And on the third day, Mike rose again determined to find some gold that bucket of positivity overflowing again.
We went further down Possum Gully Road to turn off into the aptly named (hopefully) “Golden Track”. With some difficulty, after about an hour, we found a spot in the forest where I could get a strong signal to work with. All around this area is evidence of long ago gold prospecting. Mounds of earth piled up all over the place, some with large dug out holes in them, tranches of digging – where we would stand and imagine miners following a long gone stream or digging their way along a vein of gold?
We had a bit of excitement during the heat of the day. Mike had taken a break from his fossicking to cool off, rest and recharge the batteries.
Rangers drove past us a couple of times and then a gentleman stopped to talk to us. He was investigating a fire that had mysteriously started over the hill from where we were parked. From where we were, there was no smoke to be seen. After some questioning, the investigator seemed happy with our answers and realised that we were not arsonists. He informed us that the fire had now been contained and that we were not in any danger; the fire-fighting crew knew our whereabouts if there should be another fire outbreak.
In our conversation with him, we found out that it was not unusual for these ‘spot’ fires to start – by arsonists, sometimes just by bored teens, sometimes by kids wanting some attention. One can be started, then another. He kindly came back later to let us know the fire was out and re-assured us that we were noted as being where we were if there should be any other emergency.
He also informed us that this section of forest had been wiped out by bush fires in 1985. As plants grew, there were many wattle bushes. When the trees grew back, they grew higher than the wattle, shutting out the sun and the wattle bushes all died. This explained the many half circle shapes of dead branches all around.
As before, only scrap metal. I’m sure we will be back at some time, but with our Suzuki to take us further into the forest.
It had been another very hot day and we were pleased to be heading back to the campsite at the end of the day to sit and ‘chill’. New campers had arrived at the site, a Canadian couple who for four months, were travelling around NSW and Victoria and soon, moving on to South Australia. They were loving their trip and very keen on our birdlife. They considered that Australians were lucky to have so many different kinds of birds. They knew more about them than we did!
Spending an evening conversing with the different people that are ‘on the road’ is one of the great joys of travelling. There are so many travellers with interesting experiences to tell.