My map of the Lake King William area showed the 4WD vehicle Switchyard Track restarting on the northern side of the plain on the far side of the power line ‘clearway’. I believed if I walked westwards under the powerlines then eventually I would see clearings through the trees and locate the track.
In my previous post I introduced the deeply compressible mossy plant that prevented rhythmic walking. All the pale green vegetation in the photo above is that soft spongy moss. Admirably beautiful to behold but challenging to walk across.
Our world is full of thoughts about ‘mindfulness’ and ‘being present’. Walking this section required 100% concentration. I was forever present as I focused on the ground checking where my next step might be placed. I stumbled along for seemingly ages until I noticed a row of rocks unnaturally placed at the tree line. That had to be a marker for the track. It was. Relieved, I was soon following the track westwards. I remember taking many photos of the dense forests either side of that track, but obviously I did not properly make the click because there are no photographs. I remember the air was clean and cool. Delightfully fresh. Eventually the track emerged from the forest and continued for a short distance next to the plain. The photo below which looks back inland, clearly shows the extensive depth of that plain.
Still parallel to the plain, the track ran westwards towards the water of Lake King William.
Soon I was surrounded by forest which, in normal climate conditions, would be a wet forest.
Occasionally I could look southwards and see out over the plain to Lake King William.
Eventually I found great vantage points to look back inland. I suspect that had I been able to walk across the plain to this point, I would not have needed to battle through the button grass, moss and spiky plants. But I remembered this spacious landscape might, on other days and after considerable rain, be a sheet of water.
A while later I could see the Derwent River flowing into the northern end of Lake King William.
Then I began the uphill climb on, what the maps marked as, an incline topping 800 metres. I realise that the Lake and river would not be at sea level, but in my mind I wanted the exaggeration because it made me feel like I had achieved a major climb once I reached the top. Silly, I know. But these are some of my inconsequential mind games.
On the way up I deviated through a complex rain forest. Gentle. Beautiful. In the second photo below the Derwent River can be seen as a washed out blue line through the trees – my tablet camera cannot cope with lighting extremes.
Majestic tall straight trees amazed me at every turn.
By placing one foot over the other and enjoying the bush sounds, the top of the hill was gained. What an extraordinary morning had passed: from starting the day packing up the tent and collecting fresh Lake water to drink, to battling my way across challenging vegetation, farewelling Lake King William, reuniting with the undammed Derwent River, to climbing a relentless hill with all the unexpected visual pleasures that provided. I felt clean of mind and spirit. Refreshed. Alive. And grateful.