April was to be a busy month for me. As luck would have it, none of it at work. Just ripe for chalking up more nights under canvas. My plan was to head back to the Murchison River, but as I exercised my usual style, I left it too late to book. Easter was full. So I had to devise an alternative, and heading down to the in-laws is my favourite back up. Not that calling it a back up is fair, its a destination on its own. Murchison will go ahead after Easter. Andin hindsight, probably just as well, as the reports I received was that Easter up there was nuts. So what follows is a short account of what we got up to at Easter. Its probably not that worthwhile actually making this entry, but I have some pictures to share so there you go. Bunnies (of the chocolate egg variety) is born. Murchison and my other trip with nights under canvas will follow this post.
Easter here in Perth, and no doubt most metropolis's in the country is usually a frustrating affair. Roads are choked and camp sites full. Couple that with the seemingly never ending road works on our Southern Freeway, and the decision to leave late on Friday proved the correct move. Once through the road works (I estimate about a 15 minute holdup) it was free running all the way. K needed a pit stop at Myalup, so it was a good excuse for an ice cream. The lines for both the dunny and the shop were long in both time and length. But we eventually got back on the road and made Nannup via Capel and back forestry roads before dark.
Easter Saturday set the pace for the weekend as a whole. Generally just slack. We went into town to look at the markets and check out the shopping. Recently the "lunch-box" butane cookers have been going through a rough trot. Due to some serious accidents, (in my opinion through misuse and NON CRV cans), some being fatal, NSW has decided to remove certification for these, meaning they can not be sold legally there anymore. The distributors and other states have followed suite and withdrew them from sale. I know there is little chance of finding one in Perth Metro, but I knew if I looked hard enough in the country, I would be able to add another one to my collection. I spoke with a person and told him all I knew about the issues. He must have thought I was probably more full bottle than most and disappeared. Then he appeared with a black case, took twice what I would normally pay for his last piece of stock and said you are on your own. I said cheers mate, you are a champion. That now gives me three. One in the camper and two for car based road tripping.
I cant stress the importance of CRV cans for these devices (along with using an appropriate sized pan and having the trivet the right way around). There is very little info in a quick google search I just performed, but here is an article that explains the CRV pretty well:
is your butane cooker safe?
So now back to the story......The rest of the day was just slack. Grandad did take the kids for a buggy ride around the property and also gave K her first drive (under Grandad supervision.....its a two seater). She was pretty chuffed. Spaghetti for dinner with stretchy cheese (mozzarella) was a novelty for K to be revisited a few times over the weekend as shown in the toastie below the next day:
Saturday night was also a night of a lunar eclipse, and we fared much better off down here than Perth in regards to cloud cover. We spent an hour in the darkness watching the eclipse and I snapped a free hand shot. I really need a much bigger focal length lens for this type of work, but the amount of times I would use it, negates the need.
Sunday comes around and the kids are abuzz with the excitement of the goodies the Bunny has left them. Its got nothing to do with the sugar......The kids have a ball with the Easter egg hunt in the orchid:
Later in the afternoon, I suggest we head out to Cambray Siding. There is a new cache there I would like to find. Beaten to the first to find by a local and friend of Grandad and Nan, I'm happy to take second place. Cambray Siding was part of the old rail line transporting Jarrah from the Forest to Bussleton in times gone past.
A snippet unashamedly ripped from the net:
Nannup’s history has been greatly influenced by the railway line and the timber industry. First settled by Europeans in 1857, Nannup was one of the most isolated places in Western Australia until the opening of the railway line in 1909.The Timberline Trail follows part of an extensive network of disused forestry railway lines that once transported timber hauled by wood fired steam driven locomotives from bush camps to Barrabup Timber Mill and then to Busselton Jetty for export during the early 20th Century.
I have camped, overnight hiked and cycled the trail in years past (its actually a section of the Munda Biddy Trail). Fat chance of doing that now....lol. But I have cached there more recently, today being no exception.
So off to find the "Troll of Barrabup" Cache. First up though, Cambray Bridge for a new find:
Certainly was an interesting hidey hole that one. Very unique.
Then we head down past the old rail track to the Trolls Bridge. A few photo's:
The middle picture above is identical to one I took 10+ years ago and made into my PC's wallpaper. It has changed very little when you compare the two pictures, even the grass trees at the sides are the same. I was very surprised, that being Easter, where any cleared piece of bush real estate is usually occupied by a squatter under canvas, only had one group of people down here.It would be serenity if not for the fact they had dirt bikes and quads with them. The "troll" was exercising his powers of stealth and wasn't letting me in on the hide. He also put a curse on my GPS and I approached from all points of the compass, not being able to pinpoint ground zero. But a "Troll" is enevitably inferior to a seasoned cache warrior so I put the GPS aside, used my gut instincts and eventually found the prize and was the second to find.
Being still early afternoon, I decided another cache and a look at Jarrahwood was in order. We made it out to the old ruins of the timber cutters shacks and had another cache in hand pretty quickly.
From there we went into Jarrahwood itself and gandered at the wonderful display they had on hand:
In that display of bits of yesteryear, I took some pics of a few interesting bits. First, the unusual wheel profile of the timber cutters rail cart:
Then I spied some interesting power pole insulators:
and finally, a picture of rail transportation of years gone bye in the Forest: The Busso express?
The whole display had a mix of interesting things to look at. Jarrahwood township and mill history, timber cutters equipment, spectacular historical photos and a bit of war history thrown in to round it off. All in all, worthwhile the very short journey from the Vasse Highway to kill an hour taking in all the pioneering spirit.
And so we headed off back "home" To Grandad's. He had decided we should do an audit of his dam, so we loaded the car with nets and festered meat to see what the state of the fishery was like.
While the nets were set, I pondered on the meaning of life:
Or more probably, what the catch numbers would be like.
The excitement of waiting for the audit was too much for K:
But in the end, we proved that the fishery was healthy:
and let them breed for another day:
Some more stretchy cheese for dinner that night had given K superpowers and she showed off her best circus inspired, spoon balancing act to us all:
She had heard the story of Dad and his super natural ability with the triffle spoon many years ago and I think she wanted to get in on the clown act herself. A chip off the old block.
Before we knew it, Easter Monday was here and it was time for home. Surprisingly, the trip home wasn't as busy as I expected - except for the round about with traffic lights (like what the?) in Bunbury. Home early afternoon, just in time to start getting ready for some real nights under canvas.