[SUBW-A] Trip Report, Colo River via Mountain Lagoon, 10/3/02

Joe Li solestar at bigfoot.com
Wed Mar 13 13:09:05 AEDT 2002

Trip Report
Colo Gorge via T3 (Mountain Lagoon) Track
Sunday 10th March 2002

Party: Albert Chetcuti, Ben, Brandon, Meg, Oscar, Sara, Steve, Takashi,
Homo hooligans fjordlandis.

sunday morning, 9 am.  a sheet of low cloud hovered over the sky,
casting a greyness inconsistent with the red and gold that characterise
an australian summer day.  however the rain held at bay, saving us the
drenching sweat and making it a rather pleasant day for tramping.

albert, meg and steve were at westmead station by 9 am, but i was
expecting three others who called me the previous day.  brandon and sara
called on the mobile phone - apparently they have overshot the station
and were now in wop wop.  unable to ascertain where they actually were,
they decided to catch a train back to westmead.  therefore the four of
us waited and waited for one hour until we decided to take the cars and
look for them.  just as we were about to give up and move on, five
trampers showed up, with a gruelling tale of how our venerable
shittyrail tried to mutilate unsuspecting american exchange students by
shutting the door on them while they were trying to exit, and how sara
displayed extraordinary valour to save her daypack from the evil wheels
of the menacing train.  material worth a chinese kung-fu movie, i am

after much ado and with a larger group than i expected (luckily we had
just enough car spaces and didn't have to do it the "hard way"), we set
off for mountain lagoon.  it was one of the most interesting rides i've
ever had in steve's unregistrable $20 car - the petrol in the tank was
worth more than the car itself.  we had to put the backseat onto a
spring and strap it down.  but it does have four seatbelts, which
provided us with at least a touch of sense of security.  it must have
been our lucky day, as there were no cops doing their usual
breath-testing thing on windsor road.  so we arrived at mountain lagoon
without a hitch, much to the surprise of the mob in albert's car.  on
the bell's line of road, the backburnt patches of trees were shooting
regrowth already two months after the fire.  it was a really beautiful
sight to see profuse young light-green leaves crowding on the black
scorched tree stands - what a beautiful contrast full of vitality!

the gate to the track end was locked due to the recent fires, so we
walked the 4km to the start of the tootie creek track.  the firetrail
initially sidled the tranquil rain forest under conder hill where
bellbird calls reverberated in the air, before emerging onto open
gum-tree tops.  it was an uneventful walk until sara decided her
coporeal temperature was excessive due to exercise-induced thermogenesis
and flicked her jumper off.  this action ripped one of her 4 mm-long ear
rings out of her ear into a heap of gum leaves on the road.  the party
came to a screeching halt to look for this ear ring, but it was a needle
in in a haystack.  sara was despondent to the point of tears, but steve
the hero saved the day.  through sheer perseverance, he did not press on
regardless but persisted in a carpet search in the immediate vincinity
leaving no stone unturned and no leaf undisturbed.  eventually the ear
ring gave up the hide-and-seek game and sara lept for joy.  you are a
legend, steve!

so having saved sara's daypack, digital camera, wallet, lunch and
favourite ear ring from certain ruin, the party continued down the ridge
towards the colo.  i was curious to see how the fire affected the colo
area, but it did not touch mountain lagoon at all.  on the northern side
of the river some brownish patches could be seen, but the southern side
was completely untouched where we were, so there was no justification
whatsoever for locking the gates except for some extremists in npws
leaping at the chance to close everything and ban human existence in all
national parks, i suspect.

we stopped at the customary stops at the edge of the gorge to admire the
magnificent view before dropping down to the river, where we promptly
jumped in for a swim.  there is a considerable amount of soot in the
river, and due to recent rain the water level was a lot higher than when
we went through in december.  but the water was still pleasant and we
had a good time splashing around amid the towering cliffs, gum trees and
sandy beaches that is colo gorge.  the sun occassionally beamed its
welcome rays upon us, but the clouds had the say on the day.
nevertheless it was still magical to be amongst this beautiful scenery
and isolation.

the return trip was uneventful, permitting more philosophical
conversations that people tend to get into in the bush.  we arrived at
the cars at 6:30 pm, and bolted straight for kurrajong hotel.  the meals
at the hotel have really deteriorated and skyrocketted in price, the
waitress arrogant and cold, and they were too stingy to put on the
fires.  i think we'll have to shun the pub and look for a suitable
substitute soon...  but a few cold beers were welcome nevertheless.

so ended a good little day trip.  i am pleased to report that the
mountain lagoon area was not affected by the fires, and the rest of park
wasn't the total devastation i imagined in my mind.  so all is well.


joe -------> fjordlandis + hooligan

the "blasnivy" reaction

Joe Fjordlandis be my name
Mountains on my mind
Rivers through my veins
Birdcalls in my ears
And love in my heart

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