Mt Owen June 2014
The glorious Franklin
I did not intend to climb Mt Owen this weekend – that is, I did not leave home with that intention – but I snapped my tooth, and had some of it sticking into the roof of my mouth just before our group set out on the venture I had been intending, so had to quickly form a plan B). (This goes to show you shouldn’t eat home-made cherry muffins with the seeds left in when about to go walking). Rather than get into the middle of nowhere and then discover that I urgently needed dental attention, thus ruining the walk for the others, I opted to forego this trip. Sadly, I waved them farewell.
But what should I do now? I’d driven all this way (2 1/2 hours). I wasn’t just going to turn around and drive home, and my husband had already gone bush with other people, so no one would even be pleased at an early return. Well, I’d never seen Nelson Falls. Let’s start with that and see how the tooth was then.
(This is a later photo. The 2017 Louise hates the 2014 Louise’s photo).
As I drove in that direction, I came to a sign advertising a walk in the rainforest, so I pulled over. Might as well do all the tourist things. It was beside the Franklin River. Great. This river holds a special place in my heart. I was one of the multitudes who voted for Bob Hawke on the strength of the fact that he promised to save this wild river AND he kept his promise. I wanted to walk its banks here, even if only for a short distance, and immerse myself in a little history.
At Nelson Falls, I found a different sign. This one warned me that in nature I might slip. NO. How dare nature be natural ! That’s surely not what I came to see. Anyway, I managed to see the falls without slipping or finding cause to sue someone who has somehow become responsible for my behaviour if something goes wrong. The falls had so much water you could barely see them for the white spume-blur.
Having not planned on day walking, I lacked a day pack, so just set out hoping the rain wouldn’t return, carrying only gps, camera and compass. Halfway up, the sky changed from benign to threatening. On I strode, hoping I wouldn’t get too wet. The anorak I’d chosen was windproof, but no longer useful protection against rain, being about as old as the Franklin Dam issue. In rolled more clouds. As a rule, I loathe being made to stop on my way up a mountain, and one of the enormous blessings of going solo is that there’s no one there to ask me to stop. However, I hit a view that I feared might have vanished by my return the way the weather was changing, so stopped long enough for a couple of quick shots before continuing on, staring at what appeared to be a cross at the top of the summit still visible. Unlike Australia to be religious, I thought. However, the ‘cross’, I discovered when I drew nearer, was indeed something religious, but was nothing about the God of Christianity; rather it was about our sacrifice to technology. I should have known.