf Hilder and we resolved a reconditioned machine be bought at a price of up to $100.
Well, we were almost through. Wilf mentioned that a report received of a trip done on the Nattai in February included advice that Coates' property at the top of Starlight's Track appeared to have been acquired by a “Pitt St. farmer”, who was quite amenable to bushwalkers. Don Finch expressed a vote of thanks to President and Committee and the Club's various workers, which was adopted by acclamation. Then Bob Younger, as retiring and re-elected President, said the traditional “Let us Re-Une”.
Reprinted from “The Sydney Morning Herald”, Saturday, 20th June, 1914.
A few years ago the writer left Putty, on the Windsor-Singleton Road with the intention of finding a direct passage through the cliffs into the Capertee Valley. A fortnight after, almost to the minute, he reached Mr. Sampson's farm, near Rylstone, having utterly failed to fulfil his purpose, and having seen no one during that time. He might have received some directions, but the one person capable of giving them was singularly reticent.
But for long the writer had been aware that a practicable route was in existence. Thirty or forty years before, the late Mr. Johnathan McLean, with several men, took a prize bull through to Windsor. The great obstacle is Running Stream, which flows through an enormously deep but narrow canyon - a perpendicular slit in the surface of the earth. A narrow ledge was found which curved and dropped into the break. Down this the bull and the horses were taken, after being blindfolded. Then the creek was followed up until a brief alluvial stretch permitted a rise to the further tops. A boy with the party, now an elderly settler of the Valley, told the writer some years ago that he had often attempted to discover “The Devil's Causeway”, as Mr. McLean had named it, but he had always failed to do so, and the chances are that the sandstone has fallen bodily away.
Now, at intervals of a year or two, for a long time cattle have been taken round the range from Rylstone to Windsor. By following the crest of the country the cliffs are avoided, save in one instance presently mentioned. It was this cattle track that the writer struck after leaving Putty. But for the risky fording of a swift waist-deep stream, the journey was uneventful up the long ridge that led to Uraterer. This is a high top, just off the main range, and is locally known as “Gosper's Mountain”. Two brothers of that name selected there. After the death of one, the survivor lived on alone for a number of years, but had then removed to Putty, thirty miles away.
From this top a superb cyclorama is seen. Plainly one sees the hills at West Wallsend. Swinging the sight more to the north, a top is visible at a great distance. At the time this was supposed to be Mt. Dangar on the Goulburn River. But further reflection made this unlikely, as the Nullo mountain would probably block the view of Dangar. To the east* and close at hand across the Capertee Valley were the monstrous cliffs, round the feet of which wriggles the Mudgee Railway. To the south-west, a glimpse of the great hump of the Oberon country could be seen. Nearer and much closer, was the northern end of the Razorback, along which the trains skim the Blue Mountains. The curve of the latter hid Sydney, but all the coastal country of the Hawkesbury and Gosford districts lay before one.
(Notes * “east” should read “west”.)
From Uraterer, trouble was struck. There appeared to be a maze of cliffs radiating from it between east and south. Everywhere the timber hid the view, so that often, after long and painful effort, one emerged on the usual rocky platform, to be confronted by the usual precipice. The fact made several days' difference. On one occasion a descent was found into a creek, in the hopes that it could be followed into the Colo River. Certainly the creek fell more and more during the day, and its cliffs rose ever higher, but when its mouth was reached at nightfall, the inevitable precipice marked its descent into the river. A little bad water was found, but after working back next day, the writer though desert bred was parched with thirst. Not finding the route by which he descended, he was forced to sling his bag round his neck and climb the cliffs at their lowest. It was only some thirty or forty feet, but the sandstone on which his weight rested broke just as he gripped the top with his right hand. This was a racking experience for a highly nervous man, and he lay on the top for some moments, panting and shaking.
With his headquarters at the hut and the excellent spring at Uraterer he went out in various directions, but always the cliffs came sooner or later, as inevitable as death itself. They were a nightmare for weeks after he would occasionally dream of them.
The stitches of the upper of his boot had parted above the heel and the sharp edge of the lower piece cut his foot at every step. Tobacco had vanished after the first five days, and a diet of flour only is not conducive to great physical exertion. But even that was running perilously low, while meat-hunger was experienced as never before. All the time the delectable valley of his desire smiled sirenlike before him. And its great sandstone walls, before the level light of the early morning, first flushed to pink and then glowed to ruby. Then, as the sun swung to the west in the afternoon, they greyed and gloamed till darkness. So the writer started each day with bright hopes, only to have them darkened by sundown.
Truly, it is an inhospitable country. Beyond Uraterer, anyway but eastward, was nothing but sand and sandstone. Nothing edible was seen - not even a snake or a goanna to provide the much-needed meat meal. Hardly a bird was heard; there were of course no rabbits. But the bush was full of webs, in the middle of each of which a peculiarly corpulent spider.
At last, with only flour enough left to make a couple of Johnny-cakes, the attempt had to be abandoned, and the route round the main range to the tableland taken. It was a weary, dispirited and soon a very hungry traveller that limped along the Mountains with a bleeding and sliced heel. No blankets were carried, and as it rained each night, the comfort of each camp could have been improved. On the first night refuge was taken under a hanging rock. The second day from Uraterer, the head of Running Stream was reached. The surface was merely wet but in another hundred yards the creek had formed, and in a mile it was kneedeep. Close to the head was a ribbon of alluvial soil between the walls. Cattle, of course, ascended this. One's heart would go out to the drover who had to attempt to take them down. Finally, the smaller timber and a comparatively sluggish stream gave assurance that the main tableland had been reached.
A mile or so down the creek, the walls temporarily ceased. Here,after searching for hours, the route of the stream was discovered. The stream later proved to be the head of the Cudgegong.*
(Note: * The account here is slightly confused. Evidently the writer crossed the south-flowing Running Stream Creek, ascended onto a plateau and made his way north for some distance; finally coming to the west-bound Cudgegong River hear its source.)
Then plain tracks were struck, and at nightfall a ploughed field with a shed. In the floor-dust of the latter were half a dozen potatoes and though these blushed a vivid yellow when cut open and were evidently of no recent vintage, they were acceptable to a hungry man.
Then, as stated, Mr. Sampson's farm was reached, and the traveller hospitably entertained. Warrangee Station, in the Capertee Valley, was visited. Its owner, Mrs. Jamison is the daughter of the well-known chieftain McLean, who was the original grantee of the valley, and at one time could ride almost to Bathurst through his own property. He was a man of most striking personality - a typical highland chieftain. In the christian name of one of Mrs. Jamison's sons - Mr. Duart Jamison - one finds a recollection of the famous castle of the clan McLean.
Mrs. Jamison has an uncommonly good grasp of country for a lady. Certain information given by her led the writer to make a journey down the Capertee River to beyond the point where the inflow of the Wolgan waters constitutes of the two the Colo. Here was found an alluvial hill between the cliffs. The ascent of this, and a few miles along the top, brought one to Uraterer again. Now that route had previously been tried from the mountain, but the cliffs on either side made it appear very unpromising.*
(Note: * This apparently relates to the basalt flow near the Capertee-Wolgan Junction which gives access to the plateau. Later Max Gentle, together with Gordon Smith, used Grassy Hill (only about 5 miles down the Capertee from the site of Glen Davis) to climb out of the valley and reach Uraterer. This would be a far shorter route.)
From a very old letter written to Mrs. Jamison by her brother, Mr. George McLean, I learnt that the valley was discovered by the whites in August 1823. An armed party from Bathurst followed into it a predatory mob of aborigines. These were overtaken near the present site of Bogie Station and the slaughter which ensued was the “talk of Sydney during that month”. In 1828 the valley was taken up on a grant.
When Mr. John McLean arrived in 1837, the whole of the valley was already absorbed. He bought Warrangee from his brother-in-law and cousin who was also a John McLean. Later Sir John Jamison (who had already bought out Messrs. Simeon Lord and D. Campbell and Mr. George Innes) sold to Mr. McLean, who thus owned all the country “between the walls”. He then pushed his acquisitions to the tableland beyond them. Finally his property extended to Wallerawang in one direction, to Palmers Oakey and the Upper Turon in another, while in a third and middle course he rode to the mountains above Bathurst without leaving his own property, a distance of sixty miles. He was then employing a hundred stockmen of various kinds. It was the writer of this letter, Mr. George, not Mr. Johnathan McLean, who found the “Devil's Causeway” and this left Running Stream from the east not the western side.
The Bathurst district is exceedingly rich in relics, both of old English and old Australian days; so much so that the writer has previously suggested that a most interesting exhibition of such could be made at the annual show. Warrangee has its share of such. Two of these are characteristic of the different types mentioned. Hard by is the old whipping-post of convict days. Within the house hangs the sword worn by Sir John Jamison at Copenhagen and the Nile. END.
NOTE: This article was originally copied by Max Gentle who mentioned the details of it to me about ten years ago. Through the generosity of Harry Whaite (of Warrigal Club fame) I received the manuscript copy which he had obtained from Max's estate. Max's manuscript has remained in my archives since 1966 and in 1967 I wrote a long letter on this subject to Harry Whaite. I revised the manuscript during 1968 from the microfilm copy of the Herald held at The Library of N.S.W. and I promised Harry that the article would be released when the time was opportune.
I have altered Max's transcription to agree word for word with the original article, but I have slightly modified the punctuation and paragraphing, without altering the author's inimitable style or his shades of meaning. All walkers and lovers of the Colo Wilderness will be grateful that Max Gentle preserved this fascinating article and rescued it from oblivion. - Wilf Hilder.
Lightweight bushwalking and camp gear.
This capacious pack can comfortably carry 70 lbs or more. The bag is made from tough lightweight terylene/ cotton, proofed fabric with special P.V.C. reinforced base. Bag size 20“ x 17” x 9“ and has proofed nylon extension throat complete with double draw cord for easy positive closure. The large protective flap has full sized zip pocket of waterproof nylon. It has liberal sized outside pocket. The whole bag is quickly and easily detached from the frame to form a 3' sleeping bag cover for cold, wet conditions. The frame is specially designed for comfortable load carrying with complete nylon web back harness and chrome tanned leather shoulder straps and three inch breeching strap for long hard wear. Weight 6 lbs.
Bunyip Rucksack. This 'shaped' rucksack is excellent for children. Useful day pack. Weight 14 ozs.
Senior Rucksack. A single pocket, shaped rucksack. Suitable for overnight camping. Weight 1 1/2 lbs
Bushman Rucksack. Have sewn-in curved bottom for extra comfort in carrying. Will hold 30 lbs. 2 pocket model 1 1/4 lbs. 3 pocket model 1 1/2 lbs.
Pioneer Rucksack is an extra large bag with four external pockets and will carry about 40 lbs of camp gear. Weight 2 1/4 lbs.
Kiandra model: Hooded bag. Extra well filled. Very compact. Approx 3 3/4 1bs.
Hotham model: Super warm box quilted. Added leg room. Weight 4 1/2 lbs.
Superlight model: Half the weight and packed size of regular bags. 9” x 5 1/2“ dia. 2 lbs.
Everything for the bushwalker, from blankets and air mattresses, stretchers, boots, compasses, maps, books, stoves and lamps to cooking ware and freeze dried and dehydrated foods.
69 Liverpool St., Sydney. 26-2686, 61-7215.
by Elaine Brown.
As the new Social Secretary for the ensuing year and with a year's programme to work out, I would like to ask through the magazine if any member would care to put on an item for one night, whether it be a slide evening, a film night, games night, lecture or any other item. Any suggestions at all for the social programme will be welcomed. Please ring 93-4830.
by Wade Butler.
What's the maddest thing you've ever thought of doing? Perhaps you could walk to Alice Springs or Bourke, but I decided Hill End was good enough. So, at one day's notice, I told Bruce we were walking up to Hill End and he'd better be ready in time. We set out from Wahroonga on Monday (19th Feb.) with no provisions. We planned to get these at Hornsby on our way through. Bruce decided he had better get some sandshoes and a bit of money, so we left late in the afternoon. After about half an hour shopping in Woolworths we got all our provisions for the next 10 days. As we were to go very light we didn't bother with plates, tin openers, spare clothes, tents, or useless junk like that.
From Hornsby we headed off through the Hornsby quarrie, out past the Fish Ponds then up through some scrubby valleys to Galston, where we camped for the night. There was an old abandoned corn field which had plenty of beaut corn and watermelons, on which we gorged ourselves, then went to sleep. Next morning we filled up on corn then headed off following the power lines to Glenorie. We crossed over the main road, then down into Kelly's Arm of Little Cattai Creek. Further down this creek there is usually nice open fields but now it was one great lake as it had been raining heavily for the last fortnight. As Bruce couldn't swim this posed a few problems and we ended up going upstream in a few places so we could walk across the swamp. Later that afternoon we decided we had had enough of the swamp and so we headed up onto the ridge, crossed the Cattai Road, then down the other side where we met another swamp. It was getting late so we made camp on a very steep slope. We had to sleep against trees so we wouldn't roll down hill into the creek.
By this time Bruce had had enough of rough going, so we headed back onto the road, aiming to get to Lower Portland by lunch time. At the road junction we separated, Bruce walking down the road to Lower Portland and I was going to take a short cut across the ridges. To my surprise I found a terrific road following the exact ridge I wanted, so I raced down this, expecting to get to Lower Portland hours before Bruce. After about 5 miles the road reached the Hawkesbury, but Lower Portland wasn't in sight. I thought about this for a few minutes, then came to the conclusion I must be downstream from Lower Portland. After another two or three hours walking I was sure I would end up back where we separated, and who should I see but Bruce walking down the road towards me. “Where's Lower Portland?” I asked. “It's back that way about half a mile”. Bruce had got there only about half an hour before me, as the road proved to be very long, and he was now out looking for some water to drink. We crossed the Hawkesbury on the ferry and had a nice big lunch at the junction of the Colo. Bruce's new sandshoes had given him blisters, so he thought he had had enough and would hitch back home.
“Oh, well, I'll have to do the Colo by myself,” I thought. “But not to worry. It'll be a cinch.” So I set off up Wheelbarrow Ridge and covered 12 miles that afternoon. It looked like rain so I camped in a stable with a friendly cow who wanted to chase me all the time. I managed to lock her out of my barn and she had her own. “Why do women always chase me?”
After my delicious breakfast of cold porridge I set off on the Putty Road to drop into the Colo about 4 miles further on. I passed some Council workers on the Putty Road who said, “Lots of people get lost in that country, mate.” I thought, “Blow them, you can't get lost following a river,” so, leaving all forms of civilization, and after getting a supply of oranges from an abandoned farm, down into the Colo I went. The river looked really good. It must have been about 5 or 6 feet above its usual level, and there were some really good rapids. I headed up the right bank (north) only to find the going was extremely heavy. There were wet bushes, blackberry vines and quicksand everything to slow a person down. At this rate, I thought, I would take about 8 days to get up the Colo River to Glen Davis, so I crossed to the other bank and found the going, to my surprise, a fair bit easier. “I can't go back now,” I thought, “I've came too far already,” so I pushed on through the wet scrub and blackberry vines and didn't stop until I reached the junction of the Wollangambe, which was also in flood.
It didn't look too bad, so I hopped into the water with my pack above my head. Suddenly I went under water and the pack sailed off downstream, so I swam after it thinking, “I mustn't let my bread get wet.” I reached the other side, having recovered my pack, found a nice flat spot and examined the damage. To my horror two rolls of bread had got wet, and my meusley and several other things. It was a beaut spot where I was, and just about dark, so that's where I stayed for the night. The beaut clear water of the Wollangambe was a relief after the muddy Colo, so I drank plenty of it.
By this time, as I headed upstream, I was closed in by the really big cliffs on both sides of the Colo. They were quite a sight to see. It started to rain and I thought “My raincoat will only get torn,” so I didn't wear it. To keep warm I just kept going, through that rotten undergrowth laced with lawyer vines and blackberries. There was a nice little creek coming in on one side with beautiful clear water in it, so I had a beaut big drink. “That's a funny smell,” I thought. Looking up I found a smelly dead eel in the water I was drinking out of, but as he was downstream of me I didn't really mind. The going was better than I expected, and at this rate I would be out of the Colo in four days.
About a mile further on I met a couple of people in a canoe. “How long have you been in the Colo?” I asked. “Eight days”, was their dismal reply. As I had been only a little over one in the Colo, I thought I must be making mighty good progress. Apparently they had a lot of trouble at the rapids; they had to carry their canoe across because it was likely to be wrecked if they tried to paddle through the 10 ft. drops. In the lower part of the Colo the river is very quiet for about half a mile at a time, then there is a mighty great rapid, dropping from 5 to 15 ft. The further up the Colo you go, the closer it is between rapids, but the shallower they get. I was getting a bit cold talking to these people, and so were they, so after about 5 minutes we headed off in our different directions.
It was still pouring rain, and it was getting dark, so I had to find somewhere to sleep. To my delight there was a beautiful dry cave with dry sand and dry firewood in it. I didn't waste any time making a small fire to cook my sardines and rice. Yummy! I wrung out my clothes, used them as a pillow, and went to sleep.
I opened my meusley next morning only to find it stank and the mildew had already started. It isn't a very palatable dish anyway, so I threw it in the river for the yabbies and assorted Colo monsters. It was still pouring rain but that didn't make any difference to my already soaking wet clothes. I saw this little black object in the middle of the river, which seemed to be duck-diving for something at the bottom. I got up closer to it and there was a little platypus diving for worms on the bottom (or maybe it was my meusley he was after). As I was rounding a bend, on a relatively easy-going patch of quicksand, I was confronted with a cliff. I didn't want to go back, so I decided to climb up the middle of it, in amongst a few small bushes. Half way up the cliff there was a tin, nicely sealed, full of all sorts of goodies, so I picked out the best - a tin of corn beef, a bag of rolled oats - and left the meusley for the lizards. It must have been left by the Army; it was in a typical Army green tin.
Further along, as I was coming through some low scrub and pools of water, I came across a funny looking lizard, all tied in knots in a puddle. I gave it a prod but it was very reluctant to uncoil itself and reveal its true identity - a big red death-adder! If all death-adders are as sluggish as this one, I don't think many people would get bitten. Further on I came across another one which was just as sluggish, so I left it alone.
By now I was getting well up the Colo. After passing the junction of the muddy Wollemi Creek I crossed the river and took a short cut thus bypassing a loop and saving a couple of miles. A beaut cave was my campspot for the night. Two and a half days had put me well up the Colo and I should be coming to more open country soon. After a few hours of bashing through the thick scrub next morning I came out onto a small track. This made the going much easier and I covered about 15 miles that day, instead of the usual 8 or 9. I met another party coming down the river with inflatable rubber rafts. They remarked, “You're travelling very light for a trip like this, aren't you?”, as I only had about 20 lbs. weight of pack. “Yes,” I said, “You'll wish you had a very light one when you get down there a bit further.” The poor suckers - they'll regret it.
The next morning I crawled out of my 3 ft. cave, very cramped but moderately dry, thinking today I should be well out of the Colo, now called the Capertee River. While following the track I was rather surprised when it turned round, went back again and ended up in a big meat-ants' nest. “Have I been following the Colo just to end up in a meat-ants' nest? I have higher ambitions than this.” So I found the real track and slogged on into Glen Davis. The only food I could buy was a loaf of bread, but this would do until I reach Sofala. I was feeling mighty fit, the weather wasn't too bad and the tracks were good, so I headed up to the south of Mt. Gundangaroo. There was a nice track following an underground pipeline which led me through farming country for several miles before I headed back onto the Glen Davis road. As it had started raining I didn't feel like stopping so I kept on walking, and walking. I must have covered over 30 miles that day on less than a loaf of bread. I was very pleased when it cleared up so I had a good night's rest below the cliffs of Mt. Genowlan.
Seven days walking had been a bit rough on my poor old sandshoes and they had burst at the seams. The left one was already tied up with string, but not to worry, Hill End can't be all that far away. I crossed the Great Divide near Capertee and down a fire trail onto the Turon River. I was relieved to find the Turon was very open, compared to the very rugged Colo country. I took it easy that afternoon, eating blackberries and swimming in the flooded river. An easy 20 miles was enough for that day.
It must have rained that night in the upper part of the river because the river level had risen 2 ft. overnight. It would be a mighty river to canoe down as there are no large rapids and the river is flowing fast all the way down. As I was running low on food I had a big spending spree at Sofala and bought a loaf of bread. Yes, another one! I also bought a tin of jam and some sultanas for variety. I must have looked rather scruffy because the shopkeeper turned up her nose when she saw my bedraggled dollar note. I decided to have a feast that lunch time and ate three-quarters of the loaf of bread and half a tin of jam. That was apparently too much because I had a gut-ache for the rest of the day.
Before reaching Upper Wallaby I decided to swim across the river to by-pass a big bend. I loaded my pack aboard a big log and set off across the stream. The current was fairly strong and the log wasn't very manoeuvrable, so I was half a mile downstream before I got to the other side. One consolation, though, my bread didn't get wet! Every 5 or 10 minutes there would be a big plop! I was determined to find out what was plopping. I would creep up along the bank to try to surprise the maker of the plop, but it took an awfully long while before I realised it was caused by lizards diving in off the trees. There were hundreds of other lizards who would go racing down the bank and keep running when they hit the river. When they found they weren't getting very far on the surface they would duck-dive and disappear in the muddy water.
Just as well I carried plenty of string, because both sandshoes now were falling away desperately at the sides. I didn't like going barefoot because there were lots of cactus bushes which had a bad habit of sticking into my feet.
After two days on the Turon I was getting very close to my final destination. I was on the left bank following the river down when I was confronted by several cliffs dropping straight into the water, I didn't want to cross the river just yet so I managed to climb around, with sandshoes dropping off. Eventually, however, I had to cross over, but this was at a place where I had to leave the river for the final climb up the hill. Once I reached the road I threw my sandshoes away and walked the final 2 miles to Hill End. barefoot. There were lots of apples and blackberries to make the walk worth while, so if you want to go to Hill End, be sure it is when the apples and blackberries are ripe, and walk there, don't drive.
“That was a nice 10 days stroll,” I thought, “but now I've got to get back home again.” I didn't fancy walking barefoot all the way back, so I hitched. Apart from one maniac who drove his car into a cliff then off the edge of the road, and another driver who received a smashed windscreen, the trip home was quite pleasant, but only took one day.
Why don't you go for a walk somewhere, like Bourke, but make sure your sandshoes are good.
by Wilf Hilder.
|4,,5,6||Neville Lupton heads for Bungleboori Creek Canyon on this exploratory walk. Some compulsory wading will be the order of the day and waterproof packs are essential. You can expect some scrub on Boiler Ridge and Firebox Ridge, but a good track along Shay Ridge.|
|4,5,6||Rod Peters is southward bound - to the mighty Shoalhaven Canyon at Bungonia. Exceptional views around the rim of the canyon and good tracks in and out. Spectacular walk thru Bungonia Canyon with some interesting limestone boulder hopping. Please note Rod's business phone no. is 623-0171, not as shown on programme.|
|4,5,6||Dot Butler is also heading south - to Coolana for a base camp with exploratory walks as the mood takes you. Lush camping on our own land in pretty Kangaroo Valley. See it before the powerlines are put up.|
|Sunday 6th||Wilf's suffering from “Tramway Fever” again. This time it's the forgotten railroads and tunnels around Mittagong that have stirred him into action. A historical days suffering for young and old. Gordon Smith type start - yes up before dawn!|
|Sunday 6th||Uncle John Holly leads this interesting test walk around Euroka. Tracks for about half the distance with a bit of very easy scrambling thrown in for good measure. Excellent views from both lookouts and plenty of map reading practice.|
|11,12,13||El Presidente leads this Budawang safari to Mt. Owen. Fantastic is the only word for the views - worldbeaters you might say. Pretty easy walking with good tracks all the way. A bit of easy scrambling on and off Mt. Owen to keep you fit. Book early for this most popular area.|
|12,13||Walls Pass again me hardies - with Rodger (ripstop) Gowing at the helm. Anyone what pikes at Walls Pass walks the plank - the lucky ones will swing from the yard arm - mind you that ledge on Korrowal Buttress feels like you're dangling in the breeze. Please note the train time, all aboard the rattler by 12.42 hours or bells, ships time.|
|Sunday 13||Cowan Creek makes an easy days walk on this Sunday walk led by Gladys Roberts. Fires are taboo in Kuring-gai Chase of course, but your Boy Scout/Girl Guide training might come in useful yet - smokeless fires and all that. Some aboriginal carvings will make an interesting stop in the late afternoon.|
|18,19,20||A weekend test walk - starve the lizards - what a good opportunity to get in a beaut test walk. Barry Wallace leads it like it is in the king-sized Kanangra country (sorry about that commercial, Myles). The mighty Kowmung calls you from the big smoke. A little scrubby here and there but easy going underfoot most of the way - steep climb to Pages.|
|18,19,20||Uncle Frank Taeker leads this Linden Creek epic in the big blue handy mountains. Some rockhopping and wading too along the creeks - so waterproof your pack. Steep climb up Faulconbridge Point, but excellent views.|
|Sunday 20||Well, I tried to warn you that Wilf's got Tramway Fever again - so he's still at it, two of the blighters this time. As usual he hasn't done the trip before so I'll bet a dried pea to a humble pie he gets lost during the day. Yes, bring a good torch, lots of batteries, globes etc. as well as your running shoes - might as well walk all night after a dawn start.|
|Sunday 20||Uncle Jim Brown's leading a real walk - a test walk into ye olde Labyrinth. Some lovely views around Glenbrook Valley and St. Helena - good country for mapreading practice. Tracks for about half the distance - easy scramble out of Kanooka Creek.|
|Sunday 20||While down south Bill Hall has an interesting walk on down in the Royal (National Park). Rock hopping in places down Frews Creek with pads and tracks the rest of the way. Terrific ocean views across the Pacific. Special Excursion tickets to Otford.|
|25,26,27||Monsieur Fon Don is your genial guide on this death march. Masochists of the world unite - you have nothing to lose but your sufferings. Uncle Pat Harrison did it in two days and he's past the half centura mark - why not you. Man or mouse - squeak up! Yes, tracks all the way - if you're a blacktracker.|
|25,26,27||Our honourable Membership Secretary is taking a rest - two days in the Nattai would you believe - on this great test walk. Excellent scenery all the way in the Nattai Canyon. Tracks and pads along the river, but some very interesting scrambles along the knife edge - crosscut saw to the Needle - and great views all the way. Ring Geoff now.|
|25,26,27||Coolana - Tree planting weekend. Sorry to hear Bill Gillam's due in hospital this week - why not twist Dot's arm gently and ask her to do the honours and organise this weekend. Base camp in our own lush catchment area campsite.|
|Saturday 26||Another great day's suffering coming up. The Paddy Pallin Handicap - pardon, Orienteering Contest is being held at - well, Paddy promised me it won't be Mooney Mooney this year - Rosehill perhaps? Full details later.|
|Sunday 27||Meryl Watman's leading this pleasant Sunday trip along the Uloola Track to Audley. Tracks all the way, with some nice views from the main ridge. Well graded climb to National Park Station. Special Excursion tickets to Waterfall.|
|May '73||Any snowy weekend. Snow the crows, pole axe the power stations. Writing on wall reads “Pray for snow at Easter - make it a Good Friday.” Rod Peters, our man from Munyang, leads a ski tour from Thredders if you pray hard enough. This tour will be organised at short notice - so let Rod know by the beginning of May if you are interested. Some skiing experience is essential - but there will be an Instructional for novices in June.|
Stop press, etc. Wanted dead or alive walks leaders for new winter programme (June, July, August). Send walks by carrier pigeon, smoke signal, message stick, morse code or what have you - it's “Be kind to Walks Secretary Week” - think of his ulcers - then think of what he might do to you if you don't come good with a trip.
by Elaine Brown.
On May 23rd Bill Gillam was to give a talk on “Native Trees of N.S.W. Coastal Belt”. Bill, we regret to say, will be in hospital and his talk is cancelled for the present. The Members' Slide Night which was for the 30th May will be transferred to this night (May 23rd). On the 30th May Paddy Pallin will show a film “The Cruel Country” in colour. Paddy will also add to the film's commentary. He will also bring along some ski touring equipment to show members.|
Members are urged to write to the Hon. K.E. Enderby M.H.R., Minister for the Capital Territory, Parliament House, Canberra A.C.T. and/or Dr. Cass, Minister for the Environment, protesting against the development of Black Mountain. The P.M.G. intend to build a 641 ft. concrete tower complete with revolving restaurant, high level viewing platform and presumably a multiple car park and bigger roads.