I just had to take Mr S to yesterday’s find. I wanted to look for evidence of mortar shelling and its shrapnel in the rock and find the natural arch.
The path in is wide as it is used to service the electricity towers and by the Rural Fire Service. (For overseas readers, although I live in the suburbs, the Rural Fire Service, a largely volunteer service, deals with bush fires. The Fire Brigade deals with other fires.)
As soon as we got to the rock, we found evidence of artillery. A website said General MacArthur trained troops here. I went to the public library to look in local history books but couldn’t find any records. Something for further research.
So to our next target: the natural arch.
The rock is huge so we wandered around the top of the edges, peering down the sides of the rock. At some edges it is a 15 metre drop. For those who’ve not been in Australian bush, it’s not easy walking among the vegetation, so it’s not a case of scrambling down and walking around the edge of the rock. There’s crevices, slopes, dense growth blocking your way, holes. All manner of sticks and rocks set to trip and scratch you. And snakes and spiders could be hiding anywhere.
Back burning on the other side of the ridge. But still no natural arch.
We followed some tracks which seemed to lead somewhere. Up hill and down dale, past more crevices, and attempts by young geologists/vandals to lever a balanced rock. (Come on if Year 9 Science taught you anything, it’s you need a bigger fulcrum and a stronger lever.)
Mr S, as the intrepid scout, found a way down. Walking down the slope of a crevice, careful as the leaf litter was deep and slippery. Really it was just a gentle ramp.
Through the dense shrub to…
The arch. At the base of a 15 metre drop.
Mr S found what he believed was a short cut back. Let me tell you. I failed on my first attempt. Photos don’t give you depth. And height. The crevice was long, high and narrow. What if we got to the top and were on the wrong side of another crevice?
I let him go first and check it out. Mr S is very slim. Even he had to turn sideways.
I followed and then, making a U turn, walked up the crevice I walked down. Schimple.
We were in the bush for about an hour and twenty minutes. Just right. A great adventure for a Sunday afternoon.
I will return with my walking buddy. But we will take delicate lady steps and head straight for the natural arch.