NavShield Flag pick up
14/15 August 2004.
Mark, Kylie, Nerilee, Robyn, Shep, Dug.
The bushwalk and NavShield flag pickup, went very well at the new section of Goulburn River National Park near Mt Kerrabee. A pleasant, rewarding time was had by all. Friday night was blowy on the way up through the Hunter Valley but not too bad at Wombat Station, where I had a welcome cup of tea, before driving back to the gate to await the others.
Mark, Kylie, Nerilee arrived about midnight, we decided Shep and Robyn must have stopped off on the way up, so we drove to checkpoint Alpha to camp. Overcast night, so not all that cold, only a light breeze to start with. The gale arrived later in the wee hours, the cars rocked the tents flapped and flattened a bit but not to worry we spent a comfortable enough night.
Still overcast and a wind with dawn, a relatively slow start as we waited for the others. Mark and Kylie picked up the control points along the Goulburn River back towards Bravo and a circuit up Scrubby creek over into the Merriwa River. Nerilee and I drove over to the gate to base. Shep and Robyn drove along just after we arrived, they then drove on to collect flags on the east side of the course south of the Goulburn river, while Nerilee and I picked up flags on the ridge system near the road. It is interesting to walk a ridge system after 300 – 400 competitors have passed it is easy to see the tracks if you’re a tracker but really not all that obvious. On the way back we were to pick up the flags on Mt Kerrabee but we decided it was a bit late. Just as well because I got a flat tyre driving on and it’s much easier changing wheels in the light, when on a rough track. Because it was still blowing a gale we decided to camp at the hut a couple of km south along the river, which Giulio and Lorene had offered us.
A good place to shelter in a gale plenty of beds, a good fireplace, a pit toilet, even a shower with chip heater for anyone so inclined. Corn chips and French brie with crackers as an aperitif an excellent prelude to dinner. In the morning we split up the remaining checkpoints on the south and east of the course between us, so we all visited areas we had not been and then would get away not to late in the evening. A delightful day bright sunny skies and calm. Lots of wild flowers, golden wattle, purple Goulburn River Pea and many more just out for our benefit. We found lots of lyrebird mounds and a couple of feathers but I didn’t see or hear the birds themself. Lots of cockatoos and galahs, many wallabies and roos, wombats everywhere. At checkpoint 68, location high above the Goulburn River it was amazing to see how many black wombat holes peppered the green river banks. A strange moonscape! Some members found checkpoint 69 position more interesting!
Robyn and Nerilee enjoyed the opportunity for further training where they felt the need and we could “tick off” a number of VRA, Nav, Tracking and Observation skills, well done and thank you for your interest. These have been updated on the web site. Over all a great weekend, with great company, in a wonderful location doing what we like best, bushwalking. Thank you Mark, Kylie, Nerilee, Robyn and Shep for your camaraderie and help.
There are still 7 flags down the Goulburn River, best accessed from Check Point Charlie. Do we have any volunteer, who would like a great bushwalk in this area? I can send the details; it would probably take 2 moderate days (or one longish day for a fit party). If no one is available before hand I will go on 4/5 Sept. If that has to happen, I would like others to join me then.