- Day 27 :: Gregory Brook to Donnelly River
- Day 25 :: Balingup to Blackwood
Day 26 :: Blackwood to Gregory Brook
The glory of yesterday's weather seemed to overflow into today: no wonder many people say that Blackwood is their favourite campsite! We have another diversion today, and the Guidebook has promised the first Karri as the vegetation slowly changes to more damp communities as we head South.
Day 26 Google Earth Track
The first night in a very long time to sleep with tent flaps open -- no hat, no socks either!! AND no dew on the fly so it gets packed dry. And such a magnificent dawn with some kangaroo friends dropping in for a visit.
Blackwood Gregory Brook
|Length||15.85 km||Day Length||4:22|
|Ascend||751 m||Descend||741 m|
I was very surprised by the huge and multi-stemmed marri on top of the hill behind Blackwood hut: a very different form to what we've seen in the Jarrah forests.
Short day today, particularly due to the diversion which took off a couple of kilometres. Lovely relaxed start to the day: P bouncing off the walls with his camera. Lovely sitting watching the mist in the valley and the sun creeping across it. Very still initially, then a breeze came up and we found ourselves a spot chilly. Lovely crescent moon had risen last night as the sun was selling, lovely having the tent set up on the pine needle carpet.
We headed off up and over then down "Cardiac Hill", spot slippery, but OK going down, though it should be "Orthopaedic Hill" going down. Very infested with blackberry. Went past the old homestead and then along the river, which was a big river, quite gorgeous.
The "Cardiac Hill" was pretty easy going down -- only about 150m, so it doesn't give the speed wobbles like the giant staircase or the golden stairs -- still going up would be a different story. The level of blackberry infestation was troubling, but it did make us think of summer fruits and maybe picking a bucked on the way up the hill to have with dehydrated ice-cream after dinner.
After Cardiac Hill, or as Sandi wanted to call the downward journey, Orthopaedic Hill, the Track passes through private property and by Southhampton Homestead and then along the pretty Blackwood River to the Southhampton Bridge.
The walk along the Blackwood Creek was a huge highlight -- walking beside large rivers is something we don't often get to do. Lots of blackberry here too and what we wondered was gladioli?
Met a couple doing "Track work" on their section and had a chat. Didn't take long to get to the bridge and cross over. Saw a bright lemony coloured pattersonia, which was a nice surprise. Went onto the diversion and it was somewhat stark with Pinus Radiata recently logged. Had morning tea in a little area of native forest, then further of the same.
Came across an old orchard with figs, loquats, a citrus and many others flowering, but no house any more.
The diversion was a little stark -- but raised lots of questions about harvesting and planting:
- Is it machine planted?
- Machine drives up hill?
- Collects non-burnt rubbish into rows?
Followed an emu's prints on the road for a while: they were 2m apart!! Should have taken a photo :(
Finally back on the track and through an area of hoveas, and afore mentioned pattersonias and water bush and wattles in bloom. Really gorgeous. Some very airless paths through water bush, like tunnels. We wet our bandanas with good effect.
The walk along Camp Creek Road was amazingly close and humid when enclosed in water bush. Only just enough water in the last creek to wet our bandanas.
Over a last hill and down to the hut, very nestled into the bush by a very babbling brook. Quite delightful with bright sunshine and many wee birds.
Made good time to the shelter, but the very first thing (after the portrait photos) was lunch, which today we get to enjoy with a cup of tea! We "ummed" and "ahhed" about washing our clothes, and after relaxing in the sun and putting up the tent, we went for a wee walk up the road where the Hoveas were blooming beautifully.
Glad to get into the bush again, but sad we missed the dam and everything else. Interested to see in the Gregory Brook hut that a Spring 2011 fire is planned on the Track (real) -- made us wonder if they were taking advantage of the diversion?
The hut itself is very secluded next to the brook, which continues to babble along prettily. The sun is disappearing quickly -- so different to yesterday's location.
The walk in the late afternoon was really gorgeous. The DEC had obviously been here doing some work on the access road.
A little disappointed that the Balingup Transit Park didn't have laundry or kitchen. Meant we couldn't wash clothes -- but it did mean we got an amazing pub meal! Unsure what will be available at Donnelly, so maybe we'll be very stinky by Pemberton (the weather has not been great for drying, and even though the last two days have been amazing, we were told that rain was due -- maybe we should have taken the chance when we had it?)
Made a late decision to wash the clothes, thinking that they'd get pretty dry under the shelter overnight. Our wee lenght of ~10m of cord is certainly extremely handy!
After a really relaxing afternoon (after what was: a very short walk), we did our lucky-dip thing (chicken this time) and cooked a delicious dinner and got ready for tomorrow's walk. The sun disappeared quickly and it was lovely to climb into our wee home away from home again: the tent was essential in these damp areas as we'd been told that mosquitoes are a problem.
|Soup||Cream of Chicken||4||3||3.5||3.3|
The worst thing about these pit/composting toilets is at night, when you forget to tilt your headlight back up, when you lift the toilet seat to do a wee (like all good boys are trained to do): you see the grim detail of what everyone else has left behind!
|Blackwood Campsite||8:20 AM||0.0|
|Southampton Bridge||4.2||454.0||9:39 AM||1:19||1:19||132.8||3.2||3.2||3.4|
|Gregory Brook Campsite||11.7||15.9||465.7||12:46 PM||3:07||4:26||135.9||3.8||3.6||3.4|
Created by • Last edit by on Nov 22 2018