Tuesday, April 21, 2009

English Creek, Mt Glorious

This caterpillar is showing its sting.

It was just like the old days, a very competent group of walkers doing a walk that we had not done before. A walk where the group had to work as a team contributing to navigation and various route options.
A trip where various people took the lead, expressed the freedom of being in front , showing the way and leading the party through rainforest of Lawyer Vine and Wait-a-While.
While Lance wandered along behind. Chuckle, chuckle.

This was the England Ck. trip at Mt. Glorious.Fourteen people participated and we started walking from the gate just back from Maiala Park entrance. Ref. 766761 on the Brisbane Forest Park Map.
The weather was fine and at this point we are 650 metres above the Sandgate foreshore. We followed Joyners Ridge Road for about 15min.through some nice rainforest to Ref.760766. Here we bailed out of the road and dropped steeply down the gully to follow the creek south. Because the sides of the creek were very steep and the creek had plenty of water in it , we had to travel along the sides of the hill rather than in the creek. The leaders of which there was a few at this stage kept getting hung up in vines and wait-a-while as we slowly followed the banks of the creek steeply down hill.
After about an hour of walking, one of the party suffered a sore elbow and another of our more capable and intelligent walkers tried to dislodge a tree with her head. Needless to say she is no longer considered intelligent and the tree is still there.
Both walkers thought they could smell coffee brewing and returned to the start of our walk. Near the coffee shop. Thankyou David for accompanying them back to the safety of the cars and the coffee shop.
Then again if I had the choice of wading through wait-a-while and lawyer vines or sitting in a coffee shop with two beautiful women, I think you made the only logical decision.
Eventually we could make our way into the creek bed and we had morning tea at 10.35. Ref.756760
If you are checking these points on your map as I assume you are then you will find that spot on the little blue line just between the two brownie ones, in the space of Two hrs. we dropped 280 metres.
Gee it made a loud noise.
A little further down the creek it started to flatten out a bit and the creek bed wider which made walking much easier.It is a very pretty creek. If easier access was available it would turn into a popular walk. Quite a few little waterfalls and small swimming holes. One for early summer.
Lunch was a little late as we were trying to get to a waterfall and swimming hole we had been told about. But because Rosemary was staggering and down on her knees at this stage we decided to stop before we got there and before she died of starvation.We never did find the waterhole as described but given more time a photographer would have a field day in this creek. Lunch was taken at 12.45 at Ref.759746.
After a leisurely lunch, the troops started to drop hints by standing up and putting their packs on their backs. I gather they were trying to tell me something. Never the less off we went at a good steady pace and covered the distance down the creek much faster than I anticipated.
The plan was to leave the creek at a certain point and to follow a S.E.ridge up to the Mt. Nebo road and a car left at Westridge Lookout. Upon arriving at the what I calculated was the point in question, ten of the remaining eleven people showed complete faith in my navigation ability by insisting on checking the map themselves, the other GPS, and even checking further downstream just in case.It is very gratifying to know so many people have so much confidence in you.
We left the creek at 2.45 Ref.754739
Just to show how much confidence they had in me they asked me to lead the final leg of the walk
Into the lantana I plunged. Along the cleared track they followed.
Slowly we climbed upward in open forest, past the sleeping carpet snake till we got to the road and our transport. 270 mt higher and 11/4 hrs later. Ref.763734.

Thanks must go to the various leaders of the party, women as well as men. Especially Greg who did most of the hard work. I know how much Greg dislikes vines and wait a while as it can be very tiring trying to force your way through the entanglements so we really appreciated his effort.
It really is a most enjoyable walk if we can elimate the first two hrs. of steep rainforest. As we now know it can be done easily in a day we can spend more time enjoying the creek bed.

Thank you all for your company, you are a great crowd. Special mention for Edwina, keep up the good work.

Love Lance.

[Posted on behalf of Lance - Kevin.]

Monday, April 13, 2009

Lance's Rambling - Binna Burra

Got along without ya before I met ya
Gonna get along without ya now.
Gonna find somebody twice as cute
Cause ya didnt love me anyhow.
You ran around with evry girl in town
And ya never cared if it got me down.
You had me worried always on my guard
But you laughed at me cause I tried so hard
Boom boom.Boom boom
Gonna get along without you now
Boom boom.Boom boom
Gonna get along without you now.
[Patience and Prudence in 1956, Skeeter Davis in 1964, and others]

Its absolutely amazing what two grown, seemingly intelligent people do to amuse themselves while walking in the rainforest, in the rain.
As Gene Kelly would say. Just singing in the rain, just singing in the rain.

The above song or a butchered , twisted version of the above was one of the gems of that fantastic new singing duo' Lance and Maria' which sounds like a lousy stage name.

Perhaps you would be more enthralled by Kevin '' The Bard'' Eastment quoting vast tracts of Shakespeare.

Its interesting how such a seemingly mundane trip can turn out to be so enjoyable, it was not only because of the conditions but the great company.
Now this was the Nixon Ck. walk at Binna Burra. We met at the information centre at 8.30 and the plan was to walk down the Forestry Rd ( Ah La Carte the Great Walk) towards Numinbah and Egg Rock and then drop into Nixon Ck and follow it up which entails rockhopping and a bit of scrub bashing.

After a yarn with the Ranger we changed our plans ( Leaders privilege) due to the amount of water in the creek making the rocks submerged and slippery, and the fact that I cannot do breaststroke uphill. ( More about that later) The weather forecast of showers for the day at Lamington can sometimes be a misnomer.

So we decided to do Shipstern Bluff via Lower Bellbird circuit.All of us had not done this track in racent decades and found it most enjoyable and ended up reaching Lower Ballunjui Falls for morning smoko.
There was only five in the party, Kevin, Ray Holloway, Maria Roe, myself and Rachael Christopherson who is a new member who has walked before but on her first trip with us. What must she think.
Hopefully Rachael will continue to walk with us as she is a gun walker and good company. In spite of what happened.
After leaving the falls,which were very spectacular as you could see the lower falls and way up the top of the escarpment, the upper falls barrelling down. By now the weather was closing in, there was cloud above and mist below. It was not actually raining but very heavy and continous condesation falling off the trees.
Rachaels attendance was appreciated as she was very competently attracting all the leeches.

Except for one.

Now for those of you who do not know Maria. She is a beautiful young lady with a lovely figure in all the right places. She also hates leeches, will not touch them and has to get somebody to remove them. You would not say she was paranoid about them as that is a understatement.

So Maria has a leech on her.
I also should mention here that on her gorgeous figure she was wearing a low cut tank top.
Now this leech had discerning taste and may I say a good taste of Marias right----- ah----er----ummm--- how should I say this, upper anatomy.
Needless to say there was a fight amongst the fellas to assist but a battered and bruised Kevin won the fight and earnt the task of removing the said leech.
I fail to see why it took Kevin five minutes and two hands to remove a simple leech, but he was abreast of the situation and with the other fellas busting to help, he saved the day. Maria with a satisfied grin on her dial continued to lead us on our merry way.
As we waltzed along the rainforest track in the rain we had Kevin quoting Shakespeare from cover to cover and Maria and I singing that song that we could not remember the words to or the singer.
Also because of all the rain the fungus were out in force and even found a blue one which I immediately recognised as Mycena interrupta or Pixies parasol. Of course.
Onwards we galloped, or Maria did in any case. Ray stopped at Moonjooroora Lookout for lunch and a rest, looked quite a sight sitting in the rain with his umbrella up. And he calls himself a Bushwalker, would'nt happened in my day. The rest of us proceeded out to the end of Shipstern Bluff and Kooloonbano Lookout for our lunch. There was no rain there and amongst the rising tufts of mist we ate and looked at the valley below..
Now as most people know I like to con people and string them along a bit but I am not clever enough to come up with names like those lookouts, so ''National Parks''. I salute you..
While we were lunching the peace was broken by a loud scream. It even frightened the prisoners down at the Palen Creek prison farm.
You guessed it. A leech.
You guessed it. Maria.
Only this time it was around the back and much lower.I have never in all my years seen a pair of strides come down so fast. Kev to the rescue,two hands and another five minutes and sanity was restored with the same satisfied look.
1.30 Pack up and back we go into the wet, Maria out in front and the unfit trying to keep up. We decided, or should I say I decided to take the upper track that takes back to Binna Burra.So we zig zaged up ,and up and up.
Stupid me.
On the way back we met a mother and young daughter at the Lower Ballunjui Falls turnoff .The mother was quite cheerful but you have never seen such a disinterested, disillusioned, disgusted, disappointed and disconsolate look on such a pretty young face sitting in the rain, parka on and cup in hand.
One of those '' Why am I here'' looks. Those with kids will know what I mean. Even a lolly from Kev did not seem to help. Some how I don't think she will be future Bushwalker material.
Up the soggy track we plodded. Up the soggy track Maria pranced. Smart Arse.
Arrived at the cars on Five.
Excellent day, and goes to show a trip is what you make of it.
Thankyou all for your company.
Thankyou linesman. Thankyou ballboys.

Love Lance.

P.S . Poetic licence has been utilised in the telling of this ramble.

[Lance has not quite mastered how to publish a blog. So I have entered Lance's blog on his behalf.
Rest assured that the above is 100% Lance's ramble - Kevin.]