Table of Contents
THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER NOVEMBER, 1979
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers, Box 4476 G.P.O, Sydney, 2001. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening from 7.30 pm at the Wireless Institute Building, 14 Atchison Street, St. Leonards. Enquiries concerning the Club should be referred to Marcia Shappert, Telephone 30-2028.
|EDITOR||Helen Gray, 209 Malton Road, Epping, 2121. Telephone 86 6263|
|BUSINESS MANAGER||Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford, 2118. Telephone 871-1207|
|DUPLICATOR OPERATOR||Bob Duncan Telephone 869-2691|
|Pedalling Through History||Marion Lloyd||2|
|The Colong Committee's Wilderness Calendar||5|
|Safety in Wondabyne Area - Kariong Rifle Range||5|
|A Famous Walker of Yesteryear - Felix Mendelssohn - Part 2||Owen Marks||7|
|Abercrombie & Wingecaribee Rivers 1939||Dorothy Lawry||12|
|The October General Meeting||Barry Wallace||15|
|Club Photographic Competition||16|
|Social Notes for December||Ailsa Hocking||16|
Pedalling through history
by Marion Lloyd
A leisurely bike trip through Dharug National Park, said the program. That sounded interesting, as the scenery around there is very pleasant. But wait! I wonder if it might be like the endurance slogs of old with the Wyborn, Finch, Butler crowd- nothing less than 100 miles up and down rutty fire trails. I heard Snow Brown was going, what did that mean? So I confronted Wendy and Steve in the club. Says they “It's only 80 km”
“I haven't ridden for years,” says I, “not since that murderous Rylstone to Singleton trip.” “Doesn't matter.” “Well, who's coming?” “There's Snow Brown's 9 year old kid, Ivan.” Hmm, wasn't too certain how to take that one. Says Wendy, “Just come.”
We all met at Hornsby station on Friday evening. The bikes were loaded onto Leon's ute, then onto Wiseman's Ferry to camp there the night.
Saturday morning was cold and overcast but the day brightened when 13 cyclists clambered aboard the ferry at 8 am. The itinerary was to do around trip through Dharug N.P., starting off by following the convict- built Old Northern Road. This led off the bitumen just up from the other side of the ferry.
It was Clarabel and Ivan Brown's first bike trip. Clarabel looked up the steep washed-out track with some misgivings whilst Ivan was full of eager anticipation. He had been pestering Snow for weeks to go on this trip. Dot Butler came to his rescue to find him a bike. She saw her next-door neighbour about to cart a bike off to the tip. Dot asked if she could have it as she knew a little boy who badly needed a bike (sob). Snow relieved her of it and the Coolana fund became $10 richer. Snow, hid it and then one day told Ivan to go to the garage and there was his bike for his bike trip.
Anyway, up this hill we went, pushing, panting. Down below us the Hawkesbury River wound its way out of view. The track was the usual bumpy up and down but we tackled it at a leisurely pace, Ivan always out of sight up the front. This was definitely his trip.
There was an assortment of bikes, from Ivan's kids-size through to the latest technological gadgetry in gears. In my day a bike with the remotest sight of gears was automatically disqualified. The ideal was for it to be picked up at Tempe Tip, handed down or borrowed from Dot Butler's motley collection, but definitely it must not be new and with no technological assistance. On this trip three-quarters of the bikes had these fool gears plus the endless discussions on sprockets, chains gears, etc.
A short way along the track we came to an overhang with a hole in it, leading up to it were steps cut out of the rock - legend goes that convicts were hung through this hole. Some time further on was a sign - Sanctuary - Meditation Retreat - then round the corner was another sign - Wat Buddha Dhamma - and just beyond the gate was a ramshackle fibre cottage. Was that the wat?
We pedalled along the road for a while, stopping to enjoy the views, the beautiful day and the wild flowers, then the road started going down a steep hill - not too bumpy - the sheer pleasure of free-wheeling was exhilarating. At the bottom, was a creek and a clearing where we elected to have lunch. Here we left our packs which Clarabel kindly offered to guard, to go and look at a convict-built bridge about a mile further on. The bridge, built in 1881, was a wonderful example of masonry,expertise, solidly built of dry-stone construction. The workmanship was a marvel and all done with pick-axes by men under hard labour. Leon gave us a run down on the structural aspects whilst Wendy and Steve told us about the history of the road.
Until 1925 when the bridge over the Hawkesbury River was built this was the main road north to the Hunter Valley. Along this road were some good examples of masonry retaining walls. The section we rode over is the only remaining example of convict road construction in its entirety in Australia except Tasmania. The N.P. & W.S. wanted to acquire the remaining road that is not in the Park, but unfortunately hasn't enough money to buy the necessary property.
One had to admire the pioneers trying to cope with their modes of transport along this road with steep grades and bumpy surfaces. It must have been arduously long and boring and even with the advent of the motor car this road would have been a feat.
After lunch we rode down a track branching off the road along which we had came. This branching track was the old Gosford Road which now passed through a clearing, then down a beautiful bush path into another idyllic clearing through which a stream trickled. The wattle was out, the birds chirped away, the warm scented air brought tranquility to our souls. It was just too much, too close to heaven. Through the creek, along the path again and into pastureland where cows grazed contentedly, chewing the cud. Back onto the road. We followed it for a short time until we came to a burnt out ruin.
Apparently this was a coaching inn during the days of Cobb & Co. and later the Ranger showed us a photo of it in its glory. The rafters etc were of cedar, the furniture and fittings worth a mint. About 1970 all this was deliberately burnt down by vandals.
Across Mangrove Creek from the ruin once went the old Gosford Road. On the other side of the creek is a pumping station. A story goes that Gosford, Shire Council wanted an ancillary water storages The whole project cost something like quarter million dollars. Only after a short time the pumping station had to be abandoned because the creek above the weir had been pumped dry!!
This hidden valley in the late 1800s supported a community of 500 people, but when the road was re-routed it gradually dwindled to almost nothing.
The road through this valley petered out through the blackberry bushes and so we had to push our bikes through the paddocks until we could pick up the road once more. A few miles on the valley opened out as the river became wider. The first signs of habitation appeared in the form of cottages with their small plots strung along the road.
Towards late afternoon we right-wheeled off this road up a steep rocky track. About a mile up this hill was a rock overhang in which were remnants of aboriginal paintings and carvings. A little further on a creek ran across the track. This was to be our last watering hole until the end of the trip, so we bashed our way into the scrub for about 100 yards to camp. It was well sheltered, plenty of firewood-and ants' nests, as Leon found out when a bull-ant gave him a good stinging nip on the backside. The usual activity and chatter ensued around the fire but it was early to bed for most of us.
We were off again by 9 am up, up this hill. The road promised to be far more rocky and washed out than yesterday, even the sand traps were longer and deeper, but all this was compensated for by magnificent views from either side of the ridge. The weather was pleasantly warm with a refreshing breeze. The wildflowers were out, grevilleas, flannel flowers, wattle, even the occasional waratah. Along this road were more aboriginal carvings.
Morning tea was taken on a rocky outcrop that commanded a fine vista overlooking the valleys and again at lunch we had a similar setting with sweeping views across this rugged countryside and down to the Hawkesbury River.
After lunch the road steeply descended over the most atrocious bumps. By now Snow had two bulges and a thumb tack in his front tyre. Discussion - should we remove the tack or let it remain? It remained. My back tyre which had perished badly was starting to split and the tube could be discerned, the tyre somewhat deflated. With a bit of luck it would last the distance. The back pedal brake also was definitely less predictable. I figured the old bike might just see me through another trip, but it was strongly hinted from Steve that repairs would be expected if I was to accompany them on any further trips. Some have no faith.
Near the bottom of this hill Leon had his spectacular fall. He jammed on his brakes before one enormous pothole and he and the bike somersaulted. Leon went over the handle bars, landed nimbly on his feet, tripped and fell onto his hands. However, I don't know which was the funnier - Leon's act, or Ivan's convulsed laughter as he doubled up with mirth.
Back onto the bitumen we pedalled about 7 miles back to Wisemans Ferry. Trailing behind because of an urgent stop due to over indulgence of dried apricots, I had to double pedal to catch up. I felt there was more need for innovation. If gears are now permitted, why not motor assisted pedalling? Yes, a moped, I must look into it. I did notice frowns from the gear freaks when I voiced my opinion.
About 3pm we were on the ferry once again. Not one puncture for anyone the whole weekend; we needed to celebrate. Consequently the refreshment hut did a brisk trade from us. The bikes were once more stacked. onto Leon's ute. Ivan, his freckly face aglow, his hand in a packet of potato crisps, looked up wide-eyed to Steve and enquired: “When's the next one?”
Thanks Wendy and Steve for a well researched, well planned and well executed trip; it was terrific!
A message from the Colong Committee
THE COLONG COMMITTEE'S WITDERNESS CALENDAR.
Featuring 13 N.S.W. wilderness areas in Henry Gold colour reproductions. Also location and phases of the moon and times of sunrise and sunset.
Price $5.50 each, including postage, Please apply to:
The Hon. Secretary,
Colong Committee Ltd.,
18 Argyle Street,
enclosing your cheque/postal note for $5.50, and advising your full name, address and post code.
Safety in the Wondabyne Area
Kariong Rifle Range
Following an enquiry from the Club, the N.P. & W.L. Service's Hawkesbury District office has replied that it has become necessary to close portion of the Girrakool- Myron Brook - Patonga trail where it crosses the “safety zone” of the Kariong Rifle Range. This portion of the track is to be relocated and new signposting erected. However, it is emphasised that, when this is done, it will be vital that walkers stay on the trail where it crosses the Rifle Range Safety Zone. Walkers will NOT be allowed to walk on the service trail from Myron Brook to the Kariong - Woy Woy Road.
A Famous Walker of Yesteryear - Felix Mendelssohn
by Owen Marks
(In 1837 Owen's distant relative, Felix Mendelssohn, went on a summer long walking trip from Rome to Leipzig. Part I described the journey, as far as Cremona.)
After five days in Cremona, Felix set out for Milan and the overnight stop half way was very pleasant. The innkeeper was astounded to receive a present of a gold button in the way of payment. The Po valley was rather hot and he only walked in the mornings, so it took him longer than he thought and arrival there in time for evensong at the Cathedral “where the organist had never learnt anything of Johann Bach”. He was to stay with the Duke of Milan whom he had given hospitality when he was in Scotland many years previously, and here the famous monkey episode occurred that was to make musical history. An organ grinder's monkey had climbed into the summer house and started blowing into a series of pipes that were lined up for repair, and here Uncle Felix heard the first 7 notes that you can hear today in the Wedding March. It's true (read Von Steiner's Biography, Page 243). He wrote home that he had a lunch in the forest where Shakespeare had set the last Act of “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”. “My Lord the Duke insisted that I eat out here, and he told me the story of the play where everyone is saved from the outlaws by his famous ancestor of fiction.”
At Milan he got involved with the musical world; naturally, and that doesn't involve us here. His wife was getting worried and brigands were everywhere, although Uncle Felix not once mentions anything like that occurring or even threatening.
At Coma (via coach 30 miles or so) he met a fellow adventurer he called Willhelm who was an Italian, and they decided to walk together along Lake Como which is incredibly beautiful now, so with absolutely no carriages on the small footway, it must have then been paradise. They took a peasant's boat and had a bludge day, and in a squall Uncle Felix saved the other chap from drowning. (Mendelssohn died without knowing that the chap was Guiseppe Garibaldi. But Garibaldi in his “Essays” mentions this fact.) Twenty miles a day they walked, sleeping in farmhouses, and eating fruit. As for them washing, it never rates a line. Willhelm used to whistle lots of Brazilian tunes because he had spent some time there, and he must have taught some of them to Uncle Felix because his Italian Symphony has more Brazilian melody than Italian. (No one will ever know whether or not).
Saying farewell at the Abbey of Piona, Felix walked along to Chiavenna and was guest of the Countess Julie Guicciardi. She had a dwarf who kept on trying to pull his pants down and the Italians thought it highly amusing. Guests can't complain too much. (After all, she was Beethoven's Dream Creature that he dedicated his “Moonlight Sonata” to.) He refused to stay more than one night, and he left for the Spluga Pas with a guide. At the top he bade farewell to this “admirable companion” and was free in his beloved mountains. All his life he had been a lover of nature, and with money behind you, it is no effort to indulge in your fancies. EVEN NOW.
Down the other side he was in the German speaking world and found. a young boy who could take him to Hinterheim along a road, and thence over tracked alpine passes into Waldhaus. The Rabiusa River he had to cross and the guide remarked that he had never seen a circumcised man before. They slept in mountain huts twice, and the rest were in the valleys, where of course hospitality was always given. Anyone who travelled could always doss in the barn. Uncle Felix found out that “cows wear their bells to bed”, and wrote so to his Aunty Becky.
Early this century, the German Publishing House “Sontag” printed, a leather bound book with beautiful etchings on this part of the trip. A devotee of Mendelssohn walked the entire route and tried to go by Felix's unsatisfactory notes, in much the same way that Paddy PaIlin did in tracing Barralier's early Australian explorations. Some very high passes were attempted, Safienberg (2486m), but there is doubt which of Piz Ault or Piz Terri he really climbed.. Some say it couldn't have been done that summer because of the previous heavy snows in winter. Mendelssohn's diary misses a day and. he mentions only peaks that “look like the scene in my bedroom as a boy”, which conveys nothing. But the Peaks here are incredibly beautiful and this part of Switzerland is to this day very unspoilt. I have all these names on maps and so they must be what he did.
He always loved walking, and in his final illness mentioned this part of his walk in his delirium. If any South Australian person wishes to get a look at a copy, there is one in the University of Adelaide. The title is - “Mendelssohn, my Liaster on Tour”, by Friederich Hoppel.
At Waldhaus he had to have his foot bandaged where he “fell a few days back”, and the sprain took some days to heal. He borrowed some oils and painted a view of the area, which he gave to a local village smith in exchange for a dog whom he called Ricardo. A loveable dog that loved to be loved. This painting can be seen in the Art Gallery of neighbouring Liechtenstein's capital Vaduz. So he and Ricardo set off for the Sepias Pass, 2627m, where bad luck set in because he met another party of Englishmen who drank until the early hours of the morning and wouldn't be quiet. The landlord told Uncle Felix to mind his own business. Nothing annoyed him more than noisy nights (I can sympathise with him), so early in the morning he went out to the stables and set free the horses of the Englishmen, and he raced off down to Elm in the next valley. In the panic, he left most of his food behind in the kitchen. (By the way, he was a fastidious eater whenever he had the chance, otherwise he could exist on nothing much at all. Fear of blood pressure that ran in the family would not be helped by this eating pattern.)
At Elm he decided to head up a foot track and escape the Britishers that would follow, and thus he climbed the Sardona Pass, 3056 m, and it nearly killed him, due to the fact that the ungrateful dog pinched his food and ran back towards the valley they had just come from. He sat all day on top of this pass, and in his “Letters to his Wife”, published by Vogelmensch, said that it was on this hill that he wrote one of his loveliest songs “The Moon”.
He always had to have peace to write and in his writings he said that “I always envied Gottliob's ability to write under enormous difficulty. I could write nothing travelling on a coach.” He was referring to Mozart composing “The Magic Flute” overture non-stop while travelling from Vienna to Prague. How he would have made out of Gustav Mahler composing his 5th Symphony whilst playing polo, would be unthinkable. By the way, Mozart was always “Gottlieb” and only later became known as “Amadeus'. (Gottlieb and Amadeus translate into English as God's Love. Editor.)
Talking down the Pass into the valley he fell into the Seez River and by the time he arrived in Weistannen he was exhausted and stayed that night and the one following in a farmhouse, and here he learnt that in the next town was an ex-pupil of his when he was in Hamburg. At Sargans he met up with her, and her husband was thrilled to meet the famous Mendelssohn, and here he stayed to “fatten up and rest until my strength recuperates. I am finding this tour very tiring and I miss my little Mitzi, and I know that she must be counting the days until my return.”
Three days later with “a new pair of shoes, bright red leather, with close gold buttons” he set out for Buchs which is on the Upper Rhine near the Austrian border, and “that night I was in Appenzell, where a pleasant inn made my stay comfortable as I was the only guest. The innkeeper had not heard of me and to my annoyance kept whistling a popular, song by Verdi and found myself joining in”.
“From Appenzell I left the carriage-way and walked through charming scenery, the mountains completely obscured by the mist, which caused me to think of my walks in the Hebrides, and then made my way downstream to where a lad who I came across singing in an atrocious way, informed me to go no further, but to head over a slight hill and make for the sea; though knowing that the ocean was thousands of miles away, I assumed he was referring to Lake Constance, and indeed it was a thrilling sight to see such an expanse of water which caused me to reflect on my walks on the Yorkshire coast which followed my London opening of my “Elijah”. (Uncle Felix is quite a bore, and that is why he doesn't get quoted in full. Lake Constance is fully 10 miles wide. Incidentally, Mendelssohn rated “Elijah” as his greatest work. Deservedly so. 0.M.)
Felix was an accomplished letter writer and often used to pen thirty a day. Across Lake Constance at a little village called Eriskirch he was the guest of Goethe's son and from there he wrote at least 45 letters in two days. As he was now back on the German Homelands he must have breathed with relief and written to everyone he knew. Before leaving he bought a leather strap and had the silver buttons embedded on it “to make my little Mitzi happy”.
If you have been wondering what he did for money, I'm afraid that I can't help you; it is a mystery. Obviously he couldn't carry much currency on him, and in Von Steiner's Appendix to his life, he states that he visited his father's banks on his travels and so must have had letters of credit everywhere. At all of his acquaintances he must just have barged in and said, “Here I am”.
From here at Lake Constance he had to hurry, because in a letter to his publishers, “I am sorry for the delay but Monsieur Berlioz is very anxious and becoming a nuisance. Poor Berlioz had sent him a Symphony for approval, and in those days before photostats it had to be done by hand and only one copy had been made. Incidentally, Uncle Felix thought highly of Bach and Beethoven. Chopin's Mazurkas immature, Schubert's songs silly, Schumann passable, and Lizst too flamboyant. In fact he thought his works superior to everyone else. All of the latter were contemporaries and what a time it must have been, MUSICWISE.
He decided to change plans. He would head for Ulm and float downstream on the Danube to Regensburg and go due north to Leipzig and home. It was to be a three day walk along the scenic Bavarian valleys to Ulm. The first night he made Waldsee and that night in St. Michaleskirche (one of the Baroquish Gems of Bavaria) he played the organ to “an appreciating silent audience”, and to his amazement, after the performance, Prince Rudolph of Austria made himself known, he being the talented flautist that Beethoven admired (and wrote something for him, but I can't find out what?) Next morning he was given a coach by courtesy of the Hapsburgs and driven the 35 miles to Ulm. Nothing to write about the coach ride except for an interesting tit-bit that is of no importance whatsoever. The Prince's Father Confessor and Uncle Felix had a discussion on David and Goliath. According to the Bible, 11 Kings 21:19, it wasn't David. but an obscure soldier named Elhanan who killed Goliath. Mendelssohn had heard this from his grandfather and the priest didn't believe him until a Bible was produced. (Neither did I. Editor.)
And so he arrived at Ulm on the Danube and here ends part 2.
Entries are invited for Photoflora '80, the biennial photographic competition for colour slides of Australian native flowers, birds and conducted by the Native Plants Preservation Society of Victoria. All entries will be returned by post after the competition. Entries close on 6th February, 1980, and entry forms with full - particulars are now available from Helen Gray (8626263).
Abercrombie and Wingecarribee Rivers 1939
From Dorothy Lawry's Diary (Continued from last month's magazine)
Monday, 20th November, 1939
The sky became hazy and later overcast with thunder brewing. We proceeded up the left bank about 6 miles to the junction with Wiarborough Creek. At first, lovely grassy flats interspersed with nettles and thistles, then no grassy flats and lots of rough stuff. One beastly shale hillside had to be climbed, then almost at once we had to come down again. Ray twisted her foot in a rabbit hole, so I strapped it for her. We decided to camp, as well as have lunch, at the junction. After eating, we crossed back to the left bank (we had had to cross to the right about 100 yards downstream at a rockbar that nearly crossed the river), and pushed our way through rough stuff to the mouth of Wiarborough Creek, crossed it and went up the ridge that divides it from the river. Crossed. back to camp upstream, and, after looking at both creek and river, decided to go up the creek to the track we would have been following from the river if we had continued upstream.
The rain came just at tea-time, a heavy thunderstorm, so we retired to bed at almost 6.30 pm. Heavy showers in early part of the night, then it cleared and a mist came on the river.
Tuesday 21st November, 1939
A westerly wind blowing, and early morning promised lovely day, but before breakfast more thunder clouds came over, so we decided to stay put; just as well, for we had a hailstorm and another heavy shower. Gradually the passing clouds grew lighter, and in the afternoon we went without packs up the ridge behind camp, and on up and up to the top of a grassy (and thistle-y) hill, higher than the surrounding ranges, and had a marvellous view all round from it. Returned to camp and had tea and a campfire. Went to bed at 9.30 pm.
Wednesday, 22nd November, 1939
Passing clouds and a southerly wind. Bath in river much colder than yesterday. River up 7 or 8 inches. Followed tracks up Wiarborough Creek - a lovely valley, grassed in part. We want to buy it. Stream so wide and deep hardly any crossings - we did three in about six miles. At the last we got onto a bit of a nasty hillside and made our way up on to the ridge. Decided by the creeks passed, that we were now on the ridge the track should come up. It had a good grade for a track too, but the surface such as not to show much of a track. Went up it and veered to our right, as the track was shown crossing the heads of three creeks and coming to the junction of Honeysuckle Creek and western branch of Wiarborough Creek. Got right to top of another grassy, basalt-capped hill, but country below us all wrong with map, and we had swung west on track instead of keeping south.
We found a little creek - and millions of tiny black ants - and had lunch in the sunshine. Still passing clouds in afternoon. Headed west to get on to Main Divide and road, and find where we were, Crossed three low saddles and were swinging north-west, and almost north for next, so left ridge and struck down into grassy swales running south and south-east, evidently head of some creek. As soon as we came to a clean pool (first dozen or so not clear), we camped at 3.30 pm.
Ray washed some clothes and cooked dinner; I did some camp jobs, then wrote up this diary. After dinner we had a campfire, went to bed at about 9.20 pm.
Thursday, 23rd November, 1939
A lovely morning and day, with passing clouds and as strong wind. After breakfast I did quite a lot of washing, so it was 9 am when we left camp.
We followed down our little creek to find out if it were a tributary of Old Station Creek - flowing westward - or of Wiarborough Creek flowing north-east, It turned out to be a tributary of a tributary of Wiarborough, so we made up the ridge and followed its rather snake-like course in a general southerly direction so as to pick up the Wiarborough Road near its junction with Richlands/Wombeyan Caves Road. After about 3 miles we saw the paddocks of Wiarborough Station down on our left; on the head of the creek and Honeysuckle Creek, but kept on along the ridge for another mile or so, and then dropped over to the west and lunched on one of the heads of Currweela Creek.
Moving on again at 1.10 pm, we headed south-east across the paddock back up onto the ridge, and in about ¾ mile came to the Wiarborough Road, about ½ mile from its junction with the Wombeyan Road. We crossed this latter road and kept south along the Main Divide, with the road to Richlands just on the west of the fence. Seeing a house ahead of us, we turned east over cleared hillsides, down to the head of Guineacor Creek, which is all cleared and settled.
From the Wiarborough Road junction, we had seen a cottage about half a mile to the east on the head of Guineacor Creek, and when we got into that valley we found a good gravel road running down the creek. It was not marked on our Blue Mountains/Burragorang Map, but we followed it down the creek for two or three miles, then camped at 3 pm. on the far side of the creek.
Friday 24th November, 1939
About breakfast time, a lorry-load of wool went past up the road, which looked suspicious, and doubled my determination to ask directions at the first house, about 200 yards down the road.
Left camp just before nine and on inquiring where the road went, we got a shock - the reply was “The Abercrombie River”. Apparently the two cleared creeks and homestead we had seen midday yesterday are not marked on the Blue Mountains Burragorang Map, and the Wiarborough Road is not a private one to a homestead, with only a track beyond, but a public metalled road, serving a closer settled area right across to the upper Abercrombie River. It was this road we had walked down yesterday afternoon. We checked up the information at the first house back up the road, and then trudged back to Wiarborough Creek to the crest of the ridge, and on along the road about 150 yards to its junction with the Wombeyan Caves Road all signposted.
Not having time to get lost again, we took the main road to Richlands and Taralga. The walking was not so bad, a solid gravel road under foot and a strong cool westerly wind and passing clouds tempering a hot sun. The country in this district is wonderful - but no good for walking.
About three miles from Taralga we stopped to rest in the shelter of a hawthorn hedge near a cottage, and the old man there gave us water so we had lunch. He confirmed our idea that the horrible stink we had smelt from time to time on the trip came, not from the water, and not from the ti-trees, but from some small herb we had not been able to locate. He said it was a very bad weed and its name was not fit for publication.
There was not a bush along the road behind which we could change, so we had to go right into Taralga in our shorts and get the hotel to let us change in their bathroom. Also there was nothing even faintly resembling a place to camp anywhere within miles, and miles of private property to be crossed if one wanted to get to the bush down the creek; so Ray decided to go home tonight, and I decided to go with her, and to change next week's trip to start from Mittagong.
I phoned Mother from Taralga, and she said Christine boiled all the way home on Sunday, and they did not arrive till nearly midnight. They sent her to Freeland's Garage on Monday, and he said the water pump glands were stuffed with mud.
Ray and I caught the 5 pm car from Taralga to Goulbourn and the 6.59 pm train, which landed us at Sydney at 10.32 pm. I caught the 11 pm ferry home, had a talk to the family, two cups of milk, and two little cakes, and a hot bath after I had cleaned my shoes.
Saturday, 25th November, 1939
I rose about 7 o'clock, had another hot bath and washed my hair, had breakfast, and then the washing began. I phoned Jessie before 8 o'clock and changed the trip from the train at 11.25 am to Goulburn, to 1.25 pm to Mittagong. Had dinner early and off to the train. Saw a number of bushwalkers on the station and met Jessie O.K.
Fellow passengers were very friendly and chatty, and most interested in our re-packing. Jessie had brought my share of the food as well as hers.
(Dorothy's Diary, telling of the Wingecarribee trip, will be continued in next month's magazine.)
The October General Meeting
by Barry Wallace
The meeting began at around 20.21 with about 26 members present.
New members, Toni Mizzi, Leon Vella and Ken Gould were welcomed with the usual badge, constitution and applause. The minutes were read and received without comment, and there was no business arising.
Correspondence included a letter from the P.M. regarding proposed changes to the Heritage Acts, from the N.S.W. Government regarding mining lease applications in the Ettrema, a newsletter from the Annapurna No.3 Expedition, a letter to the Director, N.P.W.S. about closure of the Girrakool Patonga walking track, letters to our three new members, letter to F.B.W. regarding a Code of Ethics, and a notice regarding a forthcoming photo flora competition.
Then it was the Treasurer's turn to tell us that we started the month with $2114.80 spent $169.11, earned or otherwise acquired $114.75 and ended up with $2160.44.
Federation Report indicated that there had been no S&R. alerts, that F.B.W. will write to Blue Mountains City Council asking that the Narrow Neck road be closed to all public vehicular traffic because of present deterioration and littering. There was news that the N.S.W. Forestry Commission is constructing a logging road (Lionsville road) into the Heiman Wilderness area. F.B.W. will telex in protest and request that an E.I.S. be required. A motion that F.B.W. not oppose underground mining in the Wollemi National Park provided that there are no surface works or road access within the park was passed. The Army's lease on Tianjara firing range will expire soon. F.B.W. is to write to the N.S.W. Ministry for Planning and the Environment, Mr. Paul Landa, urging that the range area be included in the Morton National Park.
The Walks Report came and went but as we are printing early this month you will have to live without them, alternatively try coming to a general meeting and get them in stereo.
The Coolana Committee report indicates that we are still chasing the E.C. of N.S.W. for the balance of compensation payments for the erection of a pylon on our land. Negotiations are proceeding with a view to exchanging a small, isolated parcel of land for a portion of leasehold land adjoining our property.
Then it was just a matter of General Business (no takers) and the announcements, and it was all over for another month at 21.19.
Club Photographic Competition
Last year's slide competition was such a success that it seems like tempting fate to run another. However tempt fate we will. Henry Gold, well known as a wilderness photographer (particularly for his Colo pictures) has kindly agreed to judge the slides again this year. Thank you, Henry.
This time there will be three sections:
1. Australian landscape
2. Overseas landscape and/or people
3. “That Bushwalking Feeling” - (includes candid shots of your fellow walkers)
Please give me your slides (15 per person maximum) at the Annual General Meeting - i e. March 12th 1980. Slides that came in the top three in last year's competition aren't eligible. This gives our judge two weeks to sort through, rearrange, and judge them. The slides will be shown on Wednesday, March 26th. Henry will be there to comment on the slides and announce the winners.
Social Notes for December
by Ailsa Hocking
CHRISTMAS PARTY The Club Christmas Party will be on Wednesday, December 19th. The club will provide the drinks, but remember to bring a glass (unless you prefer to drink wine out of a coffee mug), and a plate of food. To brighten up the evening, the scrub-bashers will be there to provide some music. You can even sing along if you feel like it. This is also your last chance to get together and plan those Christmas trips - only 6 days to Christmas. So came along and enjoy food, drink, good music and good company.
Wednesday December 26th: Boxing Day - club closed.
Wednesday, January 2nd: Club closed.