I’m walking to raise funds for OneSight! 65/100km done!
I’d been looking for some little opportunistic hikes to take me closer to my 100km OneSight goal and found an excellent walk that I could do starting not far from where I work! I estimated that it would take an hour to an hour and a half which would mean I would run out of daylight before the end as I would start straight after finishing work for the day. Fortunately the last part was a wide firetrail and I felt confident I would make it to that point before it was too dark.
The entrance to the trail was concealed by construction fences as the council were working on the local sport field. I saw a small trail that lead off to the right and figured that would go to a waterfall that was meant to be nearby. I didn’t bother with it as there had been no rain for months and any water that would be flowing was essentially urban runoff. So I carried on down the main track which had extremely dry vegetation – this years bushfire season was not going to be pretty, I thought. Most of the creeks were very low if running at all. It the main creeks still had water in them and I crossed over via the well placed stepping stones. I joined the Great North Walk for a stretch and noticed that the wildflowers were still out even though it was so dry. They were gorgeous. This years hikes have really given me a new appreciation for wildflowers. I wonder why all gardens don’t carry Australian natives – they are amazing and apparently don’t require much water!
I was walking through Lane Cove National Park, high up on a ridge, but there were no real views. The trail itself was nice with boulders, grass trees and old gum trees lining the way. I startled a brush turkey and it ran along the trail in front of me. I carried on and was soon rewarded with a lovely vantage point where I could see down to the river below. I wanted to linger but that sun was falling quickly. I passed under a bridge with graffiti laden pylons and noted someone was sleeping rough back there.
I almost missed the turn off for the Blackbutt Creek track as it just looked like a pipe leading away into the bush. A quick check of my map app showed that the track followed the pipeline. I grinned as I headed in, I love new trails!
The sun had technically set but there was still a lot of light to see where I was going. Then suddenly, the trail ran out! Or rather it went over a cliff! There was a rope tied to a tree that was intended to help people up so I used it to help me work my way over to a big boulder and then lowered myself down. No broken ankles! The creek was near and as the pipeline descended further there was a slight sewer or ratty smell. I didn’t linger. The light was fading fast. There was a strange rustling in the bush and I guessed it was a rat. The last part of the pipeline trail was covered in fallen trees that I had to scramble over. The trail then became impassable. Then a car drove by an I realised I just had to cross the creek to the left and climb up two meters and I was out!
I joined the firetrail up the road a bit but the sun was gone and I thought about finishing with a road walk. Nah! As I walked the firetrail, I could hear the creek trickling next to me but I really couldn’t see much. I was walking by torchlight, looking into the bushes for eyes and listening for critters. All was well. I could make out some large rock faces and saw many side trails heading in to the creek. It would be a lovely walk in the daylight I think. I heard many frogs which I thought was awesome given the trail was so close to town.
Soon the firetrail ended and I had a short road walk to Gordon station where I caught the train home. I’d like to come back and try to do the Blackbutt Creek firetrail in daylight and link it up with a walk to Chatswood or maybe Epping? I’ll figure something out!
I’m walking to raise funds for OneSight to provide eye care for kids and others in disadvantaged areas. Please donate, every little bit counts and it is headed somewhere worthwhile. Click here. Thank you in advance!