The camp hosts at Lucky Bay had told us of the great scenery here and we had to confess that we had driven through both on this trip and last year without giving it a good look so today we have made up for it.
We are in a park, unlimited lights, water, heating, mmmmmm all good! Today we set off early on our tour of The Granite and Woodlands Discovery Trail which we started in Norseman and travelled 115km each way. We had been told that you could take the caravan and stay at some camps along the way but Peter and Colleen from Lucky Bay had advised against it as the road is unmade although well maintained. As we started out we met the grader doing just that and a sterling job of it, but as the day was drizzling all day we were glad not to have towed the van along the red mud roads. We did see a couple of vans and were doubly pleased, the cleanup would be horrendous. It sticks like … fill in the gaps people.
We stopped at the signposted viewing sights along the way but our first real stop was Disappointment Rock which advertises richly interpreted walk trails. That’s one way to describe this one. They are fairly careful not to have too many signs along the way you could say. In fact Boy Scout Ian was lost for a while and kept on telling me ‘interesting, interesting’. I always worry when he says that and after quite a lot of scenic routes (lost) we did get back on the trail which was supposed to be 1892m (we think twice that for us!) and really enjoyed the view from the top, several times!! Along the way we were able to appreciate the magnificent rock formations and ever changing plants which seem to manage to survive in the tiniest crevices.
We then drove on to McDermid Rock and had lunch before tackling this walk with some trepidation in view of the previous experience. However it was so much better and we only covered the area as the map prescribed, a mere 1271m with quite a bit of mountain goating to begin with then a pleasant walk around the bottom of the wall to see the fantastic wave formation which we will put up on the blog tomorrow.
On the guide brochure there was a story of a pastoralist who came out here and took up a lease for country immediately west of Lake Johnston in 1954. He was unsuccessful, which is no surprise as this is not the sort of country you would find easy to have cattle on as the water supply is poor and the country very scrubby. He built a house however which was located about 7km off the road off a bush track. My curiosity got the better of me and we set out to find it. Big mistake, me thinks about 6.5km in with the track seeming to get narrower and not even sure if we are on the right track as it isn’t signposted. The small (1m) trees are growing up in the middle of the track and we are going straight over the top, not to mention the branches which have probably removed all the duco on the sides. However Ian is determined and on we go. We all know how he like to use the four wheel drive for the purpose for which it was created don’t we? Anyway we had plenty of water on board and two muesli bars so I figure it can’t be all bad.
We finally have to admit defeat when we really really run out of road at 7.5km and reluctantly (not for me, I can see we’re going to go off the end of the earth if he has his way!), turn back. About 200m on the way back I let out a scream and see some old tree stumps which have been house stumps and lo and behold an old stove. Eureka we shout! This is the place and I have to admit it was worth it, now. How on earth this man J.O. Magee thought he was going to make a go of it in here I will never know. I just pray he didn’t take some poor woman with him. I can’t believe this was only done in the year I was born. It seems far more plausible to have been one hundred years ago. As I said photos tomorrow (I hope!).