28.12.10

Six Foot Track - Coxs River to Katoomba - Multi Day walk - Day 3

I woke to a very cold morning, with my muscles rather stiff and sore from the last few days of walking. I had full day of walking ahead of me before I would reach civilisation and have the good and bad things that come with it. I hope you read on, to find out about the conclusion of my first multi day walk on this historic and scenic track.


There was a nice layer of ice on my tent as it was -3.3 degrees outside at sunrise. So I dressed quickly and ate a warm breakfast. I was starting to get myself into a good routine each morning. So I soon had everything packed. Then with a great big heave I had my pack on my back.


The Coxs river runs to the right of the track for the next kilometre. I passed the Six Foot Track Eco Lodge. It looked deserted.  It is the only accommodation on the track. And if you ask me, it is the easy way out if you don't sleep in a tent. 


The track then goes a little higher crossing a small creek. Then you arrive a the Bowtell's Swing Bridge. The bridge was built by the Royal Australian Engineers in 1992. Before that the only way to cross the river was back at camp where I started the day. Here I took my pack off and put my trekking poles on the side of the pack to help make a safer crossing of the bridge. Back on with the pack, hands about to take hold of the railings, then Beep Beep, Beep Beep. The peacefulness of the birds and the water flowing over the rocks below was replaced by my mother wondering where I was!

At both ends of the bridge there are signs warning about only one person on the bridge at one time. Walking slowly across the bridge you can see why. With the extra weight of my pack, the slightest movement either left or right made you feel like you were going to go over the side. 




The river flows to the left of the track. The track for next 7 kilometres travels along undulating country. Here you can see parts of the original six foot wide tracks. Occasionally there are markers that are used for a historic study of the track. I liked this part of the track as it would have been more like the track in the 1880's and not like the wide fire trail that I walked on the days before.





The warm July sun was starting to get to me in the open privately owned farmland that that track goes through. The hill started to feel like it was the steepest of the day. Maybe it was, then maybe just three days of walking was just getting to me. I then came to the 10k marker. This put a huge smile on my face.

 

Then a fine view of the sandstone escarpment of Katoomba appeared.  A group of walkers who nicely offered to take a photo of me. It felt a bit strange talking to people after not doing so for so long.



For the next little while the track goes through fertile farmland with more great views of the cliffs of the Blue Mountains. Here the people that had just taken my photo took off at a cracking pace, while me being a lot younger walker, walked at a much gentler pace. After crossing one unbridged creek and another bridged creek I was on a dirt road, which is used to access a number of property's.



After walking along the dirt road with a creek off to the side I came to the Megalong cemetery. The old bush cemetery is the final resting place for earlier generations of European settlers. I had a quick look and then stopped for a late lunch. 

 
While having lunch a bee decided have a rest my shoulder. Being allergic to their bite I quickly brushed it off. Well I presumed so. On the way back after walk in the car I discovered a sleepy bee on me again!! 
I then crossed a sealed road and a fence. Walking through bush then farmland again, then crossing Mitchell Creek I passed two other walkers doing the track in the opposite direction.


Soon a taxi passed me. It was hard but I manage to control myself and not call for a lift! A bit up the road I had friendly wave from the passenger that was just in the taxi. Further up the road the friendly gentleman caught up with me. It turned out that he was the owner of historic Megalong Village that I was about to pass. Today it is just used for his horses, but from about 1885 to 1905 used as a overnight stopover for those on their journey on the Six Foot Track. Here I was lucky enough to see a wombat. 

The road/fire trail then ends. Here the track starts to climb. It goes through Nellie's Glen which is an area of rainforest. Looking up I could just see the cliffs above. Reading the map the track look like it was going to get very steep, but I kept walking and it did not get steep. Then I crossed a creek with a waterfall to the side. I was wrong, I came to a staircase. It seemed like an endless staircase. The humidity felt like 100%. My legs were getting tired. I was low on water. But I had to keep on going.  Then appeared a man, a great man, it was my father! 
Not long after this the stairs ended, and we came to Norths lookout.



The track then goes a few hundred metres up a hill and comes to a gate with a Six Foot Track sign. Here I met my mother. There is a little shelter here with information about the track.



The track officially ends a few hundred metres up the road at the explorers tree. The tree was marked by the three explorers, Wentworth, Blaxland and Lawson when they were the first white men to cross the mountains in 1813. 
My parents wanted to drive me to end. But no way was I going to do that. I was going to walk the very last steps of the 45 kilometre track. And I did! I completed the track I had wanted to walk since I was 12 years old. 



This walk is dedicated to memory of Richard Laws
A great bloke. Who if he had a half a chance would had done this walk and spread the news of this adventure. 

Walk date 23/7/10

5 comments:

  1. Hi Peter, this is Julie Laws (Richard's wife). I was really touched by your dedication. You are right, Richard would have really enjoyed the walk. He loved being in the bush more than any other place.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Peter,
    Love the Aldi tent. I got myself one of those and set up with just the fly (the inner is just to heavy) - been quiet happy with it. I have now got a hammock tent that is even lighter, will see which I use more. Nice to see the wildwalks notes in the map case :) I have a plan to re-walk the 6ft and update the wildwalks notes in Feburary (so much room for improvement I think).
    Great to read your adventure.
    Matt :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Julie,
    It's an honor to dedicate to him. My thoughts are with you and your family.

    Regards
    Peter

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Matt,
    I like the idea of just using the fly. I have since purchased a Exped Vela 1, but as yet haven't used it. Your notes can't have been to bad. As I didn't get lost!
    Have fun the on the 6ft track.

    Greenie

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wonderful post! We will be linking to this particularly great article on our website.Keep up the great writing.
    leura accommodation

    ReplyDelete

Leave a comment for Greenie: