Taking the road less travelled

Here’s a selection of by-roads in the Flinders Ranges, SA.  I’m considering putting together some calendars of my travels, with different themes – this selection being The Road Less Travelled, as homage to the book of the same name.

Any feedback, most appreciated, especially any that you think don’t measure up 🙂

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They are numbered one to thirteen from top to bottom.  I’ll be back into the area again shortly and will be adding to my collection but needing to start shortlisting images. 🙂

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Walking the Warren Gorge trail

In early August, Fred and I headed off on the well marked trail in the Flinders Ranges on a glorious day without rain or howling winds.  Such a relief!

The Warren Gorge is a fairly short drive from Quorn along a sealed road these days and is managed very nicely by the local council.  Fortunately it is also open to dogs.

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I’d been given the advice from regular visitors on the best direction to begin the walk – so that the steepest section was traversed downhill not uphill.  Very glad of that advice as at one point I met another couple who had climbed up the hard way and looked quite worn out with still a long distance to walk.

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At first I was concerned that it was going to be too hard or long for Fred with his little legs, but I needn’t have worried.  He took it all in his stride 🙂

Starting at the gorge and walking along the green valley I admired the lovely rock formations.

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See if you can spot the Kookaburra sitting in the gum tree

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Pools of spring water along the base of the gorge are a haven in this otherwise dry land.

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As the path slowly rose up the hillside, Grass Trees began appearing. Personal favourites of mine, and this specimen particularly caught my eye.  Extremely slow growing plants, this one could be close to 100 years old.  You have to respect that!

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This is the flower head of one, and it is very sweetly scented and the bees and the butterflies adore it.

The trail was gently shaded by the native pine trees, before opening out to grass tree hillsides.

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Another plant common to the arid areas, and not one to get too close too, is the Triodia grass, otherwise known as the porcupine grass – for obvious reasons!

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The slender leaves taper to a very very sharp point!

The path then took a sharp right hand turn and up the hillside we went, pausing now and then to admire the view (code for catching our breath).

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The silver leafed plants I know as Mulla Mullas, though which particular one I couldn’t say.  There are also other forms shaped more like Christmas trees.  Nice 🙂

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This colourful plant is the Native Hop Bush. I can remember seeing whole hillsides ablaze with these plants catching the afternoon sun, when I lived in this region years ago.

As we neared the summit, the vegetation changed again, to small gum trees.

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Soon we reached the summit, and more views.

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On the way down, going carefully because of the loose rocks, I was constantly stopping to admire the colours of them.  Nothing boring about rocks to me.

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rocks

Nor to the many geologists from all over the world who come to study this ancient landscape.

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Then after more than 5kms, we reached the bottom of the gorge again, and the cooling water which Fred really enjoyed.

I found the walk to be really enjoyable for several reasons.  Out walking with my buddy boy Fred 🙂 , being in the great outdoors in nice weather, and finding my old favourite plants again.  Long time ago, I lived and walked and rode my horse in the Australian bush, and these plants became my friends and each season I’d look forward to their blooms once more.  Now that I’m back in the Flinders Ranges, I’m remembering all manner of things, from the birds to the plants, to the people. It does feel like coming home………

 

 

Up North

Without any further ado, here’s some images from my week in the Flinders Ranges SA.  I’m back in the Mid North for now, but plan on returning northwards soon.   I have until perhaps October to explore there – after that the temperatures may start getting a bit high for us all.

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This is Sturt’s Desert Pea, the floral emblem of South Australia, and a personal favourite.  In a good season, out bush the ground is carpeted with them.  And there are natural variants with white ones even occasionally being found. These images however were taken in a town.

The landscape up north can vary considerably, but there are certain commonalities of the area, and of the flora.  My first campout was at Carrieton, a sweet little community run campsite on the edge of town.  Quiet and peaceful, I spent two nights there so I could explore the town in a relaxing manner.  Mind you, it did get frosty overnight!

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It’s the open spaces which help my heart to swell……………..

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I first came through here back in the late 70’s when I left the city to take up a job out bush.  In those days the road was dirt – and there was no bushfire refuge!  Which incidentally is on the town oval.

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An old house on the edge of town, sadly now in disrepair.  What a backdrop view though!  And what I wonder, stories does it hold…..

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Like most towns the world over, the population has dropped since this plaque was unveiled, as the cities have grown into sprawling messes.

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Speaks for itself 🙂

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On to Hawker.  Regarded as the Gateway to the real North.  🙂  Now I’m really starting to feel at home.  Lived at Lyndhurst at one stage in my life and visited the others on the top sign at various times.

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The colours of sunset.  Like no other areas I’ve lived in.  Do I sound like I’m in love? Yes, I am.  🙂

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After leaving Hawker, I really began meandering. Bush time…. slowly does it…..                      Creeks in this world can be large, and mostly dry, but when they flow, watch out!  Never camp in these creek beds, as even if there’s no rain locally the water can flow down from elsewhere and arrive with a roar!  But what a wonder world it can be to stroll down looking at the rocks.  This is an ancient landscape with treasures for those with eyes to see it.

 

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Elder Range.

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Chace Range in the background.

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Perfect spot for a coffee……  just soaking up the view ……..

The next step of the journey took us into a slightly different country so I’ll leave that for next time.

Safe Harbours

In a world that seems to be getting crazier and crazier, it seems we’re all at some time looking for a safe harbour, and sometimes some guidance to find it.

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Took these shots this morning while in Portland.  It’s time for me to leave Victoria.  I’m being drawn to what feels a safe harbour in my home state of South Australia.  It’s tricky planning the trip, as it’s co-inciding with school holidays in both states, and I’d like to catch up with someone who’s not back into Adelaide until the 15th.  So not sure yet how it will pan out, just take one step at a time.  Eventually I’m heading to the region of the Southern Flinders Ranges.  That’s where my Spirit comes truly alive.

In the meantime, we’ll keep adventuring through life as best we can.  🙂