After I had finished my blog post and caught up with emails yesterday, I went out to the kitchen to eat breakfast and do the little things that need to be done of a morning. Once the Tween was off to school, the GG turned to me and said “I’m going for a walk this morning”.
“Okay” I replied.
“Come with me.”
Thoughts jumbled through my head with the predominant one being “It’s Wednesday. He must mean he is going to walk into town to buy the local paper. Sounds great. I’ll come.” However in the next breath he said “I’m going out to Barney“.
Suddenly the headache that I already had began throbbing in my temples even harder and I remembered that the “Fish Man” was to come that afternoon.As I drew breath to reply, he said “I’m going to do the fire trail to Peasant’s Ridge”.
South Ridge track (Class 5)
Distance: Measured in time only
Time: Allow about 8 to 10 hr walking time
Details: The climb up Mount Barney via South Ridge (Peasants Ridge) track can be arduous and should be undertaken by very fit, experienced bushwalkers. Navigational and map reading skills are essential as tracks are unmarked.
Thinking back to his walk to the Lower Portals last week and how he pulled up after that I began to have serious misgivings. My fitness levels are nil…nada….zilch after sitting on my backside behind a desk at work for the past six and a half years and his fitness levels are probably three times better than mine but still not great. I was doing mental calculations about how much pain this was going to cause.
At this point he said “I’m only going to walk the fire trail to where the real climb begins. The hardest part is the hill at the beginning. It will be a nice little walk.”
I kept up the excuses but the disappointment was on his face so with great difficulty, I pulled out my sturdy footwear and back pack and began making preparations for the walk ahead.
The weather yesterday wasn’t too bad. However, by the time we set out, the wind had blown up again and there was low cloud over the mountains. I had taken some headache tablets so hoped the fresh air and quiet of nature would do it’s magic.
Arriving at the car park at the beginning of the walk, I was
sort of enthusiastic about our walk (although a little apprehensive).
The slight slope from the car park wasn’t too bad and I started to feel good. Until I lifted my eyes from my feet (watching for loose rocks) and spied the trail leading steeply further up the hill. The GG helpfully said to me “The last time I walked this, they used to allow cars through but now we have to walk it”.
I can honestly say that without the support of the GG, I would not have reached the top. Hearing words such as “It’s okay, we have no time limit so take all the time you want to rest” were wonderful. And then I reached the top and realised that I had to go down the other side (and this meant climbing back up again later).
biggest hurdle hill out of the way, we began our walk on mostly flat ground. The trail was wide and we could see that a dozer had been through recently. Traversing uneven surfaces, rocks, a soak hole and a creek, we walked for approximately an hour and a quarter (and covered about 3 kilometres) before stopping for a break prior to returning.
I sat and soaked in the stillness.
The wind whispering in the tree tops.
The call of the birds in the undergrowth.
The sound of running water in the creek just behind us.
On our return trip, we stopped to chat to the fellow who was operating the bulldozer and levelling a little of the fire trail. Swapping stories, we realised he worked for my brother in-law (the local Park Ranger). The dozer operator’s wife had joined him for the day and was waiting in a 4WD nearby to drive him out at the end of his shift so she came to join the conversation. It was a lovely half hour or so spent swapping yarns about the local area.
And then we set off to conquer the hill once more.
It was easier going up this side (thank goodness) and we reached the top with only one or two short stops along the way. Then it was all downhill to the car park.
Reaching the car I felt a sense of elation (and exhaustion).
By last night, I had the beginnings of a cold and felt awful so was looking forward to my bed. I slept like a log. And then this morning jumped out of my skin.
And so I sit here telling you my tale of triumph and woe with a stuffy head and aching legs.
I FEEL ALIVE!!!!
Have a wonderful day my friends. 🙂