Stirling Ranges

Trip Leader: Bob & Bridget McPherson

When: 26th September, 2008

Location: Stirling Ranges

Participants: 14 cars
Friday 26th
Seven vehicles left together on the Friday morning and travelled down the peaceful route via Brookton, Narrogin, Wagin and arrived at Mt Trio mid-afternoon.   Six more vehicles arrived during the afternoon, early evening with the Kennedys arriving early Saturday morning, making quite a crowd.    A beautiful spot but a lot of others which wasn’t a problem in actual area as we had our own space, but others hogged the fire and the farm only had a permit for one fire.   The house of blue bags was erected and provided a shelter during the evening as it was pretty cold that first night.
Saturday 27th
Woke to lovely weather which continued for the weekend and a great view of Mt Trio as it cleared of clouds.   At 9 am most of us joined in a guided walk by John Byrne and an aboriginal gentleman who gave us a walk and talk on wildflowers and bush tucker in the area.   Later we took a 65km drive through the Stirling Ranges on the Heritage Trail, the scenery was magnificent and the wildflowers were abundant.  
That evening with the help of Peter and Keith’s vehicles and awnings we extended the shelter to set up for the curry night, Bob tried every one of the 14 curries and confirmed that everyone had done a great job.
Sunday 28th
We awoke on Sunday to an overcast sky that decided for most of us that climbing Bluff Knoll would not be an option. However, the daring Theunissen’s with cheerful optimism set off after a healthy breakfast well prepared for the climb. When we caught up with them in the afternoon, we were impressed to learn that they went up and back in less than four hours. Even the mini-T’s managed most of the climb.  Trevor amazingly still had energy to join Guy, Keith, Martin and others climbing Mt Trio on the way home.
The black cockatoos foraged among the trees in the campground at dawn, their raucous calls mixing with the dawn chorus of the smaller birds. There was some slight drizzle but at 10.15, we formed up in convoy for a scenic drive through the Porongurup Range, destination the bakery and fuel in Mount Barker. This was a leisurely and beautiful drive passing farmland with grazing sheep and through the ranges with views across valleys and vineyards. The clouds gradually lifted from the hilltops and it was then a warm and sunny day. We stopped for morning tea and admired the purple native wisteria and red Coral Vine in great profusion climbing over the shrubbery along the roadside, There were more flower varieties than our combined knowledge could identify.
After refuelling man and machine at Mount Barker we drove back to Bluff Knoll car park. Here the convoy divided into those with Park Passes driving the 8km to the Bluff Knoll car park and those without going to Mt Trio where there is no entry fee. We returned to the campground by 4pm in time for hot showers before happy Hour in the House of X1 Blue Bags.
After the two previous cold nights it was a mild evening. After dinner, Rick was able to surprise Sue with a chocolate mud cake birthday cake. How did he hide it and did he have an accomplice in Mt Barker?
Monday came around too soon. It was warm and sunny as we left for the 5-hour trip home in small groups so not to add to the road congestion.
It was a great weekend in every respect and many thanks to Bob and Bridget for pre-tripping and arranging for the flowers to be so blooming beautiful.
 Trip Notes Bridget and Stella

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