AAWT Day 17 – Mitta Mitta River to Gill Creek

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Lil wallaby, Photo Mia Schoen

We woke by the mighty Mitta Mitta to a spattering of rain, I woke at 5.30 but couldn’t rouse the troops. Sometime after this Bill snuck out of camp needing an early start to make it to Mt Wills today, our destination tomorrow. Every morning we state we need an early start and shouldn’t have coffee, yet every morning we do. We left camp late at 8am and walked inland on windy dirt roads up into the mountains. We saw a huge cicada about 7cm long with red devil eyes, buzzing around very confused in the grass. Everyone managed to get tunnel vision on one of the climbs and walk right past a lazy yellow bellied black snake on the edge of the road. It rained and then was sunny all morning, yesterdays humidity sticking around in the air and on the sweat pouring off us.

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We like to climb, Photo Mia Schoen

By lunch we had reached the top of the range and thats when the wind really started to pick up, and the rain did too and we decided to push on to camp for lunch. Powered by dark chocolate liquorice bullets we marched our way down another steep spur on an overgrown path. Meg spied a tiger snake and scared it off for us. Meg our guide and spy, always out in front on powerful legs. We reached an old overgrown jeep track and followed it along the deep valley to camp. The jeep track was a huge green tunnel with small skinny saplings rising like columns, leaves all around, grass and small white flowers from the prominent blanket leaf trees underfoot.

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Lil Meg and the old dead tree, Photo Mia Schoen

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Crossing Gill Creek, Photo Phoebe Robertson

The tunnel ended at Gill Creek, which is a magical creek full of towering ferns and secret passageways…and leeches as Harry discovered, screaming. We waded across to the campsite just big enough for our two tents. We had reached camp by 2.30! A record for this trip, we were all so excited by the thought of downtime. Mia and I walked up the hill a little way and sat on the roots of a 100m tall gum, looking down into the valley below and smoked a jazz cigarette, drank some of Mias Internet powdered beer and felt like we had everything and were so lucky to be sitting in this tiny out of the way valley, in the middle of a mountain range in a huge old forest.

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Close quarters, Photo Meg Wettenhall

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Meg loves stinky socks, Photo Phoebe Robertson

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Gang feeling good #1, Photo Meg Wettenhall

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Gang feeling good #2, Photo Phoebe Robertson

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