Sunday, June 24, 2012

After lots of excitement ...

We are back home.

We arrived at Quart Pot on Wednesday afternoon. Journey had not been without some degree of difficulty. We had a few 'idiot' drivers to contend with on the way up and we hit a wallaby on the climb up to the top of McDonald's Mountain (or rather, it hit us 'cos it jumped up out of a steep ravine and dived straight under the nose of the truck while we were moving up hill at about 60kph, ie. 40mph!) 

No damage to the truck but scratch one adult black-tailed scrub wallaby of about 20kg weight.

File image of Black tailed wallaby

We headed out along Drover's Fire Trail and down Oaky Ridge, a 1 in 4 descent from the top of the range to the valley floor and full of switchbacks and hairpins - you drive 4.5km to advance 2km forward in your journey - until we hit the end of the bitumen.

After a final equipment and supplies check, we took our bearings on where we were heading

Quart Pot Camp is in the small inlet to the very left of picture.

The country ahead.

Rhonda doing an equipment check at Drover's Fire Trail

it was out along the dirt trail of Quart Pot Road. Really, its an insult to a decent road to call this track a 'road'.

We had arranged in advance to 'overnight' at one of Moerkerkens' paddocks near Quart Pot itself,  and it was not long before we had the insect shelters set up and the Swags stowed inside (even in winter there are still lots of insects at night around the campfire, so an insect camp is advised)

One of our Swag bedrolls inside a personal insect-proof tent

Oh! A Swag is a 'self-contained' sleeping bag, mattress and shelter which has room to store folded clothing and small items of equipment - like a torch - in pocket liners. Here is a 'promo-image'

Swag bag - your bedroll fits inside this. - we prefer
the bedroll inside and insect tent, 'tho this type are
very good in damp conditions.

Also known as a bivouac sack (also as a bivy sackbivvy bagbivi bag or just bivy) it is an extremely small, lightweight, waterproof shelter, and an alternative to traditional tent systems.  Waterproof/breathable fabrics, such as Gore-Tex, allows internal humidity to pass through the fabric while blocking the entry of most external water.

That night the earth moved for us - literally - as we experienced a 3.8 earth tremor throughout the region. We had just put the camp fire out and turned in when around 8.30pm there was a sound like a freight train bearing down on us, then the ground jumped and jiggled, a loud "crack-k-k" sounded right beneath us and then the 'freight train' headed off away from us. Only lasted about 10 seconds all up but it was enough to get us out of our warm swags and lighting up the lamps and doing a check of our surrounds. 

Officially, we were to later find out on the truck radio in the morning,

" .... the epicentre of the magnitude-3.8 quake was 20 kilometres north of Boorowa and 40 kilometres north-east of Young. Seismologists say it would have been felt as far as 50 kilometres away. ...."

Well, we could vouch for the latter part of the report! The only 'damage' we could see was that the stones of our fireplace had been 're-arranged'. a good reason for ensuring fires are extiquished before 'turning in' and leaving them unattended!

Fire place stones 're-arranged'

We did some 'fossicking that day but as the water level of the lake area was so high we could not access the sandy gravel we needed to be able to locate any kind of decent find.

Thursday it came in all threatening and overcast and as we had several creek crossings to make on the return journey we decided to pack up and head back to an area we know as "Tarrant's Fields - a long low alluvial valley on the other side of the ridge line - that in another life had been home to 'gold diggers' and even has its own Digger's Cemetery.

Tarrant's Fields

As you may be able to see from the above photograph, misty rain was already falling quite steadily by mid-afternoon, so, we again decided to head back to Wyangala and the warmth of a gas fire, a hot meal and a warm bed.

We spent all Friday and Friday night at "The Camp" before heading back home on Saturday morning. While we didn't find anything of value over our few days of fossicking we did survey some areas of future interest and we thoroughly enjoyed our time 'roughing it' in the bush!


John Gray said...

all very high tech and interesting but I am so sorry..... give me a 5 star hotel, hot running water and white crisp Egyptian cotton sheets ANYDAY!

LindaG said...

Glad to hear you enjoyed your time out there. Great photos, too.
Sorry to hear about the Wallaby, but glad you're all okay.
Have a great week, John.

JohnD said...

I like a 5 Star with a cooked brekkie and all the comforts of home as well, however, it does re-invigorate one to get out and 'rough it' occassionaly.

JohnD said...

Wallabies are at plague proportions round here and, like their big cousins, the kangaroos, they are frequently culled in this grazing agricultural area, however, we do not like killing any native animals, even if we see others need to do so!