Mts Gnomon, Dial and Montgomery, 1 Jan 2014.
What a great way to start the new year: with a walk. Whilst it seemed from listening to the radio that the rest of Australia was on fire, we gathered our coats, rain jackets, Helly longs (top and bottom) and more, and set out for the coastal town of Penguin. Alas, I neglected to bring my waterproof pants and gloves, as this was summer, so I was in beach mode. I froze. Luckily my husband had a spare pseudo-down jacket he could lend me. It was all on tracks, so we could move quite quickly to keep warm (which is part of the reason I had not brought as much cold-weather gear with me).
As I walked along the pleasant track listening to the birds, I reflected on the fact that I would much rather be doing this beautiful three-mountain walk in these drizzly conditions than in the summer heat. The greens and browns glistened, and although we couldn’t see the nearby sea, we had wonderful vistas out into the atmospheric wilderness below that hinted of hidden beauty behind the low lying clouds. Mist swirled around the moist, mossy rocks. Stylidiums, goodenias, hakeas and hibbertias, inter alia, coloured our route.
Although none of our mountains was high in any absolute terms, each had a nice little pinch to get to the top, so we had the feeling of well-earned times at the summits, followed in each case by an enjoyable ridge line connecting these mountains of the Dial Range.
Originally, a car shuffle of sorts had been planned (using deposited bikes), but we made such good progress that we’d finished all three mountains before lunch, so after we dined under dripping eucalypts half way down Mt Montgomery, to the accompaniment of several types of bird for dinner music, it was agreed that we should return to the cars via a lower route through lush forest, and just pick up the bikes on the way out, thus turning a shorter straight through walk into a longer and more beautiful loop, dropping down to Keddles Creek, following its ferny banks for a while, and then climbing back up to the car at the Gnomon Car Park.
We did get to see the sea, but that was from inside the cafe afterwards while we had cake and cappuccino and watched the rain ruining the swimmers’ plans.