I need a miracle, that’s what I need

Do you believe in miracles? I do, but I cannot explain them, something that as a science graduate many years ago, frustrates me in my curious pursuit of how things work.

I guess I should start by explaining what I mean by miracles, I’m talking irrefutable, creative miracles, ones that science can substantiate, cancer disappearing, blind seeing or in my case, bone that had disintegrated growing.

Why am I writing about this in a hiking blog? Well because inevitably on a long walk the subject of injuries comes up and someone always asks have you broken any bones, one such occasion happened this past week.

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Mt Imlay, slippery when wet

The whales had been breaching all morning and it was one of the most spectacular sites I have ever witnessed. Right in front of our boat a humpback broke the surface with all but the tail out, an incredible site watching this behemoth of the ocean powerfully but gracefully at ease it in its playground. As the boat manoeuvred off the coast of Eden in the Two Fold Bay area there was another behemoth on the horizon that kept catching my eye, Mt Imlay.

Mt Imlay at 900m cuts an imposing figure on the southern New South Wales coast as it sits proudly within the Mt Imlay National Park. 387km from Sydney and 30 minutes from Eden, it is also accessible from Melbourne (7hrs) on the Princes Highway.

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Cathedral Range, Breaking the Fear Barrier

With confidence built after climbing the exposed rock face on the canyon track of Sugar loaf a week prior, we decided it was time to strap on the boots and break the hiking drought that hit in 2015 with my daughter completing year 12.

It was the first week back at work. The weather had been very hot over the Christmas holiday and we had not had the chance to hike over that period. Now the weather was favourable and work was slow so I decided to take the end of the week off and go hiking.

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Day 3 – Mt Feathertop, it’s all just a dream

Day 1 I wrote about our journey to the Bon Accord Spur and overnight camp at the ruins of the Bon Accord Spur Hut, you can read about it here Day 1 Mt Feathertop On the up and up

Day 2 I covered walking across the razor back and climb to the summit of Mt Feathertop, you can read about it here Day 2 we’re on top of the world

The wind dies down overnight and fully hydrated I have a great sleep waking well ahead of the sunrise.

The stars are still bright but soon they will surrender to the first rays of the sun as it bathes the land once again in its warmth. I’m in the place of the choosing to stay cosy in the sleeping bag letting the sun warm me as it peaks over the horizon and into our little site or making the trek back to the summit for one of those rare moments of sitting on the ceiling of Australia.

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Day 2 Mt Feathertop, we’re on top of the world

Day I wrote about our journey to the Bon Accord Spur and overnight camp at the ruins of the Bon Accord Spur Hut, you can read about it here Day 1 Mt Feathertop On the up and up

The morning could not arrive soon enough, there had been a reasonable dew overnight and I had tossed and turned thinking about water. I was excited to drain the tents fly into a cup and use some bush skills to hydrate without touching our reserves.

The water tasted terrible and I though better of it, probably full of chemicals impregnated into the fly to make it hydrophobic. That was a bust leaving an unpleasant taste in my mouth.

With camp packed up we set about the final ridge that would deliver us to the razor back. With no surprise it was another unforgiving incline the vegetation changing from the lowland bush, to alpine snow gums and low brush that had escaped the fires.

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Day 1 Mt Feathertop, Bon Accord Spur on the up and up

We’re stepping up our hiking experience, something bigger taller and longer than we’ve done before is in our future. Mt Feathertop has been in the news thanks to a politician who got lost up there, it got me interested in this place. I knew it was our second highest mountain in Victoria but that was about it.

Deciding it was the place for us, I read a number of blogs and planned out a 33km route over three days that would take us up the Bon Accord Spur, along the Razor Back and down Bungalow Spur with two nights on the mountain.

map

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Sugarloaf Peak, into the Fear

Walked May 19, 2012

In my mid teens I had a series of accidents on pushbikes that resulted in broken legs and an arduous recovery of which I would not want to repeat. It built a fear of falling striking back to the pain suffered in the accidents and associated recovery. As a result exposed heights and even the thought of them bring on sweaty palms and the chills.

It hasn’t stopped me doing many of the walks I love, but it has started to constrain me from adventuring into some of the more stunning (read mountainous) areas waiting to be explored, one of them being Sugarloaf in the Cathedral Ranges

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Baw Baw, Too Cold for Comfort

Hiked April 7-8, 2012

During the summer of 2011/12 I was scoping out other potential short overnight hikes to keep building our confidence towards something more substantial in time to come. I came across the Baw Baw plateau which offers a range of routes from reasonably flat to fairly steep elevation, at least for Victoria.

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Walk into History, Dad and Daughter

Hiked February 4-5, 2012

Following our foray into camping at King Lake and Coopers Creek I was resolute in transitioning my outdoor experiences from camping to hiking and preferably where a car could not get into. I was still missing the Northern Territory experience, arguably one of the most special places on earth for enjoying the outdoors. I accepted Victoria was where I lived now and better get on with exploring it. My eldest daughter had turned 14 and I was keen share my love of the remote outdoors with her.

I dusted off the old pack, the type with the internal metal frame and heavy canvas material and my newer North Face Terra pack and determined we would find somewhere close to home to trial what hiking was like in Victoria.

I wanted to make sure I found an easy short walk my 14 year old would enjoy and hopefully develop a love of the great outdoors. Looking for a suitable place close to Melbourne’s South East, the Walk into History (2 hours from the city), just out the back of Powelltown seemed perfect.

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Coopers Creek, don’t forget the sauce

Camped Dec 28 – 30 2011

In 2011 I was inspired to share the joys of camping and the great outdoors with my family. It had been a staple of my childhood and in our early married life, my wife and I had enjoyed the quiet pleasures the bush had to offer. Having never camped in Victoria before I really had no idea what we were up for and we couldn’t have picked a busier holiday period than that between Christmas and New Year.

You need to remember I grew up in a remote area of the Northern Territory, where if you  could hear or see another campsite you were too close, was I in for shock in how camping was done here. Having acquired expert advice from friends on sites and consulted the Internet we settled on Coopers Creek, a camp site south west of Walhalla on the Thomson River, about 3.5 hours from Melbourne.

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