As we drive through the property, we count only 5 or 6 filled campsites, so they aren’t overly busy this weekend. There is room for hundreds of campers, but today lots of empty spaces.
We pull up outside the Murphys Creek Escape office at 1056, so not a bad run really. As I head in to let them know we are here, I remember to grab a map of
, which the property backs onto. We’ll head in there for a drive later on. I’ve booked us into Remote Sites 7 & 8 which they believe is big enough for 2 camps … maybe you could get two camper trailers in there, but it’s probably better for 2 tents. This is the smallest of the remote sites. This time we don’t need a key for the gate as one site is filled with 5 families and the management has decided that for this weekend it isn’t necessary. White Mountain State Forest
Different style of accomodation
Powered sitesWe make our way up the 4x4 only track and head south towards our site.
Our site is the last one before an extreme 4x4 section track starts down the hill towards the office. We decide how to set up before driving in. The pups are eager to get out of the vehicle, so we let them out while we work out how we’ll be this time. Last time we were out here we were facing west in the afternoon and we don’t wish to do so again. It’s rather hot and we’d prefer shade after lunch and towards night.
We are set up and sweating by 1200. I put out my temperature gauge and it hits 37 not long after we start to relax. Solar panel goes out as well. As we sit and try unsuccessfully to cool down, the cicadas are singing to us from every direction. Seems to be a few hundred in residence and they won’t stop serenading us until dark. I’d forgotten that this end of the remote section is wattle infested. No flowers this time, but lots of seed ready for collection.I note that my Telstra phone has a full signal here and Glenn checks his Optus and notes that it’s fluctuating in and out of signal. Have I mentioned that it’s rather warm? Even relaxing is hot work. We could go for a drive into the state forest, or down to the creek for a swim, but that would involve moving which would result in sweating, so we continue to sit and do absolutely nothing.
Glenn snoozes in his chair so I start to brush Jack. Being a short haired Scotch Collie, most people think he’s less work than the long haired version, but he’s not … at all. ½ hour later I’m over it, Jack is sick of it and I’ve ½ filled a shopping bag with his excess fur. But he looks 100% better than before I started. I’ve often wondered how many pillows I could have filled over the years. I know how many vacuum bags I’ve filled over his 12 years … thousands.
Around 1530 the temperature drops a few degrees, so we harness up the pups for a walk down the 4x4 track to the creek to have a swim … people included. We head for a section known as the Beach, which we know is deep and you can get blissfully wet all over, even do some swimming strokes. As we near our destination, we notice a sign that says no pups in the water. I’m a smidge peeved and sighing sarcastically, so we head upstream to find somewhere with even ½ the depth which is going to be a hard ask , as although the creek is running, there is nowhere I’ve noticed that has any depth other than ankle deep. After about 15 minutes of wandering, pups splashing in the small pools we enter, I manage to find one spot deep enough for the pups to actually swim, if somewhat small, it’s about chest deep on Glenn at it’s deepest part … about 2 dog lengths from the entry point and between two very large rocks. They love being in the water, as do Glenn and I.
After a good dunking, we head back up the hill to get out the OzPig and think about dinner. Glenn wants casserole. He’s bought along some Blackbutt flooring wastage from work, a milk crate not even filled for a fortnights work (boss must be happy), to see if we get less soot build up in the flue. It burns much cleaner, both smoke and soot wise, to the Kwila we’ve been using, much hotter as well, but like the pine we use to start the fire, it doesn’t burn long for at all. Please note that once the coals are removed from the Oz Pig they cool very quickly and are shit house for camp oven cooking. The Lemonade Scone I’m trying to cook is going to take forever to cook. It ends up with a burnt butt and a tad on the doughy side, but better than no scone at all (maybe).
Come 1932, we can see and hear a storm coming. It would cool things down considerably and Glenn reckons a bit of rain would be just the ticket, but it passes further to the south west of us. Perhaps Helidon catches some of it?
Glenn purchased a Thetford 365 loo for this camp, so now we are Glamping! It’s like the Marriott of bush camping dunnies. To be able to sit and then flush is overwhelmingly pleasing to me as I’ve never done this before in a bush camp. It’s either been the folding dunny or the 2 foot hole which both have their merits, but never something this flash!!
All our neighbours are considerate and quiet. We sit under the stars until we feel it’s time for bed, which ends up being rather late for us.
Out of bed by 0730 and eating leftovers by 0830. Dishes are done and now we have to decide what we’ll do for the day. The day is beautifully clear and filled with cicada song.Jack isn’t panting as much today after his brushing yesterday and he’s finally dry from the swim yesterday. I know! After how many hours? Pups are fed now and we are sitting around camp, wondering what to do now.
I suggest we check out the other camps and pick another one for next time. As we wander through them we note what shitty neighbours we’ve really had. One has left broken glass bottles in their still rather warm fireplace … means we can’t get them out … and another neighbour has left a fire roaring! We are camped in thick bush and they’ve exited the entire campground leaving their fire
burning roaring! You can only imagine what we called them as we headed back to our own camp, thankful that we had filled our water tank. Grabbing our two 20L buckets and filling them from our 130L tank that I thankfully filled before we left home, we head back to the fire to put it out but it takes a further 20L to kill the flames.
How not to leave your firepit. Take only Photos! Leave only footprints!
Fire Extinguishing 101 ... use water. DO NOT leave it burning! That's steam from our 60L of precious water.Glenn suggests we go for a drive into the state forest and I reckon that’s a top idea.We load up the pups and head to the lookout.I’ve bought the map with us.Didn’t have one last time and found it easily … follow the red arrows.This time we can say where the other tracks are leading at least.There is a topographical map in the office that shows a track out of the forest on the eastern side, and then you can make your way back to the campsite via roads to the south and back onto
Back at camp we start the slow pack up once more. I check the readout on our solar input for the weekend. 9.4AH Saturday and 18.6AH Sunday. We are packed up and on the road by 1345. The trip home is relatively uneventful, so ending another great overnighter.
Trip Kilometres: 272Trip Duration: 48 hours