Thursday 10 August 2017
Photos by Denise & Karen M
Despite most of us being aware of Ian’s reluctance to over-rate the grade and difficulty of his walks (note – forked tongue in both cheeks), 15 presented at the meeting place to offer ourselves as lab rats and join him for the event, half expecting that we would, as usual, end it exhausted but happy.
Whether out of curiosity to experience his new walk, or to what level of exertion we could put our bodies, there was an air of expectation, because it was unlike Ian to be leading what appeared to be a walk of less intensity than his usual. Scepticism of the grade was almost unanimous.
On setting out up the Old Coach Road, it became apparent that he was leading at a relatively relaxed pace, pausing often to provide extensive and interesting information about the particular trees in the area, and forests generally. Giant Blue and Spotted Gum, rare Red Mahogany and later, Turpentine were features.
The views widened as we climbed, eventually achieving the top of Boyne Trig, now sharing its elevated position with a transmission tower. Although partially obscured by trees, there were dramatic views of the coast eastwards and the mountains westwards.
More in keeping with his style, we then plunged down the side of the mountain, where as had been wagered, he remarked on the need for a hazard-reduction fire. The worst part of the heavy litter was the chance of slips, trips and falls, but nothing serious occurred.
As we wound our way through lower forest and gullies, with Ian providing fascinating insights into the identification of species, ecology and management of forests, it became clear that this was another of his very interesting and enjoyable walks, greatly enhanced by his wide and deep knowledge of our forests, and his much appreciated generous sharing of that. As usual, well worth the effort. Thank you Ian.