Day 19 :: Harris Dam to Collie
The original plan for today was to get to Collie in time for shopping and Mass on Sunday, but now it's is to get into Collie as early as possible: 1. to ensure we get to the shops before they close at 5PM, 2. hopefully get to the camping store, which we had a sneaking suspicion wouldn't be open in the afternoon. To this end, and to satisfy a curiosity created by Andre talking about night bushwalking, we decided to leave before dawn (and breakfast) and have breakfast on the way at Harris Dam.
Not such a great sleep last night, to bed pretty early I think we were quite excited abut our plans for the day. We had everything packed up, bar a few bits and the bedding. Awake early and rather cold at 4:45am. Called it quits and started warming clothes [Ed: in the sleeping bags] and dressing [Ed: in the sleeping bags]. A bit of frenetic activity had us on the way by 5:23am -- P in front with his headlight. The toe nail moon had been peeping through the trees when we woke.
Day 19 Google Earth Track
Harris Dam the Dam Collie
|Length||24.64 km||Day Length||6:47|
|Ascend||979 m||Descend||1051 m|
Got away a little late this morning -- glad we woke and got up early as a 5am alarm would only have made us later. Very cold over night again (Collie reported 3°c) -- sleeping in the tent is a lot warmer.
So we walked purposefully through a pretty thick mist, highlighting waugels on our way. Chilly and we had trackpants, gaiters, warm hats and our jackets on, but soon felt pretty toasty. Ate a bar each as we went but I must say it wasn't an overly pleasant feeling, more like refuelling than enjoying.
It was an amazing experience walking in the dark, for a short time, then dawn half-light -- very surreal. Harris Dam was a disappointment: the mist / fog was very thick -- I was hoping for a photogenic thin wispy mist across the dam during dawn. Harris River and a swan was more than compensation though -- breathtakingly beautiful.
We got to the dam and walked across the wall, pretty amazing though water level way down, which I was surprised about with the wet Winter. Found the lookout and had an enjoyable breakfast. Glad of that cup of tea. Also glad to use the public toilets. A lot of bird song.
Breakfast at the lookout was a little rushed, as we really needed to get into town as early as possible. The lookout was a little overgrown to be a real lookout, and waited as long as possible, but only ever saw mist.
ASAP we got on our way again as photo opps not great, mist too dense.
We also knew that we didn't want to hang around too long as Collie was waiting, so we hurried back down to where we'd left our packs, visiting the toilet on the way and a little cross-country hacking to get back to where the GPS had our packs. Then set off again...
Walk very well notated in the book with lots of tracks in vicinity. Had morning tea about 9:00am, just needed the break. The camping store SMSed back to say open 8:30am Mon-Fri, so that took the pressure off today.
Nice walking weather, though rather cloudy. Some very pretty streams and some areas with just a lovely mix of different coloured flowers. We whirled on and started hearing then reaching bitumen roads. Felt like all roads lead to Collie.
Some lovely Leschanautia and Damperia blue flowers, over a railway and into a casuarina forest, understory of Hibbertia all in bloom. Red / Green Kangaroo paws very close to being out.
Saw a wallaby ducking away in fright and P got a great photo of a red-tailed cockatoo! Pretty neat!
Had to have a 10 minute break just a spot weary and never seeming to get there. Then we passed the North/South intersection and made our way with GPS through some new housing development and over the back fence of the caravan park. Very impressive Mr PM!! Checked in, paid and left our packs. Camp kitchen pretty well equipped: full stove, microwave, though no BBQ. Lots of pots, etc. Armed with this knowledge off we went, complete with tourist map of Collie (this had to be replaced as we helped 2 girls who were lost and gave it to them when we were walking along in town and they asked for directions).
The walk into Collie was rushed, well, not rushed, but we kept the pace up. Ended up arriving just after 12 midday, detouring via the camping ground (needed to suss the camp kitchen out to see what type of food we could cook) -- then to the Information Centre. A biggish day in the end, without a lot of breaks.
Got to Information Centre and signed in then headed to town for lunch and then shopping. Bit of indecision about what for lunch -- almost brought us to blows, but then a cafe as P wanted to sit down, provided a mega Laksa and good salad for P and me respectively. Provisioned we then hit Coles and by roving round managed to put together a pretty decent menu for 2 days.
|Restaurant / Cafe||Total||S||P||S||P||S||P|
All rather healthy and delicious. After shopping we hit the fruit and SSSS for afternoon tea with great enjoyment.
- Dinner Saturday:
- lamb chump chop each with baked potato & sour cream and mega salad (lettuce, capsicum, tomato, cucumber, carrot, avocado, sprouts, snow peas, mushrooms), followed by strawberries and yoghurt.
- Breakfast Sunday:
- Sausages, eggs, tomato, mushroom and baked beans.
- Fruit for afternoon / morning teas:
- Fuji apples, mandarins and some spicy soya snacks.
- Dinner Sunday:
- Steak, onion, eggs, tomato, potato with sour cream, zuchini, carrot, brocolli, bok choy, asparagus. Followed by strawberries & yoghurt.
- Lunch Monday:
- Rolls with sausage / lettuce / relish.
Headed back to camp ground and starting getting organised, washing done with a couple of false starts, food sorted, tent up, batteries on to charge. Lovely afternoon. Decided to go to Mass 6pm tonight to take pressure off morning. So headed off to St Brigid's: what a friendly, warm Church. Very amazing and lovely. Sang 'The Lord is my Shepherd and I want to follow...' Funny, that, and the Responsive Psalm was about staying in the right way. We were very blessed.
Decided to go to Mass tonight rather than tomorrow (we were in very good time!). Amazed to find a very vibrant, friendly Catholic community there -> 7 people starting the RCIA programme. All very friendly.
It was chilly on the walk home, feet sore, where we compiled a huge salad and grilled a lamb chop. Probably too much -- but it was yummy. Could hardly keep my eyes open after dinner.
Chilly already after and headed back for dinner. Didn't take long to cook up and was fabulous. Heater on here in "Camp Kitchen" where I'm writing this. P asleep on couch. Clean dry washing folded, some still on line. So we want to suss socks, jackets on Monday. Bread rolls and maybe hacky sack before heading. We will see.
It was almost tempting to just stay collapsed in the 'camp kitchen' which looked more like backpacker's accommodation, complete with motor cycle! But we headed out through the cold to our warm little tent for a very pleasant night's sleep, both looking forward to our only full rest day tomorrow!
|Harris Dam Campsite||0.0||5:23 AM||0:00||0.0|
|Harris Dam Picnic Area||3.6||3.6||324.7||6:08 AM||7:20 AM||0:45||0:45||96.1||4.8||4.8||3.4|
|Mornington Road||11.0||14.6||335.6||10:43 AM||3:23||4:08||99.5||3.2||3.5||3.4|
|Collie Spur||7.1||21.6||342.7||11:27 AM||0:44||4:52||100.2||9.6||4.4||3.4|
Created by • Last edit by on November 22nd, 2018
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