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Chris's Random Ramblings

Sun, 08 Jul 2007 - Square Rock Snow

Kelly and I headed off for a walk up to Square Rock today . It was a little colder than expected - here's Kelly doing a penguin impression.

It was Kelly's first time playing in snow and I hadn't seen that much snow up there before. We weren't really dressed for snow weather so we turned back not that far along the track, but it was fun to wander around for a while and have a bit of a snowball fight.

Sun, 23 Oct 2005 - Tinderry Twin Peak

Went for a hike near Michelago south of Canberra, to go up to Tinderry Twin Peak. It follows a fire trail for about 80% of the way, but then its a bush bash to the ridge which leads up to the top. After clambering around and over quite a few fallen trees I decided that it wasn't worth the effort and stopped for lunch before heading back down. I think its the steepest hike I've been on around Canberra, and I'm surprised that parts of it can actually be used by vehicles.

Tue, 11 Oct 2005 - Little baby sheep with tails!

On Saturday I headed off to the Fitzgerald trailhead near Wee Jasper to walk up to Mount Wee Jasper. It was cool and overcast, pretty nice weather for hiking. Unfortunately at the top it was very misty and there was light rain so yet again I didn't manage to see much of the surrounding countryside. One of the highlights of the day was meeting a very friendly wombat on the way back to the car. He was busy eating in the middle of the track, but when I started taking photos he wandered right up to me.

Thanks to a telephoto lens I also finally managed to get some photos of little baby sheep with tails!

Tridge has written some code to be able to display GPS tracks using Google Maps for hikes he's been on or is planning on going on. I got out my GPS today and downloaded some saved tracks of hikes I've done over the past few years.

The hike to Mt Wee Jasper is up, as is one of my favourite short walks, Square Rock.

Mon, 26 Sep 2005 - Petrol prices not high enough

Went for a walk up to the top of Mount Coree which is on the western border of ACT/NSW. All the pine trees were destroyed in the fires a couple of years ago so part of the trail is like walking through a moonscape. The higher areas which were native bush are regenerating quite nicely though.

On the way up I was passed by numerous 4WD vehicles who seemed to be out wandering the firetrails for fun (including an L-plater). The weather was surprisingly very nice at the top, and while I had lunch there were no other people, but quite a few birds circling, chasing each other.

Just as I was getting ready to leave the place turned into a bit of 4WD parking lot though and all the wildlife disappeared. I wonder if those people know what they're missing out on when they travel in big noisy vehicles. Certainly the higher petrol prices don't seem to have discouraged many people from driving around all day!

Sun, 22 May 2005 - Camelback On Saturday, I took Kelly on a longer walk up to Camel Back in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. It was a cool, but fairly clear day - perfect for hiking. Had some wonderful potato salad for lunch near the top with beautiful views of the surrounding valleys. It's amazing the number of nice walks there are so close to Canberra. Of course I took my camelback water pack.
Sat, 08 Jan 2005 - Geodetic Observatory

Went for a walk with Rusty, Alli and Kelly up to the Geodetic Observatory. For a summer's day the weather was quite cool and pleasant, although the flys were out in force and generally ignoring the insect repellant. The area still has some beautiful flowers and I managed to get some nice pictures with my new camera. It wasn't too windy at the top and we stopped for a brief lunch. Alli had found some wasabi cheese which surprisingly was very tasty.

Views of the valley were quite good, but after doing more reading about photography I think getting a polarising filter for my camera would help improve the photos I'm taking.

Wed, 05 Jan 2005 - Morialta Falls and Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty

While back in Adelaide I went for a couple of short walks. The first was with my neice and sister-in-law up and around Morialta falls. I haven't been there for a couple of years and it was an opportunity to try out my new Nikon D70 camera. Still learning how to use it properly, but managed to get some nice photos. It was rather warm and my 7 year old niece wasn't too enthusiastic about some of the steep bits but she did pretty well, encouraged with the prospect of getting an ice-cream at the end.

On New Years Eve I went of a walk up to Mt Lofty from Waterfall gully. Although the day was to get pretty hot, the trail itself was shady and cool during the morning. I haven't been up there since high school and its now asphalt nearly all the way to the top. A lot of benches along the way for those who want to stop as well as a restauarant both at the top and bottom. Really nice views from the top and and shaded outdoor area with tables and chairs. Very pleasant.

Sun, 19 Dec 2004 - Back to Square Rock

Took some woman up to Square Rock, one of my favourite walks around Canberra. Beautiful day, beautiful weather, beautiful company.

Accidentally lost a water bottle over the edge in the strong winds. One day I'm going to have to hike to the base as I bet there's lots of cool stuff down there.

Sun, 21 Nov 2004 - Mt Currockbilly

Went for what was supposed to be a walk up Mt Currockbilly with the Canberra Bushwalking Club, which ended up turning into a rather rough 7 hour bush bash. The leeches were out in force and I was ambushed by one during morning tea. It didn't get a chance to suck any blood, but unfortunately I forgot to take a photo before removing it (minor panic). We got a little lost on the way up so didn't make it all the way to the top. I did learn a few things on the walk:

  1. Always carry your own topo map because everyone else in the group may think that someone else will bring one. A GPS is great for preventing you from walking in circles (so is a compass), but it doesn't help work out where you are if the maps you're carrying have no lat/long markings.

  2. If in doubt, eat some chocolate. It won't help you work out where you are on the map, but it will make you feel better about being geographically dislocated.

  3. Carry lots of chocolate.

For the first time I managed to get an opportunity to use my first aid kit (band-aid for a small cut on someones finger), which made me feel a bit better about lugging it around on all my walks. I still haven't had a chance to use my EPIRB.

Whilst fairly tiring, the walk was still very enjoyable. We had some great views, and the change in vegetation was very interesting. Now to extract the data from my GPS and correlate it with a map to work out where we went.

Mon, 15 Nov 2004 - Orroral Valley

I normally like to hike along ridges or up mountains because I prefer the views, but on Sunday I decided to try a walk through Orroral Valley. Its a circuit walk and the outgoing track was along the side of the valley along a firetrail. It wasn't particularly interesting, but there were some nice views when it gained some altitude. The walk back through the centre of valley was very impressive. The sun had come out but with a refreshing tail wind the weather was perfect. Had great views of very large rocks on the ridges surrounding the valley.

I quite like my newish Canon IXUS 500 camera, but for wildlife shots it doesn't have a powerful enough zoom. I think I'll save up for a digital SLR like the EOS 300D and buy a good zoom lense. I've seen some beautiful birds, but with my current camera they're so small in the photographs you can hardly see them.