This weekend we were off to Fordsdale Farmstay once more. I had a few other suggestions up my sleeve for new places to go, but the one we wanted won’t answer the phone when I call or return my messages alas. So it was up for discussion. Glenn suggested heading back to Murphy’s Creek and when I threw in Fordsdale and their bush camping area up the creek, he said why not. It hasn’t been raining for awhile, so we should be able to get there. With this in mind, I made our booking.We were packed and on the road at 0745. Since getting the camping box organised and operational, we are saving ourselves some ‘we could be camping’ valuable time. I’m sure as we get better at it, we’ll get faster. The day is clear, cloudless and filled with warming sunshine, even if it is still a bit cool, as we head for Gatton.
Once there, we head for our turnoff. The Clifton-Gatton Road is quite scenic as it winds it’s way through the vegie table ofJust over 1.5 hours after starting out, we are passing our host, Sue on the road and passing over our camping fee’s. She’s on a full day ride today, so we won’t see much of her. She tells us that Pete might head down to keep up company later on (although we don’t see him at all through the entire weekend). We know exactly where we are going, but before we head too far, we have to do a re-con mission to ensure all is good for the camper. We stop at Dead Horse Dam, unhitch and amble down the creek in the ute. There are a few crossings of the creek to be done just to get where we’ve left the camper, but the last crossing before the campsite was a doozey last time we were here and this is the reason we are checking it first. There is also very little area to turn if it’s not crossable.
then gets a bit more cattle country, the closer into the end of the valley you
We make our way down slowly in 4WD and Glenn is happy with the route and the campsite itself, so we head back to get the camper. Once hitched, we head back again. This puts us onsite and set up by 1045.Around 1115, a group of horse riders go by but they don’t return, so I guess it’s the long ride today. A short while later Glenn spot some Wedge Tailed Eagles flying ever so high in the air above the opposite ridge and I manage to get a few shots before they disappear.
We head down to the creek for a look. I’m trying to locate some deeper water in which to swim and chances are good I’ll find it on a bend in the creek. The bend directly in front of our campsite is very shallow, but does have one spot where standing could be done. Not good for puppy swimming though, so we head down stream and find a herd of cows blocking our way.
Heading back up the road, we decide to do lunch before investigating any further. A few chicken sandwiches and a few drinks later we are once again off on the quest for deeper water. About 300 metres further upstream we find a fallen log with a large swimmable pool in front of it. Telashi is in before we can even see it and paddling away contentedly. Even Jack and Kiah head in for a quick dip. Once watered down, we head further down the track/road to find the next bend in the creek. Here we find what would be a waterfall during rain, a few deeper holes, a cave (well sort of) and lots of large expanses of solid rock. Of course, there is more dog swimming, some wandering about and inspecting. The track continues up and over a hill, but we’ve come far enough for today. Time to head back and think about that Lamb roast we’ll be having for dinner, so we amble back at a “not so in a hurry” pace. We pass the cows at the creek crossing to our camp and give the bull a wide berth. He’s enormous and giving us a “don’t bother getting me to move” look.
Once back in camp, after a well earned drink, it’s time to set up the OzPig and get some coals going for dinner. We’ll need to peal and chop vegies as well. Accompanying the roast will be roasted potatoes, broccoli, beans, peas, corn on the cob and carrot. Glenn is roasting his carrot and having some roasted onions as well. I suggest damper for dessert, but we’ll wait till we’ve eaten dinner first I think.
Showers and toilet are in the open which is rather exhilarating. We don’t mind being nudists if and when possible. I guess this is why we prefer those out of the way places and quiet campsites. Glenn has even been investigating nudist camps, so I guess we’ll be heading to one or two of those soon enough. Could you bare it dear reader? J You’ll be happy to know that there are rules in regards to photography on nudist sites, so if you were expecting natural bodies everywhere, you are going to be sorely disappointed.While we wait for coals to develop, I also head back to a tree on a bend where there was quite a bit of flood debris and bring back an armload of hardwood. We’ll have to be careful with this fire as its tinder dry at the moment. The Great South East has had 60 days without rain and the last thing we’d want to do is burn down our campsite. Voicing this concern, I head to the creek to collect a full bucket of water to dampen under the OzPig. Glenn thinks this is a great idea and does the same once my bucket is emptied. We also ready yet another bucket just in case. All goes well though but we ensure a full bucket sits by the fire all night.
We sit and enjoy the peace and quiet until it’s time to go to bed. Once in bed, we can hear trucks heading along the road all night. Not overly loud, but you can tell they are trucks.15.4ah
16.09.12The next morning dawns clear and sunny. It’s yet another beautiful day with no rain in sight. We reheat our left overs for breakfast and make plans for the day, so another swim for the dogs, another wander up the creek and then the slow pack up to head home. We’ve agreed that we need to be on the road by 1400 to as it will take us about 20 minutes to make our way to the road.
So we head back to the swimming hole we found on the next bend. Telashi enjoys the water more than our other mutts, but they are all getting wet today. Guess it’s due to the heat as it’s very warm today. We cross the water several times to see things on the other side and we stick to the water course as we head further upstream, but even so we aren’t all that far from camp.
As we head back to camp slowly, we notice that there is another group of horse riders heading our way. When they make it to us, we notice that they also have bought some pups with them. They are the dogs that Sue had in the car with her when she collected our fees and both are under voice control very well. Luckily we walk no where without our leads so we can contain the dogs immediately. Sue lets us know that the cows are in our camp, so we decide to head back in case they are getting into the fridge and reading the mags I’ve bought with me (just joking) … in case they are getting tangled in our ropes on the awning. As they all have very sharp horns, and if they get tangled in the ropes, they may pull down the awning and tear it.
Once back at camp we find them in the roped section, but eating grass. Most are under the only shady tree we have and I herd the others there as well. Once that’s done, the riders head back along the road again. It must be a shorter ride than yesterday for Sue. Once they are gone and the cows move along, we are alone again.It’s time to relax under the awning, have some lunch, and then think about packing things up. We’ve still got a few hours to relax though, so no hurry doing anything. It’s gotten hotter and hotter as the morning wore on, so we are thinking there is bound to be a storm for the region later in the day … long after we’ve gone though.
As we begin our packing ritual, Glenn says he’s got to get the cow dung off his shovel. He spots a bit of dirt on the other side of the tree and starts digging his shovel into it. He actually turns a sod before he realises it’s an ants nest. They are very large, very angry ants. Can’t blame them I guess. He returns the sod and quickly heads away from the ants. At least his shovel is now cleaned of dung I guess. The ants must have been 1 or more centimetres in length, but I’m not heading over there for a photo any time soon. A bite from one of those would be extremely painful. Mental note for next time: location on camp of nasty, huge ants. Glad we didn’t camp over them.
Once packed, we start our 20 minute drive out to the main road and then the 1.5 hours back home. We arrive home around 1600 and once unpacked, are back to residential living by 1630.
Trip Kilometres: 268
Trip Duration: 48 hours