Lorna Glen – lonely graves, wildlife rekindled and frozen butt cheeks.

Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 04:03

Member - evren1 (WA)

I’m sitting next to the fire, still kickin back at the Laager with Ren and Lee enjoying the warm sunny days and braving the cold chilly nights! Time to catch up on some blogs!

The EO gathering came to end, and as we watched everyone pack up and go there separate ways, Ren and I were in cruise mode, determined to stick to our golden rule before we started our journey over 3 weeks ago. NO RUSH !

We spent the next couple of days mooching around, playing and exploring with Lee and catching up on a few chores to keep things in order. All with beer in hand of course!
We are all chomping at the bit to hit Karijini, but being school holidays, the decision was made to wait until the little scallywags cleared out and with a bit of luck it wouldn’t be too much of a mad house when we got there! Besides, we still had so much more to do in the immediate area so it was a no brainer. It was time to hit a couple of stations and get out on the CSR !

The plan was to lock up the camper and park it up next to Mal and Jill’s office and head for Lorna Glen Station which we had visited earlier in the week.
With our trusty cruiser loaded up, we waved goodbye to the warmth and comfort of our camper bed and hit the Gunbarrell with our swags. The excitement of roughing it for the next week was great, and our only concern was that Lee would turn completely red instead of the dull orange he was already starting to become!

We pulled up at the homestead, and were greeted with a familiar smile from Kay, the Station managers wife, and after a quick mag, we headed down to the camping area amongst the gum trees to set up camp and get dinner underway, as Lee had his daily afternoon food rage and I quote “saos anit cut’n it mum”

We pulled in and the familiar faces of Navigator 1 and Craig and Lou with son Sam were already set up, and they had been wondering when we were going to turn up. We found a spot and piled out of the car. Lee’s food rage had miraculously disappeared as the excitement of kicking around in the dirt with Sam was obviously too overwhelming, and it gave Ren and I a chance to set up and get dinner ready without the little maggot snapping at our heals.

With dinner done, and Lee tucked away in his swag, we sat around the fire with our poison of choice, and quietly conversed into the night enjoying yet another beautiful clear skied outback night. We retired to our swag, and as I lay in bed, I wondered what tomorrow would bring and hoped that my arse wouldn’t freeze off sleeping on the ground !

We awoke to a shall I say, rather crisp and dewy morning. Lee slept the night through so he must have been warm enough off the ground in his camper cubby, and the hardest part was changing out of the thermals and into the days wears. That 20 second birthday suit moment certainly broke me out of my dopey morning dreariness, and the next thing was the morning ritual of 1 coffee, 1 tea and an ovaltine to get the family functioning again!
After saying good morning to our fellow EOer’s, Lee was cracking the whip for me to get his pushy of the roof so he could burn up the 1.3km RFDS air strip behind where we were camped. The morning breeze out on the airstrip, although ever so slight, was bone chilling and had me wishing I had wacked on a pair of gloves.

After a stroll down the air strip, we headed for the tree line to the east and wandered through the bush back to camp, watching the many different bird species, kangaroo’s and emus, and discovering Lee’s total fascination with termite mounds. We even stumbled upon a lone grave under a wattle tree and Bruce later told us it was of an old aboriginal stockman. The grave had been lost, and only been re discovered when the airstrip was extended a couple of years ago. It was only good luck it wasn’t bulldozed.

Whilst Lee and Sam kept themselves busy with what boys do, the day was spent mooching around the homestead yards and talking with Bruce about the DEC operation and their involvement over the past 3 yrs. They really have been busy beavers, only just completing the electric fence which has taken them 2 yrs, and it is great to meet people so passionate about trying to restore the land back to its former glory!

It was then time to get down to business! So out came the maps and Bruce described his favorite area’s on the property and so the decision was made to head off tomorrow for a day trip out to Dinner Plate Turtle Rockhole. A watery oasis with you guessed it, Turtles!

The day ended with beers around the fire in the afternoon sun, the sounds of Major Mitchell’s and Ring Neck’s squabbling over a place to kip for the night and the relaxing thoughts that this new way of life for Renee, Lee and I was going to be with us for the next 2 years and life was bloody great!

I awoke the next morning with a hop, skip and a jump, then proceeded to trip, tumble and fall as the thermals off clothes on ritual chilled me to my core, but a coffee and a hearty breakfast had us firing on all cylinders and before we new it, the GPS was cranked up, the cruiser was growling and with Craig, Lou and Sam along for the adventure, it was off to find a turtle or two!

We headed down the east boundary of the Station stopping at the various wells and bores of old, with Lee in the back on constant watch for emus and camels. We arrived at the second gate along the southern boundary, and this was our queue to turn left, pass through the gate and follow the track out to the rock hole.

The pictures say a thousand words and evidence of ferns growing in gullies and the many other flora and fauna frequenting the area was proof that this was an oasis in a very desolate surrounds. We spent the good part of 2 hours exploring the area, we had lunch on the back of the tail gates and a mag about everything from our vehicle set ups to Julia Gillard. We were then back behind the wheel, heading back to our camp via a different route, equally as fun, with more old well sites and fantastic bush scenery. Oh, and we didn’t see any turtles ! Lee was bummed, but he soon got over it!

Back at camp, it was time for a coldy and the usual dinner preparations as yet again, Lee was fading away to a shadow. I swear, this trip will end due to him eating us out of house and home. Or that should be cruiser and camper!
For Craig and co, it was a different story, camper trailer dramas had him removing the axel only to find that it was bent ! major dilemma, as they were about to hit the Gunbarrell and this had put a serious spanner in the works.
It was now dark and nothing could be done till morn, and Bruce assured that something could be done tomorrow up at the homestead workshop. So tools were downed, and knives and forks were taken up as we tucked into our meals for the evening and the ceremonial beers and bull bleep round the campfire ended yet another eventful day!
As I lay in bed, (Renee stuck to me like a suction cap, trying to suck out every inch of body warmth I had) I couldn’t help but be envious of Chicka and Robyn, snuggled up in the king size bed of their new green beast that was HUGO 1.

The next morning brought the same chilli morning routine, and wouldn’t you know it, the golden rule kicked in, NO RUSH, and the decision to stay another day was made.
The day would be spent hanging round the homestead, doing some clothes washing, checking emails and giving Craig a hand if needed. Which it wasn’t as Bruce took to the task like a bull at a gate, and after a bit of heat in the old homestead furnace, of which I might add cooked us some mean snags not a week earlier, a firm whack with the back side of an axle saw Craig and Co’s camper axle made straighter than the day it left the factory. A few phone calls from Bruce had a new set of heavier duty leave packs on there way up from Perth and with a bit of luck, they would be on the Gunbarrell in a couple of days!
The day ended with a group effort lamb roast between us and Craig n Co whilst Chicka cooked a beef roast the size of a soccer ball ! The bloody lid wouldn’t even fit on the camp oven! I bet they are still eating roast beef sandwiches as I write!
As usual, the day finished off with a beer and a laugh around the camp fire and before I knew it, Lee was in la la land and Ren and I were spooning in our igloo!

Up and at em next morning, clothed, fed, packed and after swapping contacts with our fellow campers of the last few days, it was off up to the homestead for a cuppa with Bruce and Kay. Bruce gave us direction to breakaways in the North of the Station which would see us carry on up to Granite Peak Station and out to the CSR.
Our goodbye’s said, we bundled into the cruiser and were on our way out to the old remains of the shearers quarters, where we hooked a left and motored north on our next adventure.
We emerged from the bush after about 45min on to Pink Lake and the breakaways could be seen in the not so far distance. After a short steep climb and back down again we emerged on the flats surrounded by my first real encounter of breakaway country. The seen was fantastic and the urge to go and explore was only curbed by the request from Bruce that we not leave the track as there were sacred sites in the area. After the photos had been taken and the atmosphere etched in my brain, we were back in the cruiser, out on Granite Peak Road and headed for the Station with our 20 bucks at the ready to allow us access to the CSR.

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