Friday 29th July – The Haircut
Lazy morning doing things around the house.
Drove to Garden City. Had my first haircut in 45 years. Bought some walking shoes and walking food.
Drove to Natalie’s. Showed her travel photos.
Saturday 30th July – Not The Steamers
To test out my new haircut—and so Maz could take some photos while the moon wasn’t full—we decided to try to drive a few hours west and walk up a mountain, and stay there the night to take some photos from the top…
I drove Bronwen, Chris, Maz and myself to—or as near as it’s possible to drive to—The Steamers. Crossing the rocky, bumpy, creek crossings in my Falcon wasn’t ideal—they weren’t that deep, but they certainly weren’t that flat either, and I’m not sure the bottom of my car is designed to hit rocks—but we made it most of the way to where we needed to start walking. We—somewhat stupidly in retrospect—left Brisbane around midday, planning to pop up the mountain onto The Steamers and camp there the night, taking advantage of the lack of moon for some photographs. This meant it was close to three o’clock by the time we started walking, and close to dark by the time we realised we were lost.
We hadn’t exactly prepared well for the adventure. Sure, we had between us about twelve litres of various sorts of drinks, and enough chips and snacks to survive for a week—and even five GPS-enabled phones—but a total of no maps, and only a very small clue as to where we were supposed to be going. Both Maz and I had done the walk before, but both in slightly different ways, and not for several years… and we both remembered that it wasn’t difficult, you just walked towards the saddle between the two huge fifty metre high cliffs… which is roughly right, except that, while you can probably see them from space, when walking you can’t see the huge, fifty metre high cliffs through the trees until you’re bumping distance from them. So we spent the evening walking up a ridge towards what we assumed was the right saddle between what was hopefully the right cliffs, and as we got closer to it, we found that it was indeed a cliff… there was indeed a saddle… and it did indeed look… nothing like either of us remembered. We did, however, manage to quite easily climb up onto the top of the mountain above the cliffs, just as it began to get dark.
Our realisation that we were definitely not in the right area had been growing for some time, at about the same speed as the day grew darker, and as it got darker, and we became surer, we decided we should turn around and attempt to escape while we could still see. At about the same time as the dusk turned to dark, and we found that where we’d come up was now a fifty metre drop off a cliff, it dawned on us that we should have brought a map, and perhaps pre-planned our route just slightly. While an adventure not out of the ordinary to Maz and myself after having done similar things with Clint back in the olden days, and Bronwen of course trusts me implicitly, I don’t think Chris was overly impressed with our level of planning or the possibility we’d fall to our deaths in the dark or be lost forever—or at least until morning. Nevertheless through the time-honoured adventurer’s tradition of backtracking, we eventually found our way—or at least, a way—down off the mountain, and towards somewhere or other. Eventually, by the ironic use of TomTom on my phone and an actual, old-school handheld compass, we managed to find the road. TomTom is especially poorly suited to navigating lost adventurers through road-less terrain in the dark… being designed to navigate cars along roads and all… but combined with a compass it was able to point us in the right direction, which was all we needed.
On the way home, we called ahead and booked a table at Halim’s, for the celebratory after-adventure curry. While there, someone ran into the front of my car; I didn’t see it happen, but when we went to drive off, someone else who had seen it ran up and gave us a piece of paper they’d written the number plate of the offending vehicle on. From what I can tell only some superficial scratching occurred, so hopefully it’s ok.
Sunday 31st July – Cameras
Bronwen’s Dad dropped over to chat about cameras.