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Monday, May 03, 2004
Tiger Trails Tarkine Hike - Day 2 - to Mt. Ramsay
Getting up early seemed a bit of a waste, as unlike my solo hiking, we spent a few hours leisurely having tea, then some hot porridge, then packing.
The floor of the tent was not at all even water resistant, and although there was a thick black plastic groundsheet underneath, the bottom of the tent, and hence my mat and sleeping bag were a bit damp.
The rain started early, and continued on and off all day. We recrossed the creek to the 4WD track, then followed it south for the rest of the day.
Apparently the track used to be very overgrown, and barely recognisable as a vehicle track, as no vehicles had used it in decades. That was up until last year, when the Launceston 4WD Club came in and drove through. They cut away scores of fallen trees (some very big), cout down saplings on the path and completely trashed the track, so that now the track is often eroded badly, and there are numerous big muddy holes.
The track travels up and down some small hills, alternating between old-growth forest (Myrtle), and regrowth where mining had taken place. Tiger Trails had cut some rough foot pads around some of the deepest and longest mud holes caused by the 4WD's. We would walk a short way into the old growth Myrtle forest to get around the mud. On one of these detours, we had lunch, consisting of Mountain Bread wraps, with a variety of fillings – cheese, carrot, cucumber, sun-dried tomato, salami, mayonnaise, chutney, and more – They were good eating.
The lunch spot was very pretty, a small flat spot on the forest floor, with big Myrtles, Leatherwoods and lots of moss and fungus all around.
The track continued through similar forest after lunch, and was in a similar condition, with similar weather.
After some time, we came to an ascent, up the flank of Mount Ramsay. The track only went partway up the mountain, before contouring around it and descending. The descent was very beautiful, with very big Myrtles in old growth rainforest, and a mist caused by the rain. Just before camp, there was a fallen tree over the track, above head hight.
The campsite was very pretty, a clear area of forest floor with big Myrtles all around and above us. Ben and I ended up with a very damp tent site on the main track, with water pooling right beside the tent.
I discovered that my sleeping bag had gotten wet – Fortunately it was only the foot area which was wet. Due to the continual rain, my pack was pretty wet, despite the pack cover.
We had a hot drink I hadn't tried before – Chi – it was very nice.
During the night, there was very strong winds whooshing through the forest, and steady rain as well. I was hoping that a tree wouldn't come down on us.