Mt Donaldson, Mar 2017. Tarkine Trip Day 2.
With the floating feelings brought on by last night’s magnificent performance at Zeehan’s Gaiety Theatre (Ode to Nellie Melba, with Opera Australia’s Lorina Gore), our merry band of eight walkers from HWC (don’t all walking clubs do opera??) set out to drive to Corinna, where one member would go on a boat cruise, and the remaining seven would climb Mt Donaldson, only about ten minutes’ drive from the lodge. It was going to be another hot day, so we set out as early as was practicable, and didn’t bother pitching our tents until our return.
The walk began across the road from the parking space at the Savage River bridge, a beautifully shady place to park. As per yesterday, the leader didn’t mind my odd little ways, so I was not required to stay with the group, but permitted to climb at my own ‘happy pace’. I felt very free and light.
Sometimes it’s great to be alone and just enjoy nature, moving at a pace that pleases. There’d be plenty of time for socialising as a group later. Because I was allowed to move at workout pace, I arrived at the top in light that had not turned to glare. The world seemed fresh and beautiful in the still-golden tint. The early rainforest part had been wonderfully lush and green; the higher woodland section, an interesting contrast; and the button grass part offered excellent views of the river snaking below, and of other mountains in the distance. I sang as I walked. Life had been stressful last week, but walking and singing and enjoying the wide open scenes with the narrowed world to myself was a perfect antidote to calm me down.
As with Mt Zeehan, we could see the ocean from up there. Poor Mt Donaldson is not only not worth any peak baggers’ points, it is not even considered an official “point of interest” or a “high place”. This is an absurdity, as it was both interesting and high enough (437 ms) to offer a wonderful view in the early light. It is neither an Abelette, nor a Bob Brown. It is just nothing – but it is most worthy of a visit. The 4.3 kms from car to summit took less than an hour, but most groups are not chasing a workout, and would probably want to linger on top longer than this restless jitterbug. I was having fun dancing in the breeze, and returned quite quickly to the car where I got in several glorious chapters of my book, once more enjoying tossing off my other responsibilities for a while. My husband was having a wonderful time with the group.
We had lunch under the canopy of myrtles beside the river in a cool and shady spot before returning to Corinna to pitch our tents and enjoy the environs there.