Kings Canyon - and the rim walk

Friday, Jun 24, 2011 at 04:02

Member-Heather MG NSW

Day 20

Monday June 20th (Kings Canyon)

The night is one of the warmest we have had in weeks however we are glad to have the heater briefly this morning.
After breakfast I pack us morning tea and lunch and we are out at the Canyon by 9am to begin the 6km loop walk around the rim. We did this walk around 5 years ago but the details about it are vague, apart from the initial one hundred metre short sharp climb to the top. It is chilly but I shed one layer of clothing and we walk quickly to warm up.
By the time we reach the top..I am certainly warm... and we are walking in sunshine. It's so beautiful up rocky ridges, clumps of spinifex, ghost gums with white smooth trunks and jade green foliage. I am soon clicking away with the camera.
We follow the track as it meanders along the top of the canyon, through the rocky outcrops and beehive shaped formations of the 'Lost City' to occasional places where we can look directly over the edge to the Canyon floor and the opposite sheer multicoloured, mainly red wall. We take the 600 metre return walk to the lookout across a small bridge and are not disappointed when rewarded with wonderful views.
Another highlight of our walk is descending the staircases to the Garden of Eden with its pools of water, lush green cycads and other vegetation and prolific bird life, and then back up again to continue the walk around the rim. The reflections are superb but I fear my photos will not do it justice.
The remainder of the walk takes us up and down over uneven surfaces, back to the rim of the Canyon in a number of locations where the colours of the sheer Canyon walls are unbelievably stunning...pinks reflected from sunlight hitting the opposite wall. The last kilometre is a steady and easy walk down to the carpark. Its not yet 12 but we eat our sandwiches ravenously as is usual, the exercise has sharpened our appetites.
Before we drive out, we also re-do the short walk up the Canyon floor which is less than 3 kms return and a very easy walk compared to the walk around the rim. I am happy to find a couple of blooms of the Sturts desert rose to photograph and then holly grevillea and a flowering eucalypt of some kind. It has been worth the walk for me because of these small flowers.
Back in the van park, John lets some air out of our tyres in preparation for the dirt road of the Mereenie Loop tomorrow, tops up our fuel with one of the 20 litres we have carried and fills one of the 20 litre water containers in case of rocks penetrating the van water tanks.
It is a very welcome Nespresso coffee and a few squares of my precious 85% Lindt dark chocolate for me. Life is very tough for we caravanners out in the outback!
Barb and Darrell arrive back and seem very pleased that they have managed to walk the rim and it IS an achievement as its not an easy walk and Darrell has a sore knee. We sit around the camping area and talk about our morning, the walk and the birdlife we have seen, and chat to a neighbouring woman who with her husband is travelling with her daughter, son in law and three small grandchildren. She is friendly and seems lovely. Her little grandson is Lucy's age and makes me miss our family when he calls out for "Nana".
I have a mishap with the 12v plug in the laptop power source and have to resort to using a small inverter and the 240v lead but it works well enough. John tries to repair the 12v one and hopes the glue will dry by morning. It is one of my most frequently used power leads in the van...I have to be able to recharge the laptop every day because I use it so much for photos, emails, internet and more. It is like an extension of my left arm! (I am left handed)
Dinner is a roast chicken and vegetables tonight so we will have left over meat to use on sandwiches for the next couple of days until we get to Alice Springs. Also...more chocolate gelato..only a small serve so it will not run out until Thursday.

Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. John Muir
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