Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The fire trail.
As some of you know I broke my arm, with it being in a fibreglass cast for six weeks I began to get restless. Without the ability to ride my bike or pitch a tent, or even drive the troopie, I thought " Heck, I can still walk".. and chose to take a walk to the top of Mt Banks. In previous posts I write about riding in the area a lot. This is on the fire trails that lead around the base of the mountain not to the top. 25 years ago the track was open to four wheel drives and I drove to the top. The drive was tricky as the track as I remembered had large rock steps. Once reaching the top the climate shifts and there were picnic tables under tall gums. I wondered if they were still there.
The view as we ascend. Note the fire trails below.
They day was warm, as we parked the car and got our packs ready. Only walking a few metres we were greeted by a brown snake. It took little interest in us, and we gave it the respect it deserves and were not bothered by it as it slithered past. Walking the track I normally ride really gives you a different perspective. Yellow thornbills, bearded dragons and bull ants made most of the warm track and small heath like shrubs. David and I spent time catching the lizards which was fun.
David with a lizard we caught.
Before too long, we reached the intersection for the ascent. Its a steady, not difficult climb, and it is exactly as I remember it, although a little more overgrown. The exposed heath gives way to tall gums and a more rain forest feel as the track winds around to the northern side of the Mtn. After an hour we were at the top and I was excited to see the old picnic table right were I had remembered it 25 years before!
The Picnic table!
The one disappointing thing- weeds. Lots of Scottish thistle, fire weed and wild tobacco. Similar to the problem on Mt Hay but more so. I sometimes find the "lock out and leave alone" approach of the National parks frustrating. In the 1970's the parks were pristine and weed free ( relatively). Yet you could light fires and even drive into the areas.
Walking track to the bottom
The decent from the top is spectacular. If you click on the photos you can see the fire trails I ride and the mountains look like the ocean. Within half an hour we were back to the car having spent a wonderful few hours.