From Katanning we headed towards the Stirling Range but as we are in no hurry we decided to pull up for a free camp night at a tiny settlement called Borden, an ‘RV friendly’ community. They have a huge new sports oval and building, tennis courts and lawn bowls club and encourage caravaners to stop overnight; the tavern is just up the road and the local shop. We enjoyed a huge dinner at the tavern and some laughs with the publican, his Irish barmaid and a few locals, sheep farmers and truckies who cart the tonnes and tonnes and tonnes of wheat out of this area. Interesting night.
Off to Stirling Range Caravan park in the morning, a huge trip of some 35 kms, lol … I just know you are having a good laugh at that Fred. Great bush park though a little dusty, but there is a daddy emu with his five young ones roaming around and there are lot of birds, especially the little blue wrens. Love it! But, Bluff Knoll looms high in the background and I am a tad concerned. Oh well, will give it a go.
Saturday, 8:15 am and off we set on our big climb! Its a beautiful day, clear skies and cool. However within 1/2 hour we realise we should have started out much earlier as we are already hot and sweaty with the exertion. We have a total of 3.2 kms to climb up but by half way, which had taken us 1 1/2 hours I am done. I think it was the halfway sign that broke me, haha!!! I was thinking ‘surely, we must nearly be there’ when we reached that 1/2 way sign!
So I sat and puffed and panted and drank the last of my water, and wondered how the heck I was going to climb down again, so called to Jack, who was ahead and not feeling the pressure quite so much, and told him I was going to head down. After reassuring him that I would be fine on my own (there are other people going up and down) he decided to press on for the summit! Good luck with that. I paced myself and took my time, stopping to chat to folks and getting the be-jingos scared out of me by a goanna dashing across in front of me, and gradually made my way back to the bottom. Jack arrived back about an hour later, having had to call it quits with 500 mtrs to go which was the steepest bit. In the full sun by now, and very hot, he decided he wasn’t going to be a hero and push on! Good choice Jack, as Kenny Rogers sang “You gotta know when to hold ’em, and know when to fold ’em”. Still, he got some great photos, really shows how far he got! Well done JD. That bit of clearing down there is the car park. Apparently, some 40,000 people a year attempt Bluff Knoll and less than half make it to the top.
We were so disappointed we didn’t conqueror the Knoll, but decided we would have a rest day the following day, then have another go at it, this time starting out at 6 am. However, the weather has turned bad with high wind and low clouds (could not even see the Knoll from the caravan park), too dangerous to go up, cold, wet and no views at all. I am in some ways relieved really, as I remembered thinking as I had been climbing up 2 days before “why the heck did I think this was a good idea!” However, Jack managed to find another mountain, not so high this time, Mt Trio so yeah, I’m up for it, but this one is steeper from the out set and the track is rougher and even fallen away in sections, so after an hour I once again found myself quitting, doh! Jack called it quits too, to come back down with me, this track was, as I said rougher and harder climbing and there was no one else around so I was glad he came back down with me.
You may have noticed that I haven’t put up pictures of Jack climbing, well this is because he was always way ahead of me, he’d stop and wait for me to catch up (and have his rest, lol) by the time I would catch up, out of breath, hot and sweaty, the last thing I wanted to do was get my camera out, but by then Jack was off again! Sheesh! That 11 years age difference sure is telling, hahahahahahahha!!!! He is one fit man.
Anyway, we really loved the challenges of the Stirling Range, and little did I know there was yet another challenge awaiting us at Poronyurup! The Granite Skywalk!!!
Check out how we went with this climb on our next post. Love and hugs
Christine & Jack