Six Foot Track - Black Range to Coxs River - Multi Day walk - Day 2

The second day my walk would be one of ice, 24k's of walking, a 4WD track, great views, creek crossings, wild animals and not so wild animals. The second day certainly would be an interesting one.

I woke alone at the Black Range campsite. It was just above 0 degrees Celsius in the tent and -2.2 outside with a layer of ice on the tent. So I got quickly dressed and made myself a warm breakfast. With lots of layers on I was nice and warm outside the tent. Not wanting to get my gloves wet I decided to pack up without them. This was a big mistake. When folding up the icy tent, it was like a thousand pieces of broken glass cutting in to my fingers.

It was half past eight and I was on the track. I came to intersection with tracks heading in all directions, I took the track east. This area is full of pine trees ready to be cut down and other areas full of cleared trees. The park ranger passed me in his 4wd doing his morning inspection of the park.

Not long after this I was back in the natural forest. The walking here is very easy, with a slight downhill decline. There a few side tracks so the map is very easy to follow. Here I notice the puddles on the track no longer frozen and no frost remaining on the ground. I soon had to take off layers of clothing. Here there are only glimpses of the steep valleys below on either side of the fire trail. The Kanangra-Boyd National Park is on the left of the track and state forest on the right. After about 6 K's of walking the park ranger stopped and made sure I was OK.

After 10.5 K's of walking I came to an intersection. There is a rain gauge not far from here, though I didn't see it. I stopped here for a few moments and had some morning tea. The track now becomes steeper. The start of the day I was at the attitude of around 1200 metres, now around 900 metres and by the end of the day it would be a bit over 300 metres, so lots of downhill walking ahead. Here I was thankful for having my new walking poles, with parts of the track feeling like I was walking on ball bearings, they saved me from falling many times.

There were good views of the Megalong Valley in the distance. I would be walking through the valley the next day. I could hear a waterfall off in the distance. Soon I came to a sign mentioning the waterfall and river. A quick look at the map and I decided to go down this track as it didn't look too far on the map. It turned out to be much longer! This track is badly eroded by 4wd's. Thankfully it is kept to this track from what I saw. The track goes down into a steep valley. I arrived at a campsite and river crossing. 

I was now regretting going down this track. As it was very hard work going back up to the Six Foot Track. This added an extra 40 minutes to my walk. It was then more downhill walking. I then had to cross two small rivers. Somewhere here I passed the remains of the historic Dwyers Hut. With the recent rain there was no way to across the rivers without walking through the water. My supposedly waterproof shoes were not waterproof and my socks were a little wet for the rest of the day. I passed one campsite and then had a late lunch near the Alum Creek camping ground.

The track then goes up hill, up the Mini Mini Saddle. There again is track erosion, but not from 4wd's but from Trial Bikes. My legs were starting to get the better of me, payback for the walking the 4wd track earlier. 

Soon the track goes downhill again, on its way to the Cox's River. There are great views of the Megalong Valley and the escarpment of the Blue Mountains.

With the last of the breathtaking views gone for the rest of the day I passed the historic fenced yards of the Kyangatha homestead. Without any signage they are hard to make out. The only way to know is that the trees are different to others in the area. There was now only 4.5 K's until the campsite from here. This part of the track is used frequently by the local cattle.

As I walking I heard a noise just off the track. I looked up and my eyes focused on a wild pig. It grunted. I just kept walking, knowing the damage one of these animals could cause. Walking quickly I covered the last kilometre in record time. 

Arriving the Coxs River camping group I had a quick look around. Here is the traditional crossing of the river for the Six Foot Track. There is also the historic O'Reillys and Dysons Hut's.

While setting up my tent, which had ice still on it from the morning, I could hear what I thought to be a group of loud teenagers. It turned out to be a young calf trying cross the river and catch up to its group. I also had a cow watching me the whole time I was putting the tent up. It looked like it would charge me at any moment. I then had a nice warm dinner while listening to a wild dog howling off in the distance.

With the temperature fast approaching zero, I got into my tent and stayed there until morning. Not long after I closed my eyes I heard a car. It may have been the park ranger, as it circled the tent and left. I again was going to need the sleep. Tomorrow was going to be a shorter walk, but was going to have as much climbing as the first day of the walk.

Walk date 22/7/10


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