On the rocks alone

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On the rocks alone

Postby juju » Tue 07 Dec, 2010 12:04 pm

I wanted badly to go up into the bush in the rain last week and nothing was going to stop me.
I asked four of my regular walking buddies to come but they were busy or didn't want to get more wet so I went alone.
I haven't walked alone much and found it surprisingly peaceful compared to walking alone when I was younger.
After hanging around home on Friday hoping my 14yr old son would change his mind and accompany me I left in the drizzling rain with Van Morrison my only company on the 1 and a half hour drive.
When I arrived at Cathedral Rock in the late afternoon light I drove down a track on the way in that I've always wanted to check out.
It led to a 'water diversion weir' on Round Mountain road and made an interesting stop with some lovely water scenes and wildflowers.
Water diversion catchment.JPG
Water diversion catchment

Near the Weir sml.JPG
Near the Weir

Ground orchid sml.JPG
Ground orchid

The camp ground at Barokee was silent and empty and I took off across the sodden ground toward the rock to get a few afternoon photos around the camp area. It was beautiful, quiet and still without the chatter of blue sky and sunshine and no one around. I only wandered a short way, it was nearly six and I was hungry.

Barokee grassland sml.JPG
Barokee grassland

Dinner - noodles with prawns and coconut milk washed down with a hot cup of chai.
I slept in the back of my small wagon and halfway through the night wished I hadn't.
Still drizzly the next day I slept in (fitfully) until 9!
At about ten I took off on the Cathedral Rock track.
Cathedral Rock track sml.JPG
Cathedral Rocks track

I was keen to see how my twenty five year old J&H Goretex jacket would take a continuously damp day.
The walk to the top is not a difficult one, though there are some exposed bits at the top that could put some people off.
All along the way there were reminders of other people I have done this walk with (I've done it at least six times) especially my son who, now and then I sorely missed - 'He would've climbed that rock' or 'He would've wanted to check out that group of boulders' but apart from the occasional pangs I didn't feel lonely, enjoyed my own company and the freedom of stopping or wandering off to explore when I wanted.
I realized I missed my son not just because I missed his adventurous and fun loving company but because he's growing up...
Along the ascent trail I almost stumbled on a Lyrebird singing it's heart out and from there it seemed to lead me onward, just ahead of me almost to the summit. I felt a very real connection to the bird that I would not have had if I'd not been alone.
The final climb to the summit was taken with care but there were a a couple of times I thought 'What if I slipped now, what would I do?' and made a plan.
At the top I was rewarded with the swirling mists I'd hoped for and a great feeling of achievement.
I wandered back down to camp and Van Morrison with my thoughts and emotions tumbling as if in a washing machine.
I really took my time on this walk, it was a reconnection with myself and my love for the bush.
We'll get fit on the way.
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Re: On the rocks alone

Postby juju » Tue 07 Dec, 2010 12:08 pm

My jacket still performs well.
Some more pics...
Puddin' rock sml.JPG
Puddin' rock
View North West sml.JPG
View North West
Top view East sml.JPG
Top view East
We'll get fit on the way.
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Re: On the rocks alone

Postby Lindsay » Tue 07 Dec, 2010 1:11 pm

Excellent report and pics juju. Congratulations on re-discovering the joys of solo walking, there's nothing else like it.

cheers

Lindsay
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Re: On the rocks alone

Postby Lizzy » Tue 07 Dec, 2010 2:54 pm

Sounds fun except the sleep in the back of the wagon!
As I have re-discovered you certainly have to take a bit more care when on your own but it is delightful :D
Lovely photos too...
Cheers
Lizzy
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Re: On the rocks alone

Postby juju » Tue 07 Dec, 2010 9:15 pm

Thanks guys, Julie.
We'll get fit on the way.
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Re: On the rocks alone

Postby iandsmith » Thu 09 Dec, 2010 8:39 am

So, you must live up that way. Do you know Frank Low?
Cheers Ian
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Re: On the rocks alone

Postby juju » Thu 09 Dec, 2010 9:52 am

Hi Ian, no I don't think so (could know him but not his name - though it sounds familiar). Where is he? I'm in Bellingen/Thora, so Cath Rocks is only an hour and a half away and has become my favourite place - probably because I have come to know it and it's small, Julie.
We'll get fit on the way.
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Re: On the rocks alone

Postby iandsmith » Fri 10 Dec, 2010 10:28 pm

Frank is 86 years old and lives in Uralla. Some of his pics are used by the NPWS and he's shown me quite a few places I would never have heard of otherwise.
I now also have a nephew living at Nymboida who's done Cathedral Rock with his partner but I've never actually managed it.
You live near one of my favourite walks, Rosewood Creek. I must upload the pics one day.
Have to have a cuppa when I'm up there sometime. Cheers.
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Re: On the rocks alone

Postby juju » Sat 11 Dec, 2010 6:44 am

Yes, please let me know when you're coming up this way. We could meet at the rocks.
We'll get fit on the way.
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Re: On the rocks alone

Postby iandsmith » Sat 11 Dec, 2010 11:15 pm

My email is iandsmith69 'at' hotmail.com. If you shot your address through I'll put you on my mailing list for articles that I write if you're interested then I can also give you a yell when I'm up that way again. Probably won't be till March now as I expect to be heading to the States in Feb.
Cheers, Ian
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Re: On the rocks alone

Postby frank_in_oz » Sun 12 Dec, 2010 12:32 pm

Nice report and pictures thanks juju.
It looks like a great spot.
Frank
Check out "Our Hiking Blog" Overland Track guide, Food to Go-recipe ideas and Trekking to Everest Base Camp.
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